Monday, February 13, 2017

and, well, shoot

I dunno why - too much work this weekend, maybe - but suddenly my wounded inner child is at the fore, and everything is making me alternately sad and cranky. (And no, it can't be pms, not unless I'm now on the every-two-weeks schedule or some darn thing).

Part of it was an e-mail from campus wellness. I try to have these sent to a spam folder but they still sometimes come through. This one was on "heart health." So let's see.

Helpful suggestions:

"Hug a friend. Cuddle your children. Eat dinner with your family. Hold hands with your boyfriend. Write a love letter to your wife."


I have friends locally, but most of them are not the hugging type, and anyway, I have positioned myself in the past of being a non-hugger, and so it would feel weird to me to go up to someone I know and tell them I needed a hug, even if I did. The rest of those? I might get to eat dinner with my parents in May, but the others aren't gonna happen.

This kind of thing frustrates me because of the assumption there: that everyone is coupled and has this extensive support network near them. Some of us don't. I dunno, maybe I'm the only one who doesn't.

But the other thing: this is our health insurer. So it feels like they're proposing these things as a band-aid solution instead of, I don't know, pressing the workplace to address the causes of stress in our lives and stuff. (This is one of my issues with some of the stress-relief programs: they want people to add things in to their lives - like making time for more exercise - while doing nothing to relieve the burden of everything we must do already. And for me, juggling everything is a major source of my stress).

It also just makes me sad for being-on-the-outside-looking-in reasons. I know I'm weird because I failed to marry and procreate, could I please not be reminded of that? (Can I please have a one-way ticket to the Island of Misfit Toys?)

I dunno. I just get frustrated at all the unwanted health advice we seem to get pushed at us. There's also a series of PSAs now about pre-diabetes, and there's apparently a website you can go to if you are wondering "Am I pre-diabetic?" (I suspect it's just a page with a big red YES written on it, and GO TO YOUR DOCTOR and DON'T EAT ANYTHING BUT VEGETABLES on there)

That said, the e-mail I posted about earlier - if you interpret it as talking about ONE person, and it has both the advice "hold hands with your boyfriend" and "write a love letter to your wife," that suggests a far higher level of relationship diversity than many on my campus would recognize. Heh.

I'm sure some of this is brought on by spending about 10 hours at work on Saturday, then being too tired to do anything "fun" (I didn't even practice piano on Saturday) and Sunday I didn't do anything "fun" either. And I'm kind of dreading the work I have facing me NEXT Saturday.


Edited to add: No, I'm not quite done. I'm thinking about a couple more things.

Someone on ITFF made the comment (in response to something I said): "It is flipping exhausting to always be the only one who takes care of you."

YES. That so much. That is so true. And it's so hard to make other people see it sometimes. There have been times I literally had to sit down and cry for a few minutes because the idea of managing to Tetris my work-work, my laundry, my making-time-to-work-out, my volunteer work, and getting to the store at a time when it wasn't crazy-busy and would take an hour seemed impossible.

And that's also why I go home periodically to visit my parents (and the selfish reason why I felt so sad when my mom got hurt over Christmas and couldn't do anything): it's a rare instance of someone else taking care of me. I know some folks who eat nearly every meal at a restaurant to avoid the cooking and dishes, but I can't do that - sodium, and also we have precious few restaurants to eat at, and I'd get tired of what was here fast. And I know someone who sends (or at least, sent, I don't know if he still does) all his laundry out to a cleaner so he didn't have to mess with it.

And that's also why I felt such despair when someone once suggested I take on a thankless volunteer task they didn't want to do, where they cited "But you don't have a husband and kids to take care of." Yes, but that also means I have NO ONE to help out at home, and no one to make me feel like going home is even worth it.....

And then this, which came across Twitter:

  I like that A LOT, and I think we're suffering from a shortage of that in our culture right now - either people don't think about the person "using the plate next," or they figure "they can look out for themselves, I don't feel like doing it."

(In case you can't read the image, it says: "Wash the plate not because it is dirty or because you are told to wash it, but because you love the person who will use it next. St. Teresa of Calcutta"

And that St. Teresa as in Mother Teresa? I guess it is. Well, that makes sense then.)

But yes. I'd consider printing that out and hanging it up in my teaching lab over the sink, but I suspect some people wouldn't get it fully - again, the idea of "love" has become so debased in our culture that for some it only means direct family members or someone they're trying to get in the pants of (sorry), and not the sort of "this is your neighbor who shares the earth with you" love.

I've washed far too many pieces of glassware that people left behind dirty because they felt too busy or too important or they thought no one would notice. But the glassware still has to be washed by someone, and there is no one I can pay to do I do it myself.

1 comment:

Lynn said...

You're not weird; you're just ahead of your time. :-)