I find it humbling when I get the chance to put my personal gripes into perspective. I spent most of this weekend bemoaning my lot, raging against “The Man” and plotting social anarchy. I was ready to tell my boss to stick his job where the sun doesn’t shine. I was irritable, jittery, and I had to use the toilet – a lot.
Then two things happened. First, I took a chance on working through my shifts this weekend caffeine-free. I was already feeling I was pushing the boat out too far with my coffee drinking. I bought a jar of half-and-half and I stuck with that for the weekend. (Okay, so I wasn’t strictly caffeine-free. Sue me.) Like the coffee, the success was instant. My mood brightened, my outlook improved, and I no longer wanted to tell my boss to stick it.
The second event that put proportion on things was my visit to Mary. (Sigh…my Mary.) She is a private woman and would hate to think I’m talking out of turn; but I’m not going into gory details about our relationship here. Like most people who work in the public sector here in Ireland, Mary has found her wages cut – and cut badly. When the property bubble burst and banking institutions were found to have feet of clay, our inglorious leaders (commonly known as the Muppets in the Dail) hit the public service like Terminators looking for Sarah Connor. She, like a lot of our public servants, especially within the health service, are overworked and underpaid. Mary’s weekend shifts are not over yet; she has another twelve-hour day tomorrow. But she gets on with what she has to do so she can keep a roof over her and her children’s head. The last thing she needs is a neurotic boyfriend. She wants hugs and kisses, not woe is me. I have it easy compared to Mary. I shouldn’t moan.
So I’m not going to moan. I’m going to get on with it. Something will pop up if I make my open to possibilities and opportunities. Until then, there’s a job to be done. In this current climate, I’m damn lucky to have it. I’m also damn lucky to have Mary.
Note: My sincerest thanks to Nancy Hatch for her inspiring blogs this weekend. They’ve helped me, too.