Friday, June 7, 2013

Fighting the Demons #1


There may only be one in this series of posts. Which makes it not a series, I know. But I do know there is more than one demon battling for time and attention so there is the possibility of writing more than one piece with this title. So I might as well start with #1, right?

This is my way, today, of breaking through the barrier to writing. To write. Just do it. Though I'm not writing on the memoir at this moment, it is forward movement, words coming out through my hands. Writing.

Today the undertow is financial. A harder financial hit than I had originally projected due to a change at my part-time job. A hit from something which has no relationship to how well I do my job, to how much of a team player I am, to how much I follow the rules meet the statistics smile and say thank you or my excellent job performance reviews. It's not even a change in how many hours I work - though that threat is always there on the table and could happen without warning. As this did.

It was a small change and a frustrating process which led to it. And I have to say again that it had nothing to do with job performance and meeting standards and doing my part and more. (And it wasn't just me.)

This one little change has not been so little on the paychecks. Today the second significant reality of that change was realized and the cumulative effect is greater than expected.

But the demon is, again, money. Time and money because when you work part-time for yourself and you work part-time for someone else without benefits or guarantee of hours, time is money. I hate that phrase.

I really hate that phrase because time is also what I need to write. Time is what I need to sleep. To organize things in the house. To read. To go to a movie the theatre dance performance the park walk swim. To do nothing to write to edit revise to write.

The danger in this demon is that at times in the past I have filled my schedule with work to escape the finance demon and I won. But then the writing the doing nothing the sleeping the reading fell silent and my body screamed.

No - let me back up. The demon isn't money - that's the mask it's wearing today. The demon is feeling that I have to do more be more prove my worth. Today it was triggered by being devalued and brushed aside by a system over which I have no control and which does not consider the impact on the individuals only on the system as a whole.

No. I'm not going into more details on what happened. Really, that's irrelevant. It's a corporation thing. And the one I work for is no different. Those of us with a brain are always wary of that proverbial other shoe. This wasn't that.

And just now, as I was looking through my notes on the memoir project I found an earlier note to myself. A reminder I needed to see today: to "keep positivity on my radar" and to "let go of aggravation and despondency." And the phrase I was using in my daily practice at the time, "I am positive and realistic about my good financial situation." This is not an airy fairy lalaland ignore reality chant. Rather, it's a note to my self that it will work out. It has worked out in the near twenty years I've been an interpreter; this is no exception. It's not even a setback except in the moment and the moment will pass.

The demon of self-doubt in the mask of money. Ah, yes, familiar.

Not today.

I won't go into the black hole today. Besides, I'm meeting with my new writing group in half an hour.

See? The demon is, again, vanquished.

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