Emerald Specter 10: Stream of Consciousness


My intent was to write a Fitness Specter about stress… and the more I thought about things, the more I realized I just need to write something that maybe doesn’t have a whole lot of focus. The term for that is “stream of consciousness” and I’ve not done a whole lot of that because I like to have a point… maybe it’s time I just don’t have a point.

There was a time, many years ago, when I didn’t have an issue with Christmas. The further into the future I go, the less I like the holiday. I’m not a Christian and the issue isn’t with the religious implications. My issue is that the holiday just causes me undo stress and problems. I hate Christmas and there’s no two ways about it.

If you know me personally, I’m pretty easy going. I let a lot of stuff slide right by without being bothered by them. If you’ve read this blog for any length of time, then you also know that I talk about work at a minimum and I refrain from saying things (for sure) that could get me into trouble at work. The reason for that is I once got into trouble for posting something on Facebook… my own, private page where it was screen captured and turned in to “take me down.” Since then, I don’t talk much openly about work in a fashion that can be kept.

Thus I am vague. It’s time to include it into the stream of consciousness, though.

What I do for a living gives me a headache, not most of the time, but definitely during the holidays. I have grown to hate Christmas because the expectations are so high at work that reaching them is nearly impossible. Some might see this as an “I’ve been challenged and I succeeded” type situation and I just look at work differently, I suppose. Lots of times in life you’ll hear “I just wasn’t challenged enough at work.” Why would you want to be challenged at work? I want to do the same, mundane thing over and over and over again and clock off in 8 hours and go home. I don’t want a challenge, I’m there for a fucking pay check.

The challenges at Christmas, even for the people who want them, are too much. The base level employee has issues, the supervisors of those employees have issues, the supervisors of the supervisors have issues, and what that boils down to (in my case) is several people telling me several things, all of which are vitally important at this very second, and several of those things contradict each other. On top of that, I’m putting in hours that I don’t want to put in… mostly because others won’t. I’m tired of it and it’s affecting my life, my health, and I’m fucking tired of it.

I’ve recently discovered a new, potential health problem that, if I don’t correct what I can, will develop into a debilitating issue that will cause me even more stress. Another “greatest hit” for Christmas.

When I moved away from my “state of origin,” I came to a place where the population of the inner city is bigger than my previous entire state. I don’t have as many friends here, I would go so far as to say that I have very few (I can count them on one hand), but at least I’m not in a place where I don’t fit in.

I don’t have to be vague about this. I lived in North Dakota for most of my life and the place, in a nutshell, is a “Conservative Christian red state mentality that is uber-religious and is roughly 10 years behind the times.” Everyone there thinks their shit doesn’t stink and that they’re better than everyone else. Part of the reason I left is the smug attitude that everyone back there has… and I say everyone, but not everyone sucked. Unlike the “one bad apple spoils the bunch” saying, one good apple doesn’t save the bunch, either.

Someone might point at my recent move and say “part of your stress is living in a new, wholly different environment without support.” I’ve lived “without support” for more than a decade, now, and that isn’t any worse here.

I learned a term last night from watching Hemlock Grove on Netflix. The term is “gas lighting,” and I’ll be damned if that doesn’t fit how my family treats me. Yeah, family. There’s a saying about family, lots of them actually, but none of them ring true in my experience. They don’t have my back, they aren’t there for me, and because of my experience with my own “blood” I’ve come to have a very particular opinion about what family means. Right now I’m closer with my in-laws than I am with my actual blood relatives.

That adds to my stress, sure, but that’s something I can’t affect anymore. I’m done trying, too. There are a few members of my family I’m speaking with on a regular basis, but they’re not immediate family.

I’m writing all this at 7:30 AM on a Sunday, one of my two very difficult to keep days off. I was up until about midnight last night and about 6:30 this morning I just couldn’t sleep anymore. I’m tired enough to want to try but I end up just laying in bed, flopping around, and feeling ill. What’s my problem? Stress. Anxiety.

While this has been slightly therapeutic, nothing is really getting solved. I have a lingering pain in my lower back from injuring it over two weeks ago (see my Fitness Specter 34 for more details) and while I thought it was significantly better, I still have problems doing things because of it. I lost a lot of weight last year and gained all of it back, thus I’m lamenting over the fact that I have the motivation to workout and lose weight, I am lacking the significant capability to accomplish that.

On a “good note,” the fact that I can’t even be bothered to be given a proper lunch at work has me losing weight because I’m not really eating as often as I should. Six pounds isn’t anything to write home about, though.

I guess I’ll go try to find something else to do, now. I’d like to sleep but I know that isn’t going to happen. I can’t wait for Christmas to be over because I’ve had nothing but problems since the season started.

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