Monday, January 31, 2011

Merging to WHAT?

Some of you know that January has been a challenging month for me at work, and in life – not terrible, no major life or work changes actually resulted (a supportive or annoying friend would say, not yet), but there were lots of emotional/mental challenges and thoughts and feelings. And what’s maybe worse – the net result seems to be, no change in direction.

Funny metaphor on my drive home tonight (working late again, not that that gets me any more money or anything else professionally…who's bitter, right?, LOL). Funny place for a traffic jam, not far from my house in Garland, a few blocks from Garland Road (used car lots, generic-brand car repair shops and gas stations, a thrift store…).

An arrow was telling the left lane to merge into the right, but the people in the right lane had their blinkers on to go left, because the Garland Road light was taking so long and we were on an (on a short strip, not the most vibrant section of Garland) industrial strip with no cross streets that went through to anywhere.

The merge arrow light (yellow, not orange, made of obvious dots, like a fresh Vegas sign) was so bright on the suburban four-lane road at 7 pm – kind of perky and fresh, working hard but doing nothing much. Meaningless-looking road repairs causing the lane closure…but that’s typical, right? I saw one guy in reflective road gear poking a stick into a pile of road dust – not sure if there was a hole under the dust, it really didn’t matter.

I have had just enough wine that I know I don’t need to speculate on metaphors to do with sticks and holes, and dust.

My lane was closing, and it was taking me 15 more minutes to get home. That was my experienced reality – that was what made a difference in my life expectancy, from whatever little difference it made in my daily stress load.

My lane feels constricted (my work/life lane is not really closed, it’s more of a feeling, an interpretation, a new awareness) and I feel (there’s that word again) forced to merge into what’s next to me. A lane I haven’t evaluated, which is probably temporary anyway.

See how stressful this sounds? That’s why even those of us not 100% thrilled with our jobs every day stay in them.

It’s so hard to evaluate potential changes. And impossible to see the future. (We never get used to that.)

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