Musings on…. Priorities


Those nagging, niggling little no-see-ums that get under your skin and make you itch.  Well, something like that.

For those of you who’ve been keeping up, I’ve had a rough couple months.  I was working thirteen, sometimes fourteen days in a row.  I wasn’t keeping up with my first job (housewife) very well, and while DH pitched in, taking care of the house is my job.  I haven’t gone on “Go Take a Hike Sunday” hikes with DH since… May?  The only time I’ve really spent talking to DH has been on our commute home together for a half hour in the afternoons (he sleeps on the way into work when I commute with him because I’m driving) and here and there in the evenings.  I’ve been crabby.  Cranky.  Ornery.  Piss-poor attitude.  I don’t want to be bothered – about anything!  I can’t think straight, let alone crooked.  You get the idea.

I quit working a full-time job (my last one, four years ago, for a variety of reasons) so I could work part-time AND take care of the house and the bulk of the yard work.  Why?  Priorities.  What was better for DH and I: more money and no free-time or less money and plenty of free-time?

Together we decided, less money, more free-time.  Priorities.

What’s important to you to live the best life for you?

For me, it’s having a clean house (yes, my Mom tells me the state of my house makes her feel guilty), a tidy yard, friends and family, eating well (notice I didn’t say expensive) and traveling.  To be able to have those things, sacrifices had to be made in other areas.  I often buy my clothes from thrift stores.  I shop for groceries with coupons.  I don’t go out to dinner often and I don’t go out to bars except on rare occasions.

I don’t buy “stuff” like I used to (nail polish STILL gets me, though).  I repair and repair again things like shirts and towels and keep using them under they’re worn out.  It pained me this last week to toss a kitchen towel and a dishcloth that I could, quite literally, SEE through; there were no tears to mend or frayed edges to serge back up.  We got both as wedding gifts over thirteen years ago… but it was time.  DH laughs that I have items around here that I’ve had for over 20 years, even a flannel shirt that has a few holes around the bottom hem, but I still wear it.

I digressed again… back on point.

There are decisions we all have to make and lessons we all have to learn to determine what is important for ourselves when it comes to what makes us happy and what we want to see happen in our lives.

I won’t wax poetic about “what is the meaning of life”, because it’s different for everyone – just like how we all have different priorities when it comes to learning what makes us happy in life, love and career.  The lessons I’ve learned in the past month have been tremendously helpful, even if I felt horrible while I was learning them.  I’ll let you in on a little secret, I’m much more regimented than I once thought.

Oh, I like to go with the flow when it comes to my favorite pastime – traveling.  I don’t mind just wandering about and seeing where I’ll end up, but when it comes to work and career, I don’t like “gray”.  I like things black and white.  I like protocol and procedure.  Step 1 is followed by Step 2 which is followed by Step 3 and so on.

I don’t do well at all when I perform a task how I’m taught, am told that it’s correct, and repeat that same task in the same way and am then told it’s wrong.  This doesn’t compute for me.  How can I do it right once and have it be wrong the second time when I’ve done it exactly the same way?

I also discovered that I shut down emotionally and verbally when there is confrontation of any form.  If my feelings are hurt – I shut down.  If I get angry – I shut down.  If I get frustrated – I shut down.  You get the idea.  Shutting down is not good in jobs where immediate reaction and response is needed.  My brain doesn’t work that fast, and emotionally, I’m unable to transition from being hurt/angry/frustrated to everything being “fine” in mere moments.  Again, not good in jobs where immediate reaction and response are needed.

I spent a few days last week hurt/angry/frustrated; I felt like a failure.  I failed.  I failed at a task.  I failed at a job.  I failed. FAILED.  F A I L E D.  (Have I mentioned that I failed?)

I don’t do well with failure.  I am a person who gets it right the first time and then every time (well… usually anyway).  I can do anything I put my mind to, yet despite my trying – I still failed.

I came home defeated and down.  I just wanted to crawl under my rock under the bigger rock that it’s under and curl up and shut out the world.  I failed.

Then I got angry again and said to myself, “Self….” because that’s what I say to myself when I talk to myself, “…. Self.  To the Internet!”  And so I took Me, Myself and I to the internet and we started to do some more researching.  What makes me tick?  What do I really, truly like and need in a job?  I discovered that I need procedure and protocol.  I need Steps 1-3 (or more).  I need to be able to work at my pace, whether that is lightning or turtle.  These needs aren’t because I’m inflexible either, however, when a change is made, I need to know why the change is made and why the powers that be think it’s better.

I don’t need accolades or awards.  I need to know what is expected, what to do and then just be left to do it.  Arbitrary rule/procedure changes throw me for a loop.  I feel lost, without a map and I don’t know the language.

So what made me take on all this extra work?  Priorities… and opportunity… and seeing if I could do it.  Opportunity knocked, I opened the door and I “gave it the old college try”.

But here’s the thing, no matter how crappy I felt the last week, how much I think I failed, there was a bright side to all of this “feeling crappy”.  I learned what I need to keep me happy in the workplace.  I learned what my priorities are when it comes to staying happy.

How about you, Dear Reader?  Have you had a moment to question what it is that is a priority for you in the workplace?

About The Amusing Muse

Deep thinker whose mind operates at warped speed. Philosopher pondering the big (and little) things in life. Storyteller. Office Ninja. Model. Teller of bad jokes. User of big words.
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2 Responses to Musings on…. Priorities

  1. I don’t know if I can point to any specific moments… but, wow… a LOT of what you’ve described here really sounds like me, A.M. I also like ‘structure’ (in most if not all things)… change is difficult for me… as is getting upset by something (even small things can literally throw-off my entire day). Except I suspect you are more ‘lighting’ and I am more ‘turtle’… I often find myself checking and re-checking things (it’s easy for me to get hung-up on details), and if someone is watching me or if my routine changes I panic a bit and it’s gonna take me even l-o-n-g-e-r. I don’t know what that all means, exactly… but… it can be a real bummer, honestly.

    • What has been funny is that, me being me, I’ve been analyzing everything I do day-to-day and yeah, I’m regimented. I have a routine from the time I get up until I go to bed. I’m thrown “off” if I miss something in my routine and that could sour me for the rest of the day and possibly even the next. I admit to being “turtle-paced” in the morning – so on days I need to commute – it means I have to get up earlier than normal because I’m “pokey”. I speed up as the day progresses, and combined with my what-can-be-SHORT-temper, if I’m working with people who are turtle-paced in the afternoon, it frustrates me to no end.

      I’m a rechecker for my work once I’ve finished it, and I’ll recheck again from time to time (like this post where I found a couple errors that I need to go back and correct). Like you, if someone is watching me, I don’t panic so much as give the “what the Hell do you want and why are you watching me” look. I’ll just stop what I’m doing and stare at the person. I do NOT like being watched, gargoyle-like. Even poor DH, when he comes in when I’m writing and leans over my shoulder, my normally pleasant demeanor is instantly converted to something much, much less inviting. Hmm… all this analyzing has given me another topic to write about. Hooray!

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