Friday, September 2, 2011

Off My Square

I'm a person with a fairly small comfort zone. I like doing the things that I do and getting good at them and I'm not real happy when I have to cozy up with change.

That's one of the reasons that I stayed in the Hive for so long. It was a horrible wretched stressful place to be, but it was what I knew. It was probably shortening my life working down there for so long. And it took a case of tendonitis so bad that I started losing the use of my arm to get me out of there.

Even with that it took a real effort to make myself move out into a new place and learn to do new things. Just like the agonizing and nail biting that I went through first to step up into the control center and then to put myself on the Sergeants register. I can't tell you accurately how those decisions bothered me and how much sleep I lost over both of them.

But I left the Hive and went out onto the yard and the comm room. And after awhile I got comfortable again. Occasionally working a housing unit wasn't too bad. They were just like a tamer version of the Hive. No big deal. Even working a 2-10 spot was still okay. I had to leave an hour earlier but it was close enough to being within my routines that it didn't throw me off too much.

I've got my routines. And I stick with them as much as I can. I even have my computer to nag me about the things I need to do each day. Take your meds! Exercise! Write something! Read a book! I growl and bare my teeth and make up new words to say in reply sometimes.

Today working the 12-8 spot had me all messed up. I felt like I had to rush through my morning and I skipped my workout and my timeline was off all day long. Especially after they moved me temporarily when I got to work.

I was upstairs getting my keys and radio when Shoal yelled up the stairs and said "Call Lt Gerber!" Snap. When I called he said "Go up to the control center. Someone has to go home sick. Then go work dining after you get relieved."

So I spent the first three hours of my shift up there working with two guys I barely know. Well, I know them, but I've never really worked with them before. And seeing me up there so early in the day was making people stop in the sally port and do a double take. They would give me that "What the snap?" look and I'd just shrug and shake my head...

It felt like I had been up there for half the day and I looked at my watch and it was only 2:00 pm. It startled me. That's the time I usually leave for work and that realization reset my internal clock to my regular schedule. So even though I had been at work for two hours my body felt like I just got here and my mind was going "Nooooooooo...........!"

Needless to say, I was just messed up all day long. Finally managed to get down to dining to work with that silly knucklehead Goosey. We made it through chow and the cleanup and I was pretty happy when it was time to go home.

And once again my internal clock kept jacking with me. I was a few minutes early on my way out so I stopped to smoke and chat with Captain CJ outside. Then I went in and had a short discussion with Lt Strong in central. Visited with Stubby in the control center on the way through. And of course I couldn't help but spend time with my two favorite broken girls, Miz Twang and Sgt Miz P outside. They always make my day.

After all of that I was about 45 minutes late getting home. I'm tired as hell and my mind and body can't decide what time zone I'm in.

I think I really need to practice being more flexible, don't you?

So here's the weekend lineup.
Saturday is Skyscraper Day and apparently nothing else. Awesome.
Sunday is Newspaper Carrier Day (Just for you, Joe!), International Drive Your Studebaker Day and Oatmeal Day.
Monday will be Be Late For Something Day (there goes my schedule again!) and Labor Day.

Time to put all of those white jumpsuits back into the closet for the season.


  1. Small comfort zone, eh? I bet mine is smaller than yours!

    When a man retires he is tempted to take note of every little change to his routines and the world around him, and cry "Doom". There's something to look forward to!

  2. I don't know if being more flexible would change much. Sounds like you are a person, like many of us, that likes patterns, routines, stability - a sense of knowing how the day will play out before you dive into it. Nothing wrong with that.

    Problem is letting one's self get bogged down with thinking we need to have patterns, routines and stability in our lives. For me, with the events that have played out in my life since 2007 shaping much of my world, I gave up needing so much rigidity in my daily routines and decided to focus on my breathing instead and staying present.

    Also...I'm a huge venter. I vent, vent, vent. I never keep anything bottled inside of me...that's a ticking time bomb if you ask me. My daughter laughs when she's with me and says my rantings should be recorded and sold as comedic medicine! Ha!

    When I lay my head down, at the end of my long days, I occasionally hook myself up to my blood pressure monitor and smile as I read my numbers - 114/65, resting pulse 55 BPM.
    Yup...get into two car accidents, almost die in the second and you learn pretty fast that you have really no control so why sweat it.

    Long ramble, but just wanted you to know that it's okay to like a routine...just don't let it be what rules you and defines your outlook.

    As always, a great post, great insights.

    Cheers, Jenny

  3. Vincent- You travel around some, anyway. I avoid travel like the plague. I hate getting more than 50 or so miles away from home base. And I'm going to have to work until I'm 900 years old so I don't have to worry about retirement.

    Jenny- I've come close to biting the big one a few times way in the past. I suspect that's why I try to have what little control I do have over my life. I was a great one for bottling things up until I discovered blogging. Now I just let it fly.

  4. and I used to be a newspaper carrier, both as a kid and as an adult