Aug 11, 2009

Warning: Pity ahead, please slow down and go around

Do any of you remember an episode of West Wing where Josh and Toby were on the road and in a hotel bar, and they met a dad who was taking his daughter to different colleges? The dad was telling them about the cost of the colleges, and how he didn't think he was going to be able to handle it. He didn't know he was talking to two guys who worked for the president, and it was interesting exchange. I remember one line the dad had that has been ringing so very true for me, and I am paraphrasing here:

"I mean, it should be hard. That's the way life works, right? We should work hard for our kids, provide for them, put them through school. But it just shouldn't be this hard."

That right there kind of sums up my life for a while now.

It should be hard, just not this hard.

When I left Sun Microsystems and went to work at Cisco, I thought I was finally clear of the layoff worries. Now we have lost a couple of people in our group, including the best manager I have ever had. I now report to a senior manager/director type who doesn't really have a clue what to do with us. This sure feels real secure...

It should be hard, just not this hard.

We just start to get a few bills paid off and now car troubles rear their ugly head again. The van we have has some problems, and it is tough to get it in to get repaired because it is what we haul Skyler around in. So we have to plan a day when he doesn't need to go anywhere and we have a lot of free time.

It should be hard, just not this hard.

Programs that we have waited forever on waiting lists for now have funding cuts to them. lists get longer instead of shorter, and the services get fewer that you wait for. Some people have it worse, sure. They rely solely on these programs. We will get by without, but there is a difference between thriving and getting by.

It should be hard, just not this hard.

We have a vacation coming up, traveling out to see Kathy's family. I should be happy about vacation, but we always go there to see her family. I can't remember the last time we went anywhere else. Some people never get a vacation, so I should just shut up.

It should be hard, just not this hard.

So what the hell is wrong with me? These are things that everyone has to deal with, but I don't seem to be dealing with them that well anymore. I think it's all the little things adding up that have me reeling a bit. I hope this funk doesn't last too long...

Thanks for listening.

24 comments:

  1. In times like these, just think of the hard it must be to be Britney Spears. With all those like, problems and stuff?

    Awwwh yeah, puts it all into perspective, doesn't it. "Frame your life by Britney," that's my motto when I'm scraping the junk drawer for quarters to buy a carton of eggs before payday. Helps me get through the rough times!

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  2. When it rains, it pours. Hang in there.

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  3. I can sympathize...

    "It should be hard, just not this hard."

    Today was frustrating. Agencies that are supposed to help you only complicate the process (I personally think they get their jollies out of dangling the carrot). I hope tomorrow is better for you! {{{HUG}}}

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  4. I was just reading an article today about "compassion fatigue". People get it when they spend too much time caring for others and it begins to wear on them. It's compounded by the fact that they have guilt for feeling tired or needing a break. The article didn't offer any solutions though. I hope you can find one somehow. Hugs. xo d

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  5. i agree with diane. you have been giving and giving and giving for how many years? and yes you do it gladly and out of love. you always have, chris. but i think that your own cup is running a little empty right now, doesnt matter what drained it... all that matters is refilling it so you can have something to give. what can you do that would be very selfish and yet fill up your cup? its OK to take time for you. it may even be a matter of life or death. i am a nurse and i see this sort of thing all the time. people give until they are fatigued then feel guilty like they have no business doing something for themselves. if you can arrange it, go away either alone or with just the wife... if some blessed soul could take care of skyler. you would both come back so rejuvinated. then you would have the energy to handle all the little things that are going on.
    jus sayin....

    bless your tired run down little heart.

    c

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  6. If it makes you feel better, my hub never ever ever takes off from work, therefore we never go on vacation like others do. So I spend his money instead.

    #1

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  7. We have friends whose wheelchair van was stolen...

    I have had 3 weeks off in 10 years. But if I had a week off right now, I would NOT go see my sister-in-law

    I just closed up one of my shops because of the economy. My lease is up soon at the other and I don't know what the landlord is gonna screw me for.

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  8. Yeah, it should be hard, but at some point, there should be rewards for doing things the hard (and right) way. Hang in there cause eventually there are. Just not as soon as they are deserved.

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  9. don't you just f****g hate it
    i agree
    with College Girl in college (paying for it is impossible) Dear Hubby doing child support on two other families (one that kids are grown now and he owes back---with massive massive interest) and me on disability when I wanna work so badly

    yeah it should be hard
    but not THIS HARD

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  10. Great piece and too true for words.

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  11. Big hugs to you. You will make it through. My heart aches for you and other families like yours who have to deal with the unfair bureaucracy and red tape just to get a little support. especially when it gets bigger and redder.

    This vacation will be EXACTLY what you need. You will feel much better during and after. I promise.

    Thanks for fixing the pics on my blog ;)

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  12. When I've removed my bloodied forehead from the regularly headbanged wall of frustration, I remember the adage that "Life is problems and living is solving problems."

    I expect you're dealing with it all a lot better than you think mate.

    Good luck.

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  13. I say whine when you want to. It made me stop crapping about my bad days for a sec and remember that sometimes we don't have it as bad as we think. A moment to stop being selfish and think about others. Great wake up call for a thursday morn. Hang in there! We're rooting for ya.

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  14. Sometimes it definitely feels like you have been slapped way too many times with the branch with the shit on it. Eventually, things seem to have a way of evening out. Either that or you just get so used to the shit stick that it seems normal. Two mules are tied next to each other in front of a saloon. One mule just has an empty pair of saddle bags while the other mule is so heavily loaded down that his back is bowed down almost to the ground. The first mule says, "Man, how do you handle that load?" The second mule replies, "What load?"

    Keep on keepin' on, man.

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  15. I hear you my friend. We never expected more than we earned, but we NEVER expected bankruptcy and foreclosure!! And now the 3rd bike since Fall has been stolen. I hear you, I so, so hear you.

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  16. Nice reference, I've always loved that scene in the bar. Strikes and gutters, highs and lows, man. We've all been there before.

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  17. Big, fat, Southern grandma e-hug coming at you from my corner. <3

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  18. I had to look up that French word in the dictionary. "Vacation." Interesting concept -- I'm gonna have to look into that...

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  19. I get the same way. When you do the same shit over and over, like vacations, it gets annoying.

    when all the money problems and things falling apart all the time, it's annoying. you feel like you can never catch a break.

    Usually I start crying at this point. The frustrations make me crazy. Maybe suggest alternate vacation plans, etc. Sometimes making little changes in life can help.

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  20. There isn't anything wrong with you - sometimes it's just too much, no matter how strong we are. Hang in there, pal. We're all rooting for you.

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  21. You hang in there, brother. I know good things are ahead for you. You've got a lot of friends out there.

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  22. I agree with Diane and C. You give an awful, awful lot. You do so much with your life, for yourself, your wife, your boy. It's only fair that you allow yourself to feel burned out some.
    I remember that episode too! ;) Too bad the real government doesn't always get it so easily.

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  23. Just wanted to send you some {{{{hugs}}}} :)

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