Living is a strange experience, isn't it. We go through life, most of us, trying to be good people. Getting through one day at a time. Working, playing, laughing, loving. And hurting, being angry, feeling underappreciated and resentful. But hey, we're only human.
We are born optimistic. It is engraved in the genetic code as a support to life and staying alive. Optimism greets us in the morning and tucks us in at night. We may not see Optimism because we are bogged down with other issues but Optomism is always there. I have been making a conscious effort to be optimistic lately, living forward instead of backwards. I have been having tests thrown at me but have managed to recognize them and move past.
So I was a little surprised, Friday, to find myself have a bout of claustrophobia while in line at the Panda Express ™. It was a bit crowded and noisy with players from the high school basketball camps going on, a woman cut in line in front of me but I think she had never been to a restaurant like this before and didn't know the protocol. I say that in all seriousness. Being a university town we get all types of people with all different life experiences and skill sets. I let her be ahead of me, and the young man in front of her ended up paying for her soup as she didn't have any money with her.
But back to the claustrophobia. I had been a bit jittery prior to the restaurant experience, and as I was sitting outside eating I couldn't shake it. I finished eating and started walking back to work. I came upon an alley and had to duck down in it and sit on a large rock for about 10 minutes. As I looked up from sitting, I was looking at a wall with a mural- an alien spinning through space saying, "You are sitting on a rock that is spinning through space." That was funny.
So I sat there, I combed my hair and pulled some of it back with an elastic and made it back to work. Still jittery.
I had an appointment that afternoon with my counselor, and I finally put the pieces together. It was the department head's secretary (DHS) (to clarify, not my boss in any way) that had put me off balance. We had gotten new carpet installed in the coffee lounge Thursday. On Wednesday I coordinated the cleaning out of the room. While it was empty I cleaned some walls and dusted some fixtures, which is what you do when a room is empty. Thursday, the carpet. Friday, putting everything back into the now clean and shiny room. I didn't clean the sink but that job belongs to DHS because she insists that she is the only one that can do it right.
So the room is clean and I even went to an ice machine to fill up the ice maker in the freezer. It had been unplugged from water for 36 hours but I knew that everyone would expect it to be full, so I performed magic. Hah! Filled DHS in on all of the details. Should I tell you her response? You can probably guess.
"Did you vacuum the carpet?" She also asked if I had run water through the coffee maker, which I had because the plumber that hooked it up told me to. But she harped on that bloody vacuuming for an hour! Nothing else that I had done mattered because I hadn't vacuumed the carpet. I had made sure there was no mess on the carpet- picking up the stray bits by hand. But I hadn't vacuumed. BTW, she is the only one that complained about it, and she went so far as to say she felt like she should get the vacuum herself and do it.
And no, I never did vacuum the carpet.
It all leads back to the parents and boyfriends and coworkers who kept telling me that since I wasn't perfect I wasn't good enough. The good news is we had a really good discussion in counseling. So there's that.
Hello, Optimism. I need to hold tighter to your hand.