Thursday, May 17, 2007

One Long Sigh

Having trouble getting myself excited, or even worked up, about anything these days. The last month or so has been a bit of a rough one, ego-wise, and I'd say it's having an effect on my overall mood these days. I'm kind of ... simmering. Not angry or anything like that, just sort of moving in slo-mo. When things are good, I have a generally fuzzy level of moderately pleasant if blase happiness. When things aren't going well (like at work, or pain-wise), I'm sort of cranky but resigned to the problems just sort of continuing as I apparently have no actual ability to control anything there. Being angry is too exhausting.

My job continues to be a study in casually clueless mismanagement. Still not really sure what my next step will be. I've begun shopping my resume around, but until I have a more solid understanding of what, exactly, the future holds here at the office I am hesitant to wholeheartedly commit to jumping ship. For all my cynicism, what I'd really prefer to is have a good reason to stay, a good sense that I'm valued by my current employers. It would be good for me to have some sort of concrete reassurance that my skills matter. This may be quite a bit to hope for, though -- lately I get the idea that these guys couldn't find their collective asses with both hands.

Coworkers continue to move on, most heading over to the startup that my brother and many of the folks I've worked with for the past 6 years headed to a couple of months back. One more resigned last Friday, and I am certain that at least 2-3 more will resign and head there within 6 weeks or so. For my part, now that the promotion I was promised and had chosen to pursue has evaporated and has been replaced with nothing substantial whatsoever, I can't shake the feeling that I've kinda ... screwed myself there.

I really thought I was making the right decision, there. Rather than continuing to be Mr. Writing and Design Resource for the startup team, which just feels more and more like a dead-end the older I get, I tried to get back on some sort of career track that would allow me to develop new skills, move forward. I figured I'd get some new experience and training, and maybe jump in on their next startup once this current one succeeds or fails or whatever. I'd love to work with my brother again, and I really enjoyed working with nearly every one of those guys, but after 14 years of basically doing the Same Damn Thing week in and week out I really wanted to move my career in a new direction. This felt like the right thing to do, the best thing to do for myself and my family. In the time it took for these idiots to change their whole plan for Austin (well, not change -- abandon, really. "Change" would imply they had a new plan in place...) the job opening at the new place went to some temp-to-hire person they are hoping can keep up. So, unless that person really fails to meet expectations that opportunity isn't so much there anymore. Which really sucks.

I can't say I'm not more than a little bit angry that I was never directly asked to consider taking the position. Aside from a heads up from my brother that there was a job listing, I didn't hear boo about the job. I know that there are probably concerns about directly recruiting, but after working with the majority of these folks for nearly 14 years I'd have thought that a phone call over the weekend asking me whether I'd be interested wouldn't have been too much to ask. Honestly not sure I would have accepted it two months ago, when it looked like I might finally be able to get back on a management track, but these days I could really use the boost.

So yeah, ego bruised.

The back pain I thought had finally cleared up staged a magnificent comeback about 1 day after it seemed to have cleared up, and I finally had to give in and return to the doctor yesterday. Now I'm on prednisone for the next week (which seems to be helping, at least) after which I'll be doing a fresh new round of physical therapy to figure out what's wrong and try to correct it once and for all. At least this time I'll be working with a really fantastic PT guy, my friend Pieter, who is extraordinarily gifted therapist and is also a martial artist (amazing Judo instructor) of approximately my age give or take a few years, who will therefore have an intimate understanding of what my body is doing and what it takes to get it straightened out.

And I need to get it straightened, and soon. It's so damn annoying. And frustrating. Aside from my family, my training is the main positive thing in my life right now. While my career stumbles forward zombie-like I've been channeling the resulting frustration into my dojang time. The nonsense I dealt with at my last tournament didn't exactly help to assuage my general frustration, unfortunately, but at least I got the reassurance from my instructor that I had nothing to be ashamed of and had performed very well, despite what the judges saw/chose to see.

So instead I'm trying to focus on acquiring technique and soldifying my skills. Which is kind of difficult, when half the time you feel good and the other half the time you feel like you have a hatchet in your back. And these half-times tend to occur throughout training, not just at the beginning, the middle or the end .Specific points in my range of upper body motion trigger the pain, so as I move through techniques I get zinged with hot pain. And when I kick or hold movements during forms it can feel like smoldering ball of thorns has lodged in my shoulder blade. Which obviously lessens the enjoyment of training. I feel better having done it, and afterward the pain is always lessened for several hours (until the muscles in my back start to tighten up again), but it's definitely siphoning off some of the fun and reward I feel practicing these arts.

But I'm glad to say that I'm not walking around angry all the time. I'm just sort of ... not thrilled. A general level of directionless malaise seems to be the norm these days, with both the crappiness of my job and the pleasures of my training feeling like moments that should be met with resigination. With an expectation of their ending, and soon.

Everything, just one long sigh. The overall sense that good or bad this too shall pass, only to be replaced with ... more of the same.

Mood: Meh
Now Playing: Evil Dead: The Musical

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