Saturday, February 15, 2014

Sometimes It's Hard To Be Grateful!

What. A. Week.
First of all, the above pics are a couple I picked from a bunch taken today at Ethan's birthday shindig.  The first, of course, is a photo of the three grandbabies. There were several more, but in the few minutes we had them sitting on the chair....well let's just say, I had to shoot quick and let 'em go.
The second photo.......well, I dare you to look at it and be in a bad mood. Go on, try. Yep, just what I thought. Impossible.
Sooooooo.... when I left you last week.......
Well,we had company, a few cocktails and a great visit. The next day, however, we never did make it to Jake's birthday. Not one vehicle would start. Not one. I know, first world problems, right? But, dang!
The rest of the week brought with it some situations in which I had to tuck away the children's author/child care provider/grandma/mommy side of myself and unleash the much less pleasant, much more to the point, all-business, call you to the mat side.
Now, only the ones closest to me have ever witnessed the use of these skills. I only draw them from the arsenal when absolutely necessary.
I guess, as I look back, when that side of my personality takes the forefront, it almost always has something to do with bullying.
I can't stomach it in any form. And it has many. Child abuse, whether it be at the hands of other children or the adults in their lives is still, to me, the most heart wrenching. This provides our society with sooooo many broken adults.
But, sadly, even if we somehow eliminated all the child abuse in the world, it wouldn't rid us of the bullying problem.
It happens so often in the work place. I had one job, years ago,(before babies) in a restaurant, where my immediate supervisor would constantly belittle me. It started out as "humour" but became ugly and mean. I would get knots in my stomach when I knew we would be working a shift together. The arsenal came in handy, then.
It happens so often at home, behind closed doors, among adults. Intimidation, name calling, physical domination. Spending any time in a crisis centre, listening to their stories, will make you weep.
On a much less personal level, it happens in business. Big corporations don't want to hold up their part of the deal when it comes to taking care of a customer even close to the way they promised to. They are hours away, and seem to be of the mind that if they simply ignore you, you'll just go away.
To me, that is being a bully. It's more subtle than the kid stealing your lunch money and pushing you in puddles, but a bully, just the same.
The only thing on this planet that runs even a close second to bugging me as much as bullying has got to be incompetence. Now, I'm not talking about people making honest mistakes, or the odd clerical error or a work related mishap or two. That can happen to anyone, and does.  No, I'm talking about the kind of deliberate incompetence that makes you shake your head and wonder how these people even function in the world.
For instance, we needed a courier to pick up an old, broken fender from the shop and deliver it to a Plastics place in the city (1hr away), so they could build us a pair of new ones. Not real complicated. On the day he was to pick it up, he didn't show. I called the next day to find out that the pick up had been cancelled because he tried to pick it up and no one was there. After I established that the pick up would have been attempted during our regular business hours, imagine her confusion when she found out we had been at the shop until 6:30pm.
We rescheduled pick up. He came and picked it up, having a conversation about his unique cargo, and a chat about why we were  paying money to ship an old broken fender.
Three days hadn't been delivered. I phone in to the courier office to find out where our broken fender might be. I then am informed that it had been flagged as "damaged", and therefore, had a hold put on it. 
It took a full ten minutes to get her to understand that I knew it was broken, I had shipped it that way, and all I needed was for someone to take to the plastics place. In the process, as I had called them, I inquired as to just how long it might have taken someone to notify me that my package was "damaged" and therefore in limbo?  Apparently it would have been at least a couple of days before they would have let me know. Wow.
I kid you not, it took another day and a half for our sorry little broken fender to reach it's destination.
The kicker is the courier facility and the plastics place are about 6 blocks from each other.
So, it took five days for one 5oz broken piece of plastic to make a trip that should take little more than an hour, door to door.
My arsenal came in handy.
But, as frustrating as the week was, I'm grateful. I'm grateful because these irritations, although grating and aggravating, they are just that. Irritations.
Grateful, because if there were no fenders to send, or corporations to tangle with, it would mean we weren't busy. Busy is good.
Grateful, because I have my arsenal when I need it, and I am capable of using it with a clear mind and able body.
As irritating as our week was, it was just irritations.
If you remember some time ago, I mentioned a family I knew of that were struggling horribly with a terrible health crisis. My heart goes out to them as the struggle comes to an end, but not in the way we had hoped.
This family is having to say goodbye to their Husband, Dad, and Friend.
Grief is soooo hard.
So, my friends, that about does it for me this week. The one lying ahead will be busy, fun, crazy, chaotic, and I am grateful for every minute.
So until next week I'll leave you with this wish........
May you walk through these next days, heavy legs supporting your shaken, weary soul.
May you find a way to soothe your screaming heart that fights this truth, which creates this colossal hole.
May your memory soaked walls bring more comfort than pain, more smiles than tears, in time.
May you feel he is always with you, with his help, from this chasm you will climb.

May you know that such an impossibly heavy burden is never meant to be carried alone.
May you see all those who love you, reach out, you are never on your own.

May you walk through these next days, heavy legs supporting your shaken, weary soul.
May you know so many love you, lean hard as you gather your shattered self and again, slowly, become whole.

Until next time.......

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