Friday, June 02, 2006

Attitude Adjustment

I think I can trace my current difficult attitude back to the day after we came back from Grand Forks when I found out that someone--no, an entire department--at work had neglected to do an involved, rather important job for seven weeks, and I was told to take over and get it back up to speed in four days. Then I got into a car accident that night.

Yeah, I'm pretty sure that was the day when some internal balance got skewed.

It was probably building for a good month. I could give a long sequence of reasons why I never regained that balance, but it's pretty much a long list of excuses as to why I didn't sit myself down and go, "Yeah, there are things that suck right now, but you have no control over it, and ranting about this in various ways is just making you more and more angry and frustrated. End this." Well, I'm doing it now.

It's hard to say if it was something at the DDJ that triggered this, or if it was something about writing, or something of both. All I know is that I snapped about something at work, bitched about it to a colleague, then tried to get the matter addressed (yes, professionally; I know when to bitch and when to play diplomatic businessperson). When I got the usual pushback, something clicked. I did not like letting others have power over my own attitude.

So it's stopping today. Or, at least, I'm making a concerted effort to get it to stop. Baby steps, Kellie. Baby steps. Can't quite undo two months of damage in a day. Maybe two days. :)

On the work front, I can only control my own job performance. If someone isn't doing their job in a way that reflects poorly on the company or prevents me from doing my job, then I tell my manager and move forward with the things I can do. That's all I have the power to do. And I'm going to do my best to not fall into all manner of dramatics when I get frustrated with what other people aren't doing, even if that makes my job impossible. No more whiny outbursts over an unprofessional email or interaction. No more immediately calling a colleague to bitch. No more. I've likely only got two to three months here, and then I'm gone (perhaps maintaining a remote contractual position, perhaps not; but boy would that be a different dynamic). I'm not going to make those months horrible for me and those who have to hear me whine (even if they're whining themselves).

On the writing front, the drama surrounding Carson's Learning made me realize that I'm far too reliant on external validation for my own view of my writing (at least with this one piece). No more. I'm still very happy to have others read my work and get their feedback, but that's not always going to be possible for every single thing I write. If I gave the piece my best, then that's good enough. Maybe not enough to get published, but enough to let me put the story aside and move on without all this angst.

And that's the strategy, the method, the grand scheme to wipe the scowl off my face. I'm fully capable of a better attitude. I had it for the first three months of this year, and at various times since then. I'll get it back, and I'll be much happier, as will everyone who has to interact with me.

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