The daily to-do: Tuesday August 2

Yesterday I didn’t manage to accomplish all the things on my list, but that’s okay because I front-loaded many of my tasks. There’s room for carry-over to the rest of the week. I wrote that long blog post yesterday, and though it wasn’t written or organized particularly well, it took a long time! It was good just go get those thoughts out “on paper” where I can draw upon them later for a more polished piece. Another thing I really want to blog about sooner rather than later (ugh I have such a long list) is the Republican platform. Because WTF. That needs more attention and outcry. Fucking extremist bullshit.

The other thing that took a long time yesterday was writing my PCO intro email. I have gotten some good response so far, including from the coordinator, who said it made her day. ūüėÄ I have to remember to send her a reply. I’m glad it was well-received. I really wanted to strike just the right tone, and I think I did.

Anyway, today I have set aside for shopping and a hair cut, though I don’t feel like I’m ready for that. Maybe I’ll do some of my other stuff first, though I¬†did want to get going here before it got into traffic-time. I already had a phone call with T from Tracy’s BWI group, and that went well. It seems like for what they want done, I will need to learn some website stuff, but with Bear here, I should be able to learn. That will be interesting. And now, the list:¬† Continue reading “The daily to-do: Tuesday August 2”

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The daily to-do: Friday July 22

Honestly, I know I keep saying this, but the time is just flying by.

I’m all over the place. Today should be the day where I actually do the things I meant to do yesterday, but they’ve really piled up now, and they’re disparate things, and I don’t know how best to begin, and I really just want to hide away. I will enumerate them below, and maybe that will help me:

Continue reading “The daily to-do: Friday July 22”

The daily to-do: Wednesday July 20

Aiyah I can’t believe it’s already the 20th of July. Where is this year going??? Other than “to hell,” I mean. *dark humor eyeroll*

This morning has been interesting so far. Got to sleep in a bit, because Bear was working from home today so that we could go to our 10:10 and 10:50 appointments to sign up for TSA Pre-‚ąö. Yeah. $85 and a few questions and I get to whizz through the security line…whatever. I’ll take it. Our plan was to have sushi afterwards, but the appointments took so little time that it was only 10:30 by the time we were both done, so instead we just came home. I then got into a conversation with the stupid person of the two people I’m working most closely with in this NGO. I cannot even begin to summarize here. I would, but it’s a long story and I already vented to Bear and to my Pocas, so I’m pretty much over it now. Suffice it to say, more of the same bullshit. If shit doesn’t get resolved soon and satisfactorily, I’m going to lay it all out before the founder/director, and perhaps quit if that doesn’t change things. Because these people are fucked, seriously. They have NO communication skills. If their communication skills were a game of baseball, everything would be a foul ball. Unfortunately, there is no referee, and I’m apparently the only one with the critical ability to see what’s going on, but no one sees that I’m the one who sees, and so they all just talk around each other and everything is shit and my particular input is not really considered.

So anyway, after discussion with her for awhile, and subsequent raging and venting, I have finally calmed down a bit. Things on the list:

Continue reading “The daily to-do: Wednesday July 20”

The daily to-do: Monday July 18

Ugh, there is an abundance of annoyance today, but my plan is to just get through the next 45 minutes, then move on!

I had committed myself to work on some very vague and frustrating content today, and I have spent the past 5 or so hours doing that. I’ve completed that task, but now I have a meeting in about 12 minutes. I hope hope hope hope the meeting doesn’t leave me frustrated and annoyed, but it probably will. My plan is to just take it all as it comes, since it doesn’t really affect me, not really. This is allll volunteer. I will not over-commit (anymore). I will. not. over-commit.

After the meeting, I will get down to my own shit, and not worry about this other stuff. And so, the list:

Continue reading “The daily to-do: Monday July 18”

The daily to-do: Thursday July 14

My fucking god. I’m not ambivalent about my anger toward these non-profit people anymore. Like, yesterday morning I was feeling like my temper was maybe not justified, and I was concerned that maybe the problem is just me and I need to control myself more and be more flexible, but no. My interactions with people this afternoon have just totally confirmed that the problem is them, not me.

Yesterday I did manage to stop thinking about things, and, though I had a huge cry and wave of hopelessness and feeling truly terrible about myself (and this¬†after my daily to-do post), I connected with my Pocas and that interaction really helped me calm down and gain some perspective. Even though we didn’t talk specifically about my problems. After that, I had a pretty peaceful and relaxing day in which I didn’t work, didn’t¬†think about, work, and felt absolutely no guilt. I even managed to not feel weighed-down by the fact that I knew I had promised to do a fair amount of work today (Thursday). And last night, Bear and I only relaxed, and it was gooood.

So this morning, I rolled up my sleeves and got to work on researching and writing the content that we had discussed yesterday morning. I worked on it for about 4 hours, until I got a message from the person who had “assigned” me the task. She has access to the document I’m editing, and she had observed my progress, and, basically, she wanted to know why I was working on this thing rather than on this¬†other thing. I instantly felt a cold fury: seriously, my temperature and vision and hearing all seemed to alter, and I started¬†shaking. Without getting into details, yesterday’s blowout was a result of the fact that apparently the work I did yesterday morning was not what they were looking for. And yesterday’s work was the result of an earlier “conversation” where PREVIOUS work I had done (on Monday) was apparently not what they were looking for. So to be clear, they fucking suck at communicating what they want, and they give the impression of wanting me to be creative and “come up with stuff,” but if it’s not what they want, it’s not what they want. They are not clear about what they do want, and when I have tried to get them to nail it down more specifically, apparently either I interpret this too strictly (and, you know, “they just kind of hoped I would have come up with something more interesting”), or the ambiguity leads me to do something entirely different from what they had been thinking — even though I am able to DIRECTLY QUOTE THEM asking for the thing that I did (which is what happened this morning). So her question about why I was working on this document, rather than this other document,¬†came unexpectedly, to say the least. And this is after hours of working hard. So I fucking lost it. By that, I don’t mean that I just started cursing or ragequit or anything, but I did not mince words in laying out 1) what her words were that led me to believe I was supposed to be working on this, 2) the ambiguousness of simply pointing me toward an info-packed webpage and being told to make it “like that,” especially when her words (#1) caused me to interpret one thing, rather than another thing, from that webpage, and 3) most importantly, how totally unhelpful all their feedback so far has been. I was like, “Useful feedback would have been if you saw this spreadsheet and said, ‘we like what you have so far, but could you add more x’ rather than just signifying your discontent but not specifying why, and then, rather than building off of the existing content I had created, showed me a website and telling me to make it like that.” Okay, those were not my exact words, but you get the idea. Anyway, I could tell she was annoyed or something, and she was like “yeah, electronic communication is not the best,” but that just doesn’t cover it. Electronic communication CAN work, but you have to actually READ, and THINK about the communication: it demands a level of respect toward the other party, that they are communicating something worthwhile and that you should try to see what they’re saying before you go and assume they’re wrong or that they didn’t put thought or effort into the product. I have seen NO EVIDENCE of that from either of the parties that I’m working closely with. Meanwhile, I did make concessions toward friendliness, but I drew the line at apologizing. She never really apologized either, but the thing is, I WORKED HARD (not just today, but many many hours this whole week!) towards vague goals, and despite the absence of ANY useful feedback, I have endeavored over and over again to try to come up with what I think is what they’re looking for – like throwing darts into a deep dark cave hoping to hit a dartboard that may or may not be inside. And yet my impulse is to apologize: to be sorry for the miscommunication, sorry that I’ve had to communicate my displeasure, sorry that I haven’t magically produced the content that will finally turn them on. But NONE of that stuff was my fault, and, in fact, it was THEIR fault, and so I refrained from the apology that was wanting to dive off the tip of my tongue.

Meanwhile, after she and I both decided to be done for the day and connect again tomorrow, the other person messaged me with some random questions. At this point, I was at relative peace, having stated my case and come to a relatively friendly goodbye, so I was willing to engage with this other person, with whom I have had no beef today, over an unrelated topic. Things went well at first, but then she asked about the very thing that I was working on today, except, SURPRISE!¬†she is wanting to know if I could come up with something very like the thing that I¬†was working on today. So, two things came from this interaction: 1) the obvious fact that there are too many cooks in the kitchen; not only am I receiving conflicting and ambiguous instructions¬†from single persons, but I am receiving instructions¬†from multiple persons, and their instructions conflict and contradict one another. 2) I gained straightforward evidence to support my previous complaint that they both, and this person in particular, TALKS BUT DOES NOT LISTEN. In an especially annoying way that seems to presume I am stupid or something, when (sorry…but) clearly she is the stupid one. After she brought up the possibility of this content, I told her that such content DOES exist, that in fact I have been working on it today and that, after some miscommunication between me and the other person, me and that person were going to discuss it and work on it further tomorrow. THEN I shared the document with her (which causes an email to be sent to her), and said “I just shared the document with you.” She took that to mean that I was referring to another, totally different document, that obviously I know she has access to, because we had been discussing her edits to it. She then continued to talk over me, taking great pains (even pasting in some images) to illustrate the type of content she was talking about, while I continued to protest that I¬†have been working on that content all day, as I already said over and over, and I just shared it with her! At one point I just stared, jaw agape, as she continued to type and paste more things, and I didn’t know what to do. I tried all versions of “Yes, see above,” and “Yes, as I said, we I have been working on this,” “Yes, I shared this document with you, you should have gotten an email,” and “^^^^^^^.” Not until I pasted the link to the document into the conversation did she finally stop talking and actually look at what I was talking about. The she was like “LOL oh, now I see what you mean! No wonder the confusion.” >.> I was like “hehe.” Not amused. Anyway. These fucking people, man. At least I know it’s them, not me.

Now it’s freaking late. I didn’t make a list until now, because some days I dominate the list, and some days the list dominates me, and I knew today would have been the latter type of day. That being said, I will still put the bare minimum here:

Continue reading “The daily to-do: Thursday July 14”

The daily to-do: Wednesday July 13

Hello, today. I can see you have plans to play rough with me.

It is 11am¬†12pm and I have already had an anxiety/ panic attack of some sort. This was precipitated by my interactions with people from the non-profit I’m volunteering for. I feel like I’m being jerked around a bit, being asked to do things without being told the whole story (not out of malice, but out of disorganization and assumptions), and then, after putting a lot of time and effort in, being told something else. And one of the team members seriously can’t communicate for shit. So I was kinda snippy this morning, and I have decided to give myself the day off, but then I got consumed thinking about it – thinking that I may have¬†jeopardized my position there by having an attitude, and I got consumed thinking about 1) what I feel the(ir) problem is and how I think a properly-run organization should operate¬†(bare minimum) and 2) how I could have better handled myself, and I started feeling anxious about the possibility of being “let go” from a volunteer position, and how I would/ will feel if that happens. These thoughts spiraled and spiraled, and I sort of zoomed forward in time, and I found myself having a vision of the future where I stared down into an abyss of hopelessness. It was really, really scary, because I think for the first time I realized that someday I could actually be there; a place where rationality is overruled by hopelessness. More than words or an idea, I glimpsed the possibility of a very real place where it would seem better to just not be. But even as I am having these thoughts and feelings, a meta-awareness is watching me, urging me to take deep breaths, stop freaking out, everything will be okay. Playing solitaire. Concentrating on finding opportunities to place cards. Breathing deep. Step out of the panic and return to a place where I can be rational. Where I can remember how to not care so much.

So that was this morning. I have separated myself from the anxiety for now, but I do feel it there, lurking, and I wonder if it would be better to just try to make amends right now, rather than waiting until tomorrow. I see I have 11 messages on slack right now (not necessarily all to me; I’m part of a group of three where conversation can continue without me). The eternal issue: dive into work since it’s on your mind anyway….or just separate yourself from it? In this way, I (and Bear, too) have a real problem creating boundaries. I really, really need to figure that out.

Okay I just interrupted myself to go check in on those messages: I’m feeling slightly anxious because I was getting really frustrated again; seriously, these people have a way of acting like I can read their minds, and that I’ve done everything wrong according to their vision that they haven’t shared with me. Even if it’s something that was just decided this moment, I feel like they think I’m behind and I should have it done already. Maybe it’s just my perception, but I swear, this communication only via text, with people I have never met face-to-face, is really not great. But I’m feeling less anxious in a way, too, because I have at least prostrated myself before them, metaphorically speaking, to make up for my earlier snippiness. I just wanted to have some positive interactions, dammit! It seems like either I’m being rude or they are, with no in between. *sigh* RELAX AND BREATHE.

My list today is going to be all about me, though (as the past has shown), that doesn’t necessarily comfort me. The only comfort about it is that I have been getting more and more anxious about neglecting these things; now I am giving myself the opportunity to do them, so I have to actually follow through. (Rising panic). Here is the list:

Continue reading “The daily to-do: Wednesday July 13”

The daily to-do: Thursday July 7

Bear¬†got a call at 4am this morning, and he was working on it for around an hour. This was after we went to bed after 1am because he stayed at the office late and didn’t get home until around 10pm. He was super tired this morning, and is working from home today. ūüôā We had discussed the idea that if he got a call last night, he might work from home today, so when the alarm sounded and woke me out of a dead sleep, he explained, “You got your wish.”

Things are heating up, as far as my volunteer work goes. I got in on some good phone calls over the past few days, and things are starting to come together in my mind. Yesterday I was able to lay out (what I think is) a concept for the website content; now I just need to put it in a form that will make sense to others (get it out of my notebook and onto the computer), and I need to convince the others to see things my way…and I need to do it quickly, because while I’m the one dedicating the most time to this project, I am by no means the only one working on it. In my opinion, so far they are sweeping up and hanging pictures on the burned out shell of a building, while I’m constructing a new, better, structure from the ground up. I can tell they don’t see it that way, though. Even the one person who has indicated, through her replies to my comments and through direct communication, that she is “110% in agreement” with¬†my concerns, I see her over there hanging curtains on paneless windows. The only thing, I think, that’s going to really get them to see the wreckage as wreckage is for me to give them something to compare it to. And they know I’m “starting from scratch” with my content, and I have their blessing, but I can tell they still have no idea what that really means in this case. Now I just need to get it in front of them before it’s too late.

In non-work-related news, I’m currently eating a homemade bagel. It’s been quite awhile since I gave bagel-making a shot, and my low expectations have been reconfirmed. The thing is, I never give myself the opportunity to gain a knack for it. While I have tested many recipes, and while the one I used this time (and the last several times) remains the best recipe I have ever found, there is always a need for tweaking. But the process itself is so time-consuming, and the resulting bagels just not-quite-worth-it, that I let much time go by between attempts, and I never actually improve on an attempt. Not so this time. I only made half a batch, and I’m going to record my thoughts for improvements here. I already have another sponge in the making, and it will be time to make the dough in 45 minutes or so. Bagel thoughts (and ultimately my to-do list) below the cut:¬† Continue reading “The daily to-do: Thursday July 7”