Saturday, May 27, 2017
More than gypsies
I once worked as a cashier at a gas station/restaurant. One Sunday during the "after church" crowd, an elderly gentleman approached the counter to pay, and when I looked up, I saw his eyes roll back in his head and he fell straight back on the tile floor. If you dropped a watermelon filled with gravy it may have had a similar sound and spew. The skull smack was deafening, and when the white began to spill out his mouth and nose.... Well, let's just say it was my last day working there.
It was a 2nd job anyway. I was trying to save up enough money to buy a new guitar. I didn't need one that bad. I felt bad quitting, because I liked the job, and the people I worked for and with. The sight, sound, and smell of the experience was just too much for my psyche to process at that time in my life.
I've never really considered myself as an overly strong person emotionally... but I've also never thought I was a quitter. My experience over the last 5 years leaves me with a lot of questions though.
I understood getting burned out while pastoring. Not that it was necessarily the pastoring that did it, but it happened nonetheless. I felt like I worked through things pretty well and was maybe on my way to not only healing, but maybe even recovery. I took some time off, then got a job that didn't exact near the emotional toll on me. I'm beginning to have my doubts though. Maybe I'm just done...
What if what I thought was temporary is actually permanent? What if I'm never able to deal with stress again? What if there isn't a low-stress-enough job out there for me to have a worthwhile place in this world? What if I need to go on disability?
These are thoughts I'm having today. I have done a fair job of chronicling my struggles at work recently. Today I felled in for a fellow manager at his facility (SW). It was only for 3 hours. It's a holiday Saturday and I only had to work from 9-12. But... I feel like I just watched an old man crack his skull open on the floor in front of me again. I got over-stressed. The details don't even matter.
It also happens to be the last day one of my best friends works for the company. He works part-time at my facility, and sometimes drives me crazy because he doesn't always do things correctly, but I probably spend more time in soul-sharing with him than anyone. The fact that he's an atheist is beside the point.
So here I sit in front of the computer. Work is becoming too chaotic - maybe even schizophrenic - my nerves are frayzled (that's a new work I just invented for "frayed" and "frazzled"), I'm feeling pretty lonely, and I don't know if I have the strength to hold a job anymore. What if I can't do it? What if I'm washed up? Cashed in? Done?
An old friend of mine wrote a song a long, long time ago. The name of it may have been "Liar to Liar" - I'm not sure. But there was a line that went, "Only gypsies are made in a day." I can't be sure exactly what he meant by that, but at the time my 20-something grass-fed brain took that to mean, "It takes more than one day (or experience) to make or break someone. Life is a process and there will be ups and downs and all arounds." I have to admit that I'm not sure why I think that now, but it's been a refrain in my head for a long time for days such as this. And now I'm wondering if I was simply wrong. Maybe it's not just gypsies who are made in a day. Maybe life is only a process up to a certain point. Maybe there's a breaking point and sometimes we can't come back from it. Maybe I really do have something wrong with my head and I'm NOT alright!
I don't know. Maybe I just need to let the Monkey Shoulder scotch from last night wear off. I'm tired. Tired of so much. It shouldn't be this much work to get through a week at a no-future job. I'm going to have a beer and let the sweat from mowing the lawn dry. Then maybe a shower and a nap.
Two ducks waddled across my driveway this morning. I didn't think much of it. I think I should have.