Chris (chrisjournal) wrote,

A Hermit's Mask

I've never done the 'turn off comments' thing before, and I won't start tonight, but I did seriously consider it -- just so you know.

No, nothing earthshaking is going on. I'm just tired. I'm frustrated with an inability to find enough hours in the days to do everything that I want to do, and have been spending significant energies in social ways that are very, very draining to me. I'm spending too much time concerned about mind games, peacekeeping among widely disparate personalities, and working to keep things moving forward in way too many areas of my life.

I often find myself in these positions of quasi-leadership -- boss at work says it's because I have "an action bias". Gobbledy-gook, is what I say to that. I do what needs doing because *I* want something, and I generally go for whatever it is that I want because I see no harm to others and often major benfits to others. Thing is, once I start doing something that needs doing, I get in these spots where I'm caught between what *I* want(ed) and what other people want that's similar but not the same. Usually it's because I get along well with others, and I have good timing -- there's kind of a snowball effect that takes place.

And I get uncomfortable about it. Visions of things disconnect, but then I feel as if I've an obligation to other folks who've become a part of what I'm trying to do. Which, of course, makes it difficult to be assertive because I'm aware of the differences in what I want, and what the common ground is.

So I ask myself why assertiveness is so much less of a problem at work, and more of a problem in volunteer activities, at home, projects, fandom, boards, email lists, and on and on. Assertiveness at work is perhaps easier because my role and responsibility there is clear, not only to me, but also to everyone that I interact with. My employees know me as an easygoing, tell-it-like-it-is boss, who will have sympathy for real problems and laugh at manufactured ones while telling them to go back to work. They also know that I mean what I say, whether I say it in a loud, irate manner, a quiet, serious manner, or a laughing, easy manner.

That's where things breakdown in other areas of my life. I keep encountering things where people simply don't understand that I'm a really simple person at heart, and that I mean what I say. Maybe it's because I tend to stay positive in my interactions with people, blowing sunshine far more often than storm clouds. Those of you who've been around this LJ for a while have been witness to the storms, but many people haven't. Or if they have, don't know what to make of them.

And then there's this commitment thing. Once I've made a commitment (and no, I don't think we're talking about cases in which I'm being taken advantage of, but one never knows), I stick with it to the end. That's probably why that unfinished fic haunts me still. I'm the least likely person you know to walk away from a project in progress. But sometimes, I desperately want to. I want to put on my tyrant clothes and stomp about and tell people what to do and to shut up whining. People who have no reason to expect to be treated that way. I control those urges, but the desire exists. I'm *normal* that way. I am not a saint. I cannot *be* a saint. I'm stubborn, and I'm smart, and I get tired, just like everyone else.

Workplaces are inherently undemocratic. While I find that disconcerting sometimes, it can be a real benefit to getting things done. Ultimately, because we're all playing by the same rules, when the hard choices have to be made, they know I will make them. Trust exists because we're all in the same 'universe', so to speak, and there's action and experience that tells co-workers, bosses, and staff that their trust is well placed.

In other areas of life, those things don't exist. Significant amounts of energy are required to find commonalities in distinct universes, and trust is something often given lip service, but rarely sincere.

And no, there's really no point to this except that I felt the need to say it. I'm glad you folks are out here to listen.

And, in a lighter but related vein, this tarot thing? Hit it right on the money:

I am The Hermit

The Hermit often suggests a need for time alone - a period of reflection when distractions are limited. In times of action and high energy, he stands for the still center that must be created for balance. He can also indicate that withdrawal or retreat is advised for the moment. In addition, the Hermit can represent seeking of all kinds, especially for deeper understanding or the truth of a situation. "Seek, and ye shall find," we have been told, and so the Hermit stands for guidance as well. We can receive help from wise teachers, and, in turn, help others as we progress.

For a full description of your card and other goodies, please visit

What tarot card are you? Enter your birthdate.

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ETA: Please understand that I am not talking here about any one specific person, place or thing. I'm venting frustration at myself for getting into bad patterns, and no one here has specific knowledge of the two bigger pressures I'm dealing with at the moment. Yes, I'm working on Writercon and another thing some of you are aware of, but this goes far beyond those circumstances. I'm just tired and frustrated. It will pass, if I will pay attention to myself and find a way to recharge batteries.
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