Thursday, February 12, 2015

Win some, lose some, awesome

Win some
For the past month or so, some dude who lives in one of the apartments across the street from my house would frequently park his giant SUV right next to my driveway. It was slightly annoying, but I know that on-street parking sucks and on-street parking during the winter really sucks. I kept thinking he would eventually see the big No Parking sign on the light post indicating that it's illegal to park between the light post and my driveway. But he did not seem to notice or care about that. Pete offered to write a note and put it on the guy's car. I was tempted to let him but I decided I should really learn to fight my own battles. So I did nothing for a while. (I am terrible at confrontations, you guys. Even when it doesn't involve direct contact). Then one day, the dude's SUV was parked so close to my driveway that I had a very difficult time getting in and out of it. I called Pete, trying to work up the nerve to write a note. And then I wrote a note, signed my name and address, and left it on his car. The note said "Hello. Your car is parked very close to my driveway and it is hard for me to get in and out. If you could park farther back, that would be awesome. Also, technically where you are parked is an illegal parking spot and you could get a ticket." The note did the trick, as he started parking farther back, though still illegally. Then last night when I got home, I saw a Parking Enforcement person writing him a ticket. On the one hand, Karma, right? But on the other hand, that dude is totally going to think I called Parking Enforcement on him. I guess this is a win since I achieved my desired outcome and can now enter and leave my driveway unimpeded. But I didn't want him to get a ticket, which is why I left a note instead of calling Parking Enforcement. Sigh. This is why I don't like fighting battles. Winning never feels like much of a victory. Next time I have to write a note, I'm going to write it in icing on a cookie cake. Then everybody wins.

Lose some
Yesterday at work I had one of the worst ever conversations with a candidate. I know that looking for a job sucks. It's frustrating and rife with disappointment, even more so if you've been out of the field for a number of years. I was trying to be helpful yet still honest and realistic, but this person kept getting so defensive and angry about everything and then eventually hung up on me. My favorite placements are the ones where I've helped entry-level candidates get their first job in the field, but those placements are not the norm. And I can't even begin to try to help anyone who refuses to send a resume and then hangs up on me. Eight or nine years ago, a conversation like that would have been a serious dark cloud over the rest of my day. But now I'm a little better at letting things go. I told Bill about it, then I told Pete and we went to yoga. I still felt bad for this person and their situation, but I didn't take their comments or anger personally. I think this is a good thing but sometimes it feels like a bad thing.

It was Tuesday night. I was on the treadmill. Which was my second mistake. My first mistake was having gone to a strength training class the day before, where I think we must have done a million repetitions of everything. My whole body hurt. And this run was going nowhere good, agonizingly slowly. Even my arms hurt! I don't think my arms have ever hurt while running before. I had run 12 miles on the canal with friends on Saturday and that was a piece of cake compared to a measly four miles on this torturous treadmill. I felt like it would never end. But it also felt good in a way. Because I know it's good training. For races and for life. If everything always goes well and you always feel great (please tell me your secret!), you never learn how strong you really are, how much longer you can keep going when you think you can't keep going. You have to learn how to embrace discomfort if you want to get to all the very best places. It's in those no good, very bad moments where awesomeness is forged. So I focused on the body parts that didn't hurt, put in my headphones and kept treadmilling. Early this morning I ran 5 miles on the roads. It was quite peaceful, just me and the snow and the dark. And one angry honking driver. Which is sad really. My heart goes out to anyone who is in so much of a hurry and so irate as to take it out on innocent bystanders (byrunners?) at 5:30am. But I think I'll stick to the trails and canals from now on. No one honks at you on the trails.

Lyric of the moment: "I'm not a fighter. I'm not a man who balances gold. I'm not the lying. I'm not the mining kind...I won't be the kind of lover who takes your hand and holds another. No I won't be the kind of lover who takes your hand and holds you under..."

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