Wednesday, March 22, 2006

the little guy turning red

You know those SIM-type games like the one where you create a building and see if works? You have a population of little guys of a neutral color, waiting for the elevator. As they wait for the elevator of your multi-storey edifice to arrive, they slowly turn red. when they are truly irredeemably red, they walk away, or explode or something like that.

I'm the little red guy. I do not begin with a neutral color, I'm immediately halfway red. It's part of my nature, this impatience, and it reflects in almost every aspect of my life. In conversation, I'm impatient with people who do not quickly get to the point. In business, I'm impatient with clients who do not know what they want yet act as if they do. In decision-making, I'm impatient to get to the action point and actually do something instead of floating serenely in analysis-paralysis. I loathe queues and will arrive at 6AM at a place at opens at 9AM just so I can be first in line. I'm bothered by delays and get royally pissed when meetings are cancelled at the last minute, especially if I'm already en route. I'm a horror at restos - they probably have a picture of me in the kitchen reminding all and sundry to spit in my food because I've given them a piece of my mind concerning poor or delayed service. I have a hard time waiting for anything, and have had to learn how to discipline myself so I do not agonize over the impossible lengths of time that needs to pass before what I'm waiting for comes to pass. Most of all, I'm impatient with myself, internally castigating myself when I fail my own timetables, knowing fully well that I could have adhered to it had I acted a bit quicker, a bit earlier. Yes, I have issues about time and how some people do not value it as much as I do, and by extension, I have an issue with respect.

This thing contributes a lot to my internal stress, and, in combination with other factors, gives me headaches or triggers a sudden fatigue that almost borders on apathy. It is something I've working to conquer for most of my life, and sometimes I think I just can't win - but only when I'm very very tired, because I'm so driven by my "I cannot select all my life's circumstances, but I can sure as hell choose my attitude" philosophy.

Right now, I'm very tired.

The projects and timetables at work are punishing and have more than exhausted my little store of good cheer. With one huge particular project, drastic changes at the eleventh hour have rendered me next to brain-dead and shell-shocked, and I still have to go and manage expectations. A powerful part of my character is my refusal to just give up, but with this thing, I honestly just want to...sleep, red and all. Or explode (which is unwise).

What this means... what this means is that I need a strong drink. Or five.

To restore my default half-red mode.

(Red Guy photo by Barb Traub)


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