Saturday, November 10, 2007


I don't handle uncertainty very well. I like certain kinds of surprises, the kind that are pleasant like when my wife kidnaps me for a morning or an evening to go do something we like. Who doesn't like these?

But some people thrive on the uncertainty and gamble of everyday life. People in sales, who like the challenge of overcoming the obstacles, or people in politics. The uncertainty of the outcome, the considerable possibility that I will fail or that something unpleasant will result, puts me off.

At work, presently, there is a lot of uncertainty. We're in the middle of a merger, so I have a new boss and a whole series of new work comrades in another state. I'm not sure who is credible, who exaggerates, who is full of it, who has the most effective perspective, who is out for themselves and sees a new person as an opportunity... I don't know exactly what will be expected, when, how much, etc. I'm not sure where the lines are that you don't cross. At the same time I don't want to be timid in this new situation, so I've tried to speak my mind clearly and fairly, and to be decisive. It will either be correct, or it won't, but I'll have been honest and real. Thing is, I build up a lot of stress until I know I'm OK, and the way I'm doing things will work.

And that stress gets taken out on everyone around me as I'm not fully present. For instance, this morning (Saturday) I got up ready to roar along through chores and other things at 90 miles an hour. I had 25 minutes at one point until my oldest got up and I could make us both an omelette - and I made the clock practically stand still rushing about cleaning up, changing out old flowers in wall sconces, sorting old mail, etc. I popped a bunch of old balloons that have been cluttering up the living room (post Halloween - they stuffed our giant bat) and apparently jolted several of my kids with the mechanical brutality of this act, even though it was expected, more or less. I move too fast. At work I go very slowly, over think everything I do because the way is uncharted, and so at home I run - even if I shouldn't. This morning I wasn't just running, I was jet propelled. You should have seen me making that omelette - it was aerobic - I probably looked like a rubber ball bouncing from side to side of the kitchen - fridge, stove, island, sink, stove, boing, boing, boing.

I enjoyed running this morning - but I didn't enjoy what I did while I ran. I was just... running. As I do when I finally get home from a long day of taxis, airplanes, shuttles, delays in terminals, more airplanes... I get in my car and want to gun the engine in the parking deck. I want to make the tires scream as I leave my space. I want to speed on the highway just because I finally CAN. I change lanes and make my own decisions on my own power, in my own way, without having to wait on or consider anyone else's schedule or wishes. It feels LIBERATING.

But I don't want that kind of freedom all the time - I just have a hard time when I spend so much time waiting or uncertain.

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