Not Painting in Pastels or I’m A Grade A Bitch

Queen bitchI follow a blog and I recommend the guy – he’s pretty damn interesting; He posted something that I figure is pretty self-evident but I’m 54 and he’s not; people paint themselves in pastels and portray themselves in the most positive light. Well…yeah. Nobody wants to be perceived as being a total arse. Not when they are younger at any rate – a good number of my friends, in my age bracket, don’t give a rat’s ass.

We have all learned that it is better to be seen for who you are than to disappoint someone who sees you with rose-coloured glasses that you have gifted to them. I’m a mother, a wife, a friend, a co-worker and a blogger. I’m absolutely human. The gods know I have faults but hey, again – I’m human. I have a bad temper and piss me off? I’ll let you have it. But, that temper has been tempered over the years. People are people. Some good, some bad, some should have had their gene pool chlorinated years ago.

I have no control over other people. I don’t want control over other people; it is a giant pain in the ass and frankly, other people shouldn’t be my concern anyway. In this global community, made possible by the internet, the population is beginning to see how petty their own problems truly are, in the light of the global situation. In order to fight that feeling of being small and insignificant, people will post nonsense on Tweets and FB or whatever other social networking site is currently in vogue within their peer group; it gives them a visual reminder that they are here. What someone puts in their coffee or that they may be at the local Bulk Barn is of, absolutely, no consequence to the world at large, but it may be interest to their friends, to their family. I may find it stupid or childish but someone else may not. My choice and their choice.

The internet and global communication has been a truly double-edged sword; I’ve met some great people through my work and through the online world. People I would never have met otherwise – a man in Mumbai, great guy with a terrific sense of humour. Quite a few people all over Europe and through them, I have learned cultural attitudes truly do vary. For example, a co-worker in Germany mentioned how wonderful her visit to Canada had been; what open people we all were, how friendly and emotional. This led to a discussion of her experiences in her homeland; Germans, by and large, are not a people prone to expression of emotion or feeling or strong opinion. It is frowned upon. The Northern folks – Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Finland – work is simply something one does for a short period of the day – it is “just” work. If you go to one of these countries and ask someone what they “do”, you will be told of their hobbies and what they do in the spare time; if you ask someone in North America the same question? They will, more often than not, tell you of their employment.

In N.A:

Hey, pleased to meetcha – what do you do?

I’m a proctologist; I work at the Asshat Memorial Colonoscopy Institute.

In Copenhagen:

Hey, pleased to meetcha – what do you do?

I paint, read and go for long walks.

May not seem like much at first glance but if you think about it, it speaks volumes about priority. It was a powerful lesson to me. Work is what I do, it IS NOT what I am. It shouldn’t be what anyone is. It is simply, work. No-one will give us another thought if we’re gone. Another butt will plant itself in, what was, our desk and life will go on, with or without us. The corporate machine doesn’t care. The boss won’t care, your co-workers won’t care in a month’s time.

What does matter are the personal connections we make, the things we learn, the things we do that may have some sort of impact, if only a ripple effect. No. Most of things we do will not be of global importance but who cares except the truly arrogant? Create a little global community of your own and share who you are, warts and all.

Push that old Wal-Mart cart and practice making positive eye contact (careful with that though – too much smiling can cause law enforcement to make you blow up a balloon). We have more influence over our own little sphere within a sphere than we know.

Crap…gotta go to work and pay some bills…


Filed under Whatnot

3 responses to “Not Painting in Pastels or I’m A Grade A Bitch

  1. Is it different though, if your work and pleasure are the same thing? When you write that novel (not that I’m nagging or anything) I bet you’ll be quite happy to say ‘”Hi, I’m Karen, I write”.

  2. Interesting. I did not know that. I would love to compare the markers for quality of emotional health and well being from those countries to ours. Depression rates, suicide, etc.

  3. What does it say about me when people ask me what I do I say I’m a designer by day and a cake lady by night! 🙂

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