Monday, June 27, 2005

Sorry. Big Whine Time.

I have, from time to time, been guilty of posting something just for the sake of posting. This particularly happened shortly after I'd first emailed Derrick at Kayak Wisconsin to introduce myself & say how much I was enjoying his blog (his descriptions of practicing various strokes come about as close to describing how it feels to do what I think of as "kayak yoga" as anything I've read just about anywhere) - he then posted something on - and suddenly my sitemeter went berserk. On a Saturday morning no less. This was back in February or March - lots of bored paddlers sitting at home waiting for spring thaw, I guess! Now I had just read something on one of my favorite non-aquatic blogs, Some Amusing Blog Pun, talking about his analysis of his site statistics, and mentioning that he'd observed (and he's a scientist, he observes for a living) that readership dropped significantly on weekends. I'd sort of been noticing the same thing, and I'd decided to stop posting on weekends - this was literally the first Saturday after that decision, but when I went online & found something like 40 hits already...well, suddenly I felt like I Had To Produce Something Fascinating.

Instead of course I produced a lot of pointless blah blah blah on that Saturday and Sunday, when I really didn't feel like writing anyways, and was only doing it because I felt like somehow I had to. Then I figured out how to check the referrers on sitemeter, found the post, and with a less ego-stroking (but somehow also far less pressure-inducing) explanation than that somehow I was catching on due to the ha ha sheer brilliance of my writing and the ha ha ha depth of my observations on the teaching of kayaking in a chlorinated environment and the tangled mess that is New York City waterfront politics, I skipped the next day with a sigh of relief (I am sometimes known to show off but the idea of a spotlight being on me for reasons which don't make sense to me kinda spooks me). Sometime later I realized that there was no particular reason to keep a schedule - when I feel like writing about something, I write it, and when I have nothing worth saying, I say nothing. Mantra of bloggers everywhere seems to be "Hey, it's my blog". Makes sense.

Tonight, though, my problem is the opposite - I have been dealing with a lot of stuff and it's all sort of been building up to one of my sporadic complete losses of faith in myself - I've never been the most self-confident person on the planet, but when I am really excited about things I forget that. Right now though - I'm handling a rather crucial part of the duties that are normally done by the business manager in my division - employee T&E reimbursements and invoices. The business manager left on April 15th to go work for another company. At the same time there were staffing changes on another links of the Really Big Children's Publishing Company payment chain, and somehow, somewhere, a whole lot of invoices got hung up en route. Many of them did shake loose from wherever they were stalled right around the year end close, which was good, but now we are answering for those delays.

Some of these invoices are from other Really Big Companies, and those aren't so bad, they've got sufficient cash flow that slow payment, while not good, isn't going to lead to somebody not being able to pay their rent - but then we've got a lot of freelancers - who are individuals & make their individual living by drawing or writing or editing, and really do suffer when they aren't paid quickly...

I have decided that Hell, for me, would be an eternity of having responsibility for a process that I know is crucial to other people's well-being - while being given only the slightest actual control over the process itself.

Somehow I end up blaming myself.

Add to that - so far I've only written up the cheerful it-was-great side of the symposium - but it was tough, too. First off, I found out, right at the start of the very symposium I'd looked forward to so much, that the guy I fell for so incredibly hard last year had was finalizing his move to L.A. and marrying the girlfriend he just never thought to tell me about even when I thought I was being sort of totally obvious. I guess he had no way to recognize that I was being abnormally bubbly when I was around him 'cause he never saw me acting like my normal non-twitterpated, friendly-but-slightly-reserved self. It's bizarre, somehow this guy's entire function in my life for the last year and a half or so, through no actual ill-intent on his part, has been to pull the rug out from under me just when I'm really excited about something. In this last case he didn't even have to do the actual rug-pulling, it just happened spontaneously. Ain't life funny?

And then my last 2 sessions at the symposium were not as successful as the first - won't go into detail now because I really do want to do a complete post on them sometime as I did for the first day, which was all fantastic, but I wish those had been my 1st 2 sessions 'cause as it was I went from complete euphoria to kind of bummed out & wondering how I could have made them work better.

Then there was getting all excited about that surfski race & this time not even making it 'cause of that nasty stomach bug I had -

and then one evening I was so tense and had been practicing on my surf-ski so much my rolls weren't working too well -

and then on Friday night I was so tense I actually psyched myself out & blew an offside roll for the first time in I can't remember when, and tweaked my shoulder a bit in doing so -

and then on Saturday I discovered that that shoulder was a wee bit on the twinge-y side when raising sails, plus we have a new docking procedure that involves a whole new set of distances to estimate followed by a much dicier looking jump from bow to dock than our old one did, and after the first sail I had to admit to the first mate, who had a terrible cold and was hoping that we could give our very competent trainee a 5:30 P.M. promotion to 2nd Mate so she could go home, that between my shoulder & my unfamiliarity with the new docking procedure, I wasn't feeling capable of fulfilling the usual 1st Mate duties. She agreed to stay but of course that was just the last straw in this whole slow-building sense of just not being good enough...ended up having about a five-minute breakdown about how I was just letting everybody down & hating myself for it.

Fortunately everybody except the trainee knows how stressed I've been and nobody was really shocked - and the trainee wasn't there so he didn't have to get all freaked out about it. Think I would've refrained if he had been. And we had a 3:30 sail to get ready for so I pulled myself together & got back to getting things pulled together for that. And then in the end the 6:00 and 8:30 sails were very crowded, and there were tons of Gay Pride cruises on the water (that was one proud river over the weekend, it was all so festive!) so we were tacking a lot, and by the last sail I was actually very glad that I'd been honest enough to ask the first mate to stay, because I think it would have been really, really hard for a 2-person crew to attend to both the boat and the passengers properly. As it was, I mostly ended up taking care of hostess duties while the other two sailed, which was great, they could concentrate on the boat while I took care of the passengers. I actually opened enough bottles of champagne that I wound up with a bit of a bruise at the base of my thumb.

Oh, yeah, and the paddle to the ceili on Sunday was awesome and I couldn't have timed it better if I tried and the one person who joined me actually had an absolutely marvelous time, which made it all even better...

So for all my whining here I am sort of hoping that 3:00 Saturday was the nadir of this particular low spot in my life.

And it is even possible that we're past the worst of the invoice madness...that may be hoping for too much, but maybe, plus I've asked to be given access to the system where we look things up which may at least make me feel a little less like a useless extra person in at least the past-due inquiry process & more like an actual participant...I don't know what I was Meant To Be - beyond "alive", which is pretty darned good in and of itself, but one thing I know I'm not Meant To Be is "middleman". Blech.

And I was asked to work an evening charter on the schooner tomorrow and then a half-day on Saturday, so my little moment of misery-misery-me on Saturday didn't wreck my sailing career...

And I've been in touch with Atlantic Kayak Tours about maybe taking 2-Star Coach training, which would address my issues with some of my less-fabulous moments at the symposium - just need to get my CPR & first aid updated somewhere during July.

Hope the captain was right - when I was explaining how this year just has had some very good points, but also some very low points that I've been a little more reticent about, he said that that's the sort of year that may be tough while you're working through it, but in the end you learn more than you do in the kinder years when everything feels like a breeze.

Anyways - there, in one big whiny post, are at least 6 different subjects that I could've expounded on individually. Funny how the unrelated negative ones all just sort of hooked into each other to send me into a tailspin, slopping over into even the stuff that's usually just purely good stuff (rolling & sailing).

Hopefully now I can move on to more interesting topics - like how watching a bunch of Marines got me over my childhood fear of swimming without a "bubble", or how carrying a Greenland storm paddle on the subway leads to actual conversations with complete strangers (even though that's COMPLETELY against the unwritten rules that govern interactions between random individuals in a city the size of this one), or a little more of a trip report from Saturday (did I mention I timed that perfectly)...

or an awfully nice late (but oh so incredibly perfect!) birthday present my folks have decided to get me...yes, my photoblogging is about to get a little easier, hurrah!

for now, past bedtime, all whined out.

No comments: