Tag: irritations

Irrational Irritation is More Irritating Than Stale Coffee


Jax, the foster super-kitty caught in a mighty  yawn roar.

As my first week of unemployment comes to a close I have some fears and irritations to chew on along with my not-so-quiet happiness at being home again.

Fear #1: MONEY. Lack of it. I only got a day-job because we really needed the money. I’m so happy to be home every day again but the sharp shadow encroaching on my happiness is knowing how short lived it must necessarily be. Soon I have to look for another part time job, unless by some miracle people really start buying my apothecary products.

Actually, I just spent a half an hour looking at available positions on Craigslist. So it has already begun.

Fear #2: My apothecary website is still unfindable even by a url search. This has never happened to me before and I don’t understand it and an online business relies heavily on one main thing – BEING SEARCHABLE AND FINDABLE ON SEARCH ENGINES. So, fuuuuuuuuck!

Irritation Numero Uno: The company that laid me off is now back in business and have rehired my one friend at that job. That’s not at all what irritates me. I’m relieved she got her job back because even though they treat her horribly she really needs the money. Like, more than I do. She deserves WAY better but at least this will tide her over for now. What irritates me is that I wasn’t offered my job back. I know what you’re thinking “But Bitch, you quit your asshole of a job just last week. What’s your damage?!”* First of all, I actually unquit my job an hour after quitting in hopes that when the dust of our company move settled, things would be much better and I could stay at my job. Second of all, they offered someone their job back who stole confidential documents, padded her time card (and was caught doing both these things, by the way), and who did very little actual work for many months. They offered HER her job back. A shady person who also has the distinction of having caused the company (inadvertently, it must be admitted) to shut down temporarily. They offered her a job back and not me. She pissed off everyone – that’s more people than I pissed off!

So yes, I’m irritated that they value someone who steals, is lazy, and lies more than they value the hard work I did, the honesty I brought to the job, my unwillingness to take advantage of the company even when I was invited to do so on occasion by a person who’s name will remain _________.

What I need to remind myself through my irritation is that while they have dished out the ultimate insult to me, it is also deeply revealing of the owner and the managers’ ethics. I also need to remind myself that if I have to work outside the home I deserve to work for people who share MY ethical standards and who appreciate and respect employees who bring that high standard to their work every day.

In the meantime I have much to work on. I have a lot to do to get my house back in order. I need to clean, organize, and clear the air of fears and irritations. I need to fill it with confidence, order, and love. That’s right, I’m getting all metaphysical on your ass!

I need to find out how to fix the invisibility of my website. I  need to work on my label design some more. It’s not quite right, not quite good enough. I need to sort that out. There are three super important things about making a successful apothecary business and here they are in order of importance:

  1. Make a superb line of products. This is the foundation and heart of a business – the quality of the product being made and offered.
  2. Eye-catching packaging and label. This isn’t just window dressing. This is the difference between being remembered or forgotten. This is the difference between a product being purchased or passed over for a more promising looking product. Before a customer has your product in their hands they only have the image of that product and the copy attached to it to make a decision with.
  3. Visibility/Findability. Your product has to be visible to your target market. Whether you put it on store shelves (I’m not doing wholesale so this won’t be me) or you operate from an online store – customers have to be able to find you.

I have some fantastic products. I’m working on more. But my labels and visibility to my target market are not good. So that’s where I’m at with my business. I’m reminding myself daily that impatience isn’t going to get me where I want to go. Building a good business takes time. There are a lot of details that have to get put in place first. You get there by taking one step at a time. The pressure of needing money might be a useful motivator but I think it can also get in the way of good decision making because if I let it get to me I’ll hurry things that need time to develop, I’ll skip things that shouldn’t be skipped, and I’ll settle in ways that don’t reflect the strong foundation I’m trying to build.

Talking that out made me feel calmer. More focused. How about you? Are you working on something impatiently? Are you battling fears and irritations? How are you dealing with them?

Don’t feel you have to answer. I’m going to go feed my dog, get dressed, and work on labeling as well as write a post on my website that you’ll get to read when the universe/domain handlers/IT people stop hiding it from everyone. Have a great Saturday!

*People don’t talk like that any more, do they?

The Passion of Soundlessness

Do you ever get in a peevish mood for no apparent reason?  Where it feels like an ill wind blowing hard but the air is as stagnant as a hot airless summer day?  I feel like that right now.  I can number my complaints, I’m sure.  They are many and all ridiculous.  Let’s take a look:

The inconsequential nothings making Angelina as bitchy as a crow with bent feathers:

  • Philip saying I obviously don’t have a very strong sense of taste because he can very distinctly taste the nettles in the pasta I made to very carefully mask the taste of nettles which I don’t like.  Shot me down like a German jet.  What’s stupid about me being annoyed is that the bottom line is that dinner was so fucking good it’s taken every ounce of will power not to have seconds.
  • The noise level in the house which only just diminished as Max and friend were sent to bed.  I could not think a single thought without some intrusive SHOUTING crashing through them.  Makes me want to punch walls.
  • I’m annoyed that I can’t decide what the hell I want to do so that the whole evening is trickling away with this uncharacteristic indecision.  So I’m writing this post about how annoyed I am with myself.
  • Finding out that Max’s psychologist is twenty years older than me but looks my age was a major irritant.  It is demoralizing and comes, I’m sure, from him having a balanced mind and a Quaalude-calm personality.  Max was as astonished as I was and said “But you are completely wrinkle-free!”  I crawl in my ditch of limp-hipped drag-bagged self and cry.
  • My mom telling me I have every reason to freak out about something just when I’ve calmed myself down to a place of rational and philosophical evaluation of the thing that freaked me out.  Thanks mom.
  • People existing in huge numbers all around me.
  • Philip coming home announcing that he made blue belt tonight in Kung Fu.  I am proud of him but also jealous.   I am disappointed in myself that I don’t feel I can be in public classes right now and have that sinking feeling of having failed.  Max is pissed too.  It’s at moments like this when I hate my mental illness and the side effects of it in my life.  Obviously has nothing at all to do with Philip.
  • I want to cry which always makes me want to hurt myself because I hate crying more than most things.  I probably don’t hate crying as much as I hate Hitler, who would most certainly have made me cry, but I’d rather not, all the same.  Ever again.
  • There was no Daily Show this week.  This has made a huge impact on my peace of mind and my sanity, as well as my ability to look any Republicans in the eye.
  • There was no episode of Castle this week.  I live for such small crumbs of enjoyment.
  • It is a mild irritation that Beckett has long dowdy hair.  I am remembering this all the way from last week.  Long hair is great if it’s great on you.  She looks much better with shorter hair.
  • Max and Philip have lost my mp3 player.  I will never let them borrow it again.  If I ever find it.  They both deny being the last to have it but Max has been taking it with him for the car ride to school (there’s now a twenty minute commute to Max’s school) and I, being the benevolent mother I am, let him take it.  Now they both deny ever seeing it ever at all and meantime I haven’t had any nice energizing walks with the dog and my music.
  • I’m irritated that I’m peevish.
  • Philip keeps encroaching on my pillow.  I don’t share my pillow.  Because I’m crazy and other people’s heads have other people smells and if I smell other people on my pillow I can’t sleep.  There’s a lot of pillow encroaching around here.  Philip has a different perspective on this, naturally.
  • Forget cryogenics, save me a padded cell for chrissakes!

That’s a whole lotta irritation.

Incidentally, you may have noticed that things keep changing on this template.  That’s because I like to play with templates and headers.  I just learned to play with vectors in Photoshop so I want to see what I can do.  I can’t stand the spacing issues in my last template and the opposite spacing issue in this one- it’s a style-sheet thing and I don’t mess with style sheets.  However, I like the layout of this template.  I’ll probably try all kinds of stupid things.  I really want to make the colors of the template monochromatic.  They’re too cheerful and bright for my daily journal of grouchy outpourings.

Before I sign off for the night I’d like to counter the irritation with a couple of things I’m very pleased with.  There are only a couple, but I think it’s worth doing this exercise.

Where the satisfaction lies:

  • I realized today that at this moment in time I have a truly solid and tight relationship with my son.  This could dissipate at any time as we both evolve, I don’t take this moment for granted, but right now my son trusts me absolutely, he believes that I can always come up with solutions (however small) to what ails him.  He loves me, he feels safe with me, and he brings his heart to me every day for proper care and feeding.  That’s no small accomplishment and no matter how much of a mess I am, I am (at this moment) succeeding in giving him everything he needs.
  • Today I addressed the big bag of nettles Philip foraged for me this last weekend (while I was busy writing my head into a tiny crevice til 4am) and we had a non-verbal communication that was satisfying and pretty, me and the stinging nettles.  As always, when I prepare food, or plants, I find myself in complete harmony with, well, with whatever it is we must attune ourselves to in order to feel grounded and satisfied.  Obviously it didn’t last, what with this great peevish tirade I’ve treated us all to this evening, but while I snipped the large stems off and placed the prickly leaves into the dehydrator and set aside a few cups of them for dinner, I felt really honest.  Truly in my own skin.  I am happy in such busy meditative states.
  • I was remembering the psychologist who diagnosed me, Jay Judine, who is now dead.  I was remembering how solid and pragmatic his advice and thoughts on managing mental health were.  He had a profound influence on how I look at my own mental illness and how I manage it.  This week I was able to share some of his advice and my own experiences with another mother who has a kid a lot like Max.  She found my advice helpful and I have to attribute it to Jay.  How I am raising my kid to view his own mental health is very much influenced by my one and only experience of getting therapy.  I am so sad he died so young, but I’m truly happy that I got to benefit from his life’s calling before he bid adieu to us all.  In having placed my mental health in his hands I did myself a great favor as he did me a great service and I never felt like a broken creepy person in his presence.  I felt like I was merely different and that those differences have their own value.

What if I just kept writing down this page, and never stopped?  how long could it become?  No one could follow that long, but what if this single page could grow long enough to reach the center of the earth?  How many words would that be?  Could all this technology holding up my words support such a journey of endless type?  As is so often the case, the act of writing, putting words down, spilling the old idea-box of all its tricks is soothing.  Like smoothing clay across poison oak.  It quenches the existential itch.  It fills all the leaks and relieves pressure.  There have been many times in my life when the simple act of writing characters on paper with specific pens for hours non-stop was the difference between life and death.

It isn’t always what needs saying.  Sometimes it isn’t about saying anything at all.  It’s about the shape of letters, the feel of paper underneath fingers, the feel of letters scratching onto paper with pleasing pen-tips.  I remember one afternoon when I had escaped all my roommates and noise to lose myself in my favorite place in the world, Chinatown in San Francisco, I found myself in this small park behind a bunch of buildings.  Not the kind of place tourists go.  The kind of place working people go to eat a quick lunch.  There was an ignominious statue, possibly of Mao, that I was fascinated with for the great quantities of pigeon droppings caked on his shoulders.  I sat myself down for hours in this anonymous little park and I wrote.  Not to say anything.  I wrote for the pure pleasure of making letters across paper.  I sat designing new ways to write my alphabet, what I know now as “fonts”.  I also practiced writing with a strong slant to the left.  It was the formation of the letters of the alphabet with my pen, whichever was my trusty favorite at that moment, it was a sensual art; it was a sacred and meditative activity to form letters, groups of letters, saying inane thoughtless things but looking so gorgeous on the page.

This was, and remains, my element.  To sit in anonymous places with pen and paper and no known voices speaking into my ear; breathing the colorful scent of otherness and transcribing the minutes as they come without regard for time, for propriety, for grand purpose, or for posterity.  There is a sound that even the smoothest pen on the silkiest paper makes: it’s like a rush of wings, sweating feathers, rushing air; it’s like a piteousness of doves startled from rest to sweep with wild whispering into an overcast sky that absorbs the cries and hushes inquiry.

I’ll bet if I strung all the words I’ve ever written together on a string they’d reach earth’s core where they’d burn and disperse as ash.

Thinking about the passion of soundlessness.