Monday, September 20, 2010

Injustice, Improvement, and an Effort to Ignore the One and Embrace the Other

Week after week, I've been sitting in church quietly reflecting about my week and feeling out all the little pockets of bad feeling still left in the pit of my stomach. And usually the things I feel the worst about--or the things I feel anything about still--are the times when I let my flash response of anger get the better of me. I was sitting in church just over a week ago thinking about this very thing. I let myself think about something unjust that had happened to me months ago--months-- and I felt myself getting angrier and angrier about a situation that was long past.

And then I thought, "I'm better than this. And what's more, I have control over who I am and what I do." I made a resolution that day that I was going to control my outward response to things. I may not be to the point where I can control how I feel, but I can control what I do about it, and that in turn will help my feelings change. My goal was to take things a week at a time.

I should know by now that whenever I make a goal to self-improve, temptations, trials--whatever you want to call them--inevitably pop out of the woodwork. Last week was one of the most upsetting weeks for me at work, to date. Without going into specifics, I'll just say that something I said was misconstrued and there were repercussions. No, I did not get in "trouble" per se. But it was one of those times where I felt like I should have known better than to do something--in fact, deep down I did know better--and yet I did it anyway. I'm not used to feeling like an idiot, so when I feel like one, it's extremely upsetting. I have always been outspoken and impulsive, a bad combination. And a tendency toward hypersensitivity doesn't help either.

Even now. Even now, I want to stand on the rooftops and defend myself! Explain myself! And to my sister (who is my coworker) and my husband, I did plenty. But my small triumph this week was that, at work, I was able to respond to the situation in what I thought was a mature way. I wasn't perfect. I don't believe I was totally able to mask my upsetness, but I tried. I may not have swallowed everything, but I swallowed a lot.

It's a start.

Now, I have to learn to forgive my own and others imperfections. Life really isn't fair, and those who live it expecting it to be are in for a lot of frustration.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Starcraft II

Travis bought this about three weeks ago while I was in Alabama for my three-day library school orientation. It was sitting on his desk when I came home. My first reaction was, "You blew 60 bucks on a computer game? At the beginning of the school year??"

Fast forward to yesterday. I spent two hours (maybe a little longer) playing three levels of a campaign. That's right. And it was fun.

Years ago, my brother-in-law introduced me to Warcraft II, and I loved it. I loved building farms, mining gold, chopping down forests, and amassing huge armies. I loved my birds-eye view of the world and my omnipotent command. It wasn't exactly that I grew out of Warcraft--rather, our computer software at home grew out of it. We became Mac people, and WC just kind of faded away. Nobody really noticed. Not even me.

Something about the presence of Starcraft, the shiny newest version of the old Warcraft (there was an older Starcraft even) must have awakened in me my former love. Hence yesterday. But in reliving my childhood I made a couple of mistakes: 1) I played too long. 2) I played too close to bedtime.

Right before bed last night, I was involved in a mission where I had to get seven convoys of colonists off the planet before the Zerg picked them all off. I was having to balance the training of troops and the position of bunkers and the mining of minerals, etc. Meanwhile, the Zerg just kept coming and coming and one of the convoys was destroyed and most of the colonists got picked off, and Travis was watching over my shoulder telling me to do this and that, and....I won the mission. But barely. It was tense.

Then we went to bed, and I felt asleep right away. But the mission carried on. My mind kept playing and replaying certain scenarios, figuring out what I had done wrong and what I could do better. I built more bunkers and positioned them more strategically. I mined minerals more efficiently. I trained a better ratio of marines to medics. Still, the Zerg kept barreling in from outer space, burying their huge bulbous bodies into the planet's surface and releasing their disgusting, slimy spawn! (If you have no idea what I'm talking about, that's a good thing.) I kept losing! But I kept fighting, and worse, I kept replaying that damn scenario over and over in my mind!

Finally at 2:30 a.m. I clawed my way out of sleep, having figured out that I was dreaming, and demanded that my brain STOP thinking about Starcraft. It was ridiculous! And it took a good little while to get that broken record of a dream to stop playing in my mind.

Lesson learned: don't play Starcraft right before bedtime. Or ever. (Not likely. ;)