Here are Four Things to know before we get to the thing that you are most interested in:
Thing One: I am a Military Wife. My family has moved nine times in 16 years, and two of those were international moves. I understand how to adapt for the short-term. I can suck it up, grit my teeth and dig in. The cubicle is my new “home” and I understand that I need to reconcile myself to it. I brought in a lamp, a picture. I moved the computer so my back is not directly to the opening. I asked about moving to other empty cubicles that have access to natural light or are off the main hallway (and therefore not so confined) and was told by HR that my cubicle “is the designated space for your position.”
Thing Two: For my happiness, I WANT to work. For our finances, I do not HAVE to work. My paycheck makes our life comfortable and affords a private school for my son, who has a disability. But, my working is not a deal breaker for my family. Because of Thing One I have not had a traditional career trajectory. But now that the children are a bit older and we are no longer moving every 1.7 years, I am very committed to making a career for myself, rather than piecing semi-random jobs together. This new job was meant to be IT. Yes, it has long hours and yes it is in a cubicle. But God Damn It, I am no longer mucking about in part-time situations. Instead, I bellied up to the Big Girl Bar and took a Big Girl Job. I AM NO LONGER DICKING AROUND. I am all in and this is IT.
Thing Three: I am a judger. I judge other people against Who (i think) I Am vs. Who (i think) They Are. I have never had to be a full-time cubicle dweller. Up until last Monday, Cubicle Dweller was not Who I Am. So, while the tall grey walls are undoubtably restrictive, especially for 8.5 hours a day, I am wrestling with whether it is the confinement of the actual cubicle that I have the real problem with, or just the idea of being a Cubicle Dweller.
Thing Four: The new company is a nightmare. It is a poorly run, highly toxic, very unhappy place. As part of my first week orientation, I met with almost every single employee – either in small groups or individually. Ostensibly, these meetings were to help me understand what each department/role is and how my department interacts with them. Without exception, these conversations almost immediately devolved into workplace tales of bitterness, frustration and disappointment.
Last night, Thing 1+2+3+4 = 3/4 bottle of wine.
I specifically went and purchased this bottle and was very intentional in my drinking. I was not interested in being social, or enjoying the taste, or thinking I could moderate. No, I wanted the wine to numb MY bitterness, frustration and disappointment.
It did not work. I drank three glasses and felt pathetic the entire time.
And the wine didn’t stop my ruminations. Not even for one second. Instead, it just made them worse, because now I was ruminating on my job/history/circumstances and ruminating on my drinking.
So, this morning I threw the rest of the bottle away.
I don’t know what I’ll do about the job issue.
But I do know that while I drank wine last night, today is not a new Day One. I don’t think of December 15, 2013 as the day I started Not Drinking. Instead I think of December 15, 2013 as the day I knew I was better than that wine bottle – I am better than what life inside that bottle has to offer me. Last night I was lucky enough to remember that.
So whatever day I may be on, Day One or Monday or Birthday, I am always on a Better Day than I was December 14, 2013.