Today I am thinking about areas where I need help:
- Lack of discinpline in my life: food, finances, fitness
- Unresolved work relationships where I am routinely mistreated
- Lack of set hours at work
- Lack of clear communication at work
- Fear of romantic/intimate relationships
- Lack of clear communication between family members
- Lack of emotional support
- Lack of clear and effective boundaries
- Inability to deal with and manage stress
- Getting caught in thinking loops - catastrophic thinking, fantasizing, procrastinating, etc...
- Having fun. That moment when someone asks what I do for fun and I have to sit and think for a while because telling them you're planning how to do away with others and not get caught is probably a bad idea...
- Sex/intimacy. I want it, but...
As a corollary I'm following this up with areas where I don't need help and can help others:
- Writing. I love to write and think I am good at encouraging others.
- Creating and appreciating art and artistic endeavors, it doesn't have to be good, just start.
- Sensual experiences (not the same as sexual experiences although the two can overlap): wine tasting, essential oils, massage, exotic fruits and other foods, bath essences; anything that feels nice, smells good, etc...
- Clothing. I think I dress well enough considering my challenges and financial limitations. Footwear is my obvious area of expertise, a lot of the same principles apply elsewhere.
- Noticing what others do well. Goes along with giving positive feedback and bringing out the best in myself and others. I'm great at pep talks. Let me know if you need or want one.
- Sports. I think it goes without saying that I like to consume this kind of entertainment. I'm a good person to bring along if you are just getting into something.
- Reading. I love to read and am always willing to loan out books even if I know I may not get them back. To loan is to love.
- Culture. Related to 2. Whether it's Scandanavian furniture, Japanese poetry, Thai food, or Indian pottery I love to learn how people in other parts of the world live and love.
- Minimalism. While there is always room for improvement I've come a long way and am always eager to help others.
- Organization. Related to almost all the other categories. This is my gift. I can clean and organize almost anything. I'm phenomenal when it comes to systems, structure, and organizational culture. Ask me to optimize, I'm fast, efficient, and extremely cost effective.
- Fun. Learning is fun to me so if you need to learn something, ask me and I can help make it interesting. One of my favorite things to do is take classes. I would love to be professional student if I could swing it financially.
- Sex. I know how to and I like being able to go from good, to better, to best. I'm almost always thinking about it, what I like, what others might enjoy, how to make it a pleasurable and memorable encounter for both of us. This is probably a very underutilized part of my life.
1. No matter how organized I think I am I still struggle with meals, and menu planning, or rather, it's the other way around. Food was such an issue for so long, as a child and as an adult, it's been a source of contention. I wrote a poem about it and stuck it in my kitchen drawer. I want someone to come over and go through my food and kitchen with me. I can only see part of the problem and I've tried so many different things that I feel like additional help is needed. I'm not sure who can provide this kind of help. Someone who is a good listener that can also see where I am bogged down and who will also give me credit for the things I have done. This would help me a lot. I spend more than I would like on food (I wanted to write an insane amount, but I'm trying to be better about keeping hyperbole to a minimum). Everyone is busy and I get it, but I really need help in this area. I could use someone to come over and help me budget. I talked to a woman who works in pricing about this. She's a resource and may know others. A fitness buddy would help. If I wanted to get fancy I could get over my fear or intimacy and tie fitness into sex. But I think that's where I'm getting ahead of myself.
2. This is probably my biggest current challenge. I'm being bullied at work and since it's subtle and I don't always see it in the moment, or when I do I'm so furious I can't say anything for fear of lashing out, this is unacceptable, it's gone on for far too long, and it needs to stop. Becoming more assertive is part of this, but it's also a management issue and they need to stop perpetuating this type of culture. I actually talked to my kids and a couple close friends of mine which was a step in the right direction. My super romantic friend told me he had to completely cut a guy out of his life because he is like this. It was very nice to have someone take me seriously for a change. The last time I tried to go to HR and upper management about this the bully got promoted. She's my superior, my Florida friend told me she feels threatened by me and I'm sure that's true even though it's hard for me to see. She's insubordinate, lazy, manipulative, psychologically intimidating me, and that is not okay. Just writing about it makes me feel horrible about myself.
3. This is related to 2. I feel like this is too much to ask of my manager and I get that she can't always give me set hours, but it would really help in several ways. I'm a routine person and I know this about myself. What may look like disorganized chaos to others is actually a strict internal system where I mentally tick things off of my list because doing so makes me feel better. Going to the library, buying a certain bar at work, listening to certain songs or music when I'm doing certain things, meeting with certain people at certain times and in certain places. Driving on certain roads, wearing certain clothing combinations, paying my bills a certain way, I have these silly rituals that make me feel sane. I had a psychiatrist who told me to get a routine and stick to it. Rituals aren't exactly the same as a routine, but they're a step in the direction I need to go. I do well when I have these things in my life and anything out of the ordinary like a holiday will really throw me. I can flex and be fluid, but I need these routines.
4. My boss has been at her job for more than ten years. There are a lot of unwritten rules at work. Then we have the written rules that seem overly rigid and too eagerly enforced. A lot of her job seems to be avoiding power struggles that will make her life more difficult than it is already. Upper management doesn't trust her to do her job. We are constantly guessing about what will change on us next. This breeds insecurity, fear, and mistrust. It doesn't help that the people who own the company are wealthy and very out of touch with most of the rest of us. They're hands off for the most part, this is actually probably a good thing, but all of a sudden something will come out of seemingly nowhere and it will cause a major problem and we'll get into trouble when we had no way of knowing that an issue was being caused, and it isn't a real issue except when an owner wants something, or doesn't want something else, you better ask how high when they say jump.
5. This made my list, but I actually think it's less of a problem in my life than it is for a lot of other women I know. It's kind of funny that I ever got married in the first place because I think we both have a healthy fear of being constrained by someone else. I like a lot of space, freedom, and enjoy my independence quite a bit. I do not enjoy being told what to do and I try very hard not to control others which is sometimes hard for me because I can see how they are being held back, sometimes by their own actions or inactions. I think I'm much better about this than I was although I probably still want to be aware of this. I know what kind of a man I'm attracted to, I'm just not sure how much of a relationship I really want with someone else. The food allergy thing complicates it. I want someone I can talk to and hang out with, going on dates is not really super appealing to me, but sometimes I think it would be nice to have someone to go out and do things that we both agree is mutually relaxing, interesting, pleasurable, rewarding, etc...
6. My mom and my next youngest sister both want things done their way. There is no room for compromise or negotiation and I find myself avoiding family gatherings when they are hosting which is the majority of the time. There are a lot of judging types in my family and they won't hesitate to shoot from the hip when aiming at my sacred cows. It doesn't help that they happen to be strong in areas where I am weak. They see no to little value in things like writing poetry, my mom hates sports and my sister isn't big into watching games either. Things they like are good, things they don't like are stupid, bad, and a waste of time, money, and resources that could be better spent elsewhere. They dictate instead of ask. I tread very carefully around them and I need to have an exit and escape plan in place because I'm always anticipating some sort of knock down drag out fight where everyone is going for blood and nobody will rest until someone else's gets spilled.
7. I probably get more emotional support than I realize, but it never seems like quite enough, probably because I'm still trying to recover from childhood neglect and spousal abuse where things were my fault, solely my fault, and I was expected to be perfect while he got to go out and play when he wanted. Obviously that's me being a bit sarcastic, but I think that today he would tell you there's also a lot of truth in that. People who are loyal and stand up for me, or indicate that they are on my side in other ways are so important in my life and I'm sure that's why I fell so hard for that guy at work. He listened, he took me seriously when I told him about a real problem I had, he didn't question my viewpoint or tell me that I was surely mistaken about the problem as I presented it to him. It wasn't up to him to fix anything, he helped me see some pieces of the puzzle that I hadn't before, I'll always be grateful to him for that. There's another guy at work who does this kind of thing too although he almost never says anything to me and I know why.
1. This is something I've been thinking about for a while. I love to write and think everyone has the potential to write better than they do now. I find writing very therapeutic. For me it's a way to problem solve, to create, to flesh out ideas that have bones and put some meat on them, and to reflect on things that are on my mind. Sometimes I have great ideas, other times I've gone down a rabbit hole that's leading nowhere and I can get so caught up in the way that my plan is coming together that I fail to see that this plan is utterly foolish or hasn't taken some very key component that I overlooked into account. I read a lot of really great articles. Then I come across things like 'Before You Sleep With Him, Read This!!!', and sometimes I click on the link just because I want to have some laughs and see what other women are reading. I like men, but women are a lot harder for me to figure out so I try to get a feel for what a more 'average' woman might be getting from this type of post. Hint - he wants to get laid, you control whether he does.
2. Creating is a large part of my life. The book I gave to my friend the other day was a part of what helped me see the need for this type of process in my life. The Creativity Cure was written by a married couple and I got a lot out of the book. I'm sad it's gone, but since I wasn't reading it anyways, I'm glad it went to a good home. A customer at work bought a copy after I recommended it to her. Being a reader has defined my life in many ways and this is one of them. I can't even tell you how my life has changed by the quantity and quality of material I've read. Sometimes I don't even know I have some of the problems I do, I think I undervalue myself and what I know to a large extent. I'm frustrated by what hasn't happened and can't be fixed or resolved rather than taking a moment to step back, look at where I was then, and compare that to today. Good job Jess. You did a lot of cool things all on your own and you really didn't get credit for that either. Treat yourself, you've earned it.
3. Boredom is a challenge for me. I crave stimulation, but I need to know when to hit the brakes because this is the kind of thing that can spiral out of control rapidly. This is what makes me great in bed if I have a partner who appreciates this about me. I want to rub things into other people, kiss them, lick them, put their fingers in my mouth after they helped themselves to whatever we're eating if we happen to be sharing something. I want to learn each millimeter and memorize it, save it for later while savoring it now. Nobody taught me how to taste wine, or maybe I taught myself. There are certain kinds that I can drink straight from the bottle and all of a sudden I feel like I won a video game or I'm a pinball machine where parts light up and music plays. Chocolate, fruit, certain vegetables, textures, flavors, scents, I can make a meal out of a man and get driven wild by his responses to me. I secretly roll my eyes when women say they can't tell who is going to be good in bed. How can they not get something so fundamental?
4. This is an area that I'm both good at and struggle with because I walk around mentally dressing and undressing people. It hurts to look at people who are wasting their potential in this category. Sometimes I wonder if some of the people I know are surveying their clothing and purposely picking out the most hideous thing imaginable because they're that afraid to be a beautiful person on the inside and on the surface. I could write for hours about the poor choices people are making. Wrong color, poor fit, should have been turned into a rag long ago, anti-sex appeal, inappropriate, does not match their personality. clashes with something else they're wearing, fails to flow from the ground up; when it comes together I appreciate that and try hard to notice and comment when it works for others. I commend myself for having the restraint to let others dress the way they do without much commentary from me. It takes everything I have to avoid buying them an entirely new wardrobe and burning the vile remains of whatever they have left.
5. I am constantly judging everything and everyone. I can't help this about myself. You just read about where it can frustrate me and get me into trouble. The flip side is that when I notice what does work well, I notice it and comment on it so people get that positive feedback in their lives. I judge myself too, it's just that most never hear that side of the conversation. This means I probably know what others are good at and would do well. Sometimes I can see things others can't and this is why I think I'd be good as a career counselor or life coach even though that term gets a lot of laughs, some of them deservedly. I'm 43 and I still don't know what I want to do when I grow up, I worry about my kids, but I know that life is one big long experience and they have to find a way to use what they have to get what they want which may be something other than what I think would be good for them or the rest of mankind. I mentally build teams of people and pretend that we're going to take over the world. If the moment comes, I'm prepared.
6. Sports used to be a much larger part of my life than it is now. Politics took over to a large extent and that's probably for the best if it means more people pay attention to government at every level. I lost quite a few friends/fans/followers as the election drew closer. There's also something to be said for getting so into a sport you see the ugly side of it as well. While there are some nice looking people who compete athletically, it's the strategy that gets me going. I love the front office moves, hearing from scouts, listening to former greats discuss the game, I follow a lot of sports writers and read their takes on current, potential, possible, and hypothetical moves. Baseball intelligentsia is beautiful, flawed, but also conscious of some of their limits. It can be vast, timeless, crazy mad fun, but also stupid and annoying. The rituals and routines are part of the allure. Mentally sports are a safe place to me and I travel their often when I'm troubled or distressed.
7. Reading became my refuge when I was younger. It's that to a lesser extent today. I don't even know how much I read on a typical day. Probably more than I realize. Words and language fascinate me. I follow a lot of writers and most of them are well read. I've purchased books written by people I know and follow, I write, I read things I've written which is a new thing for me. Two people were influential in helping me that way. One was a guy I went out with who encouraged me to read what I had written. When I did the emotional fallout wasn't anything I had anticipated or prepared for and I wonder if he had seen that coming when he told me to start going back and reading things I had written. I messed with a piece once and vowed I would never do that again because part of the magic had been stripped away through my inability to leave what I had done alone. I'm still grieving for that lost work, it's time to let go and forgive myself. I'm only human.
This was more work than I had anticipated. It takes me time to figure out how I'm feeling so I'll probably have to go back and give this a read before I decide whether I like it and want to continue this, or go back to my previous format, or try something new entirely. I could write more, but I've been on the computer for most of the day and I have things I want to get done around here before I pick up my daughter from work.
Until next time,
P.S. People are getting a lot of mileage about the mentally stable genius comment and I for one think it's simultaneously sad, yet hilarious. You have to be able to laugh about life even when the humor is dark. Better than the alternative I think...
I finally got all of the JXJ people to take the personality test; here are our results:
JLJ: INFP - A
- 71% I
- 66% N
- 67% F
- 81% P
- 75% A
JRJ: INTJ - A
- 53% I
- 78% N
- 69% T
- 64% J
- 72% A
JNJ (1): INFP - T
- 54% I
- 84% N
- 69% F
- 88% P
- 79% T
JNJ (2): INFJ - T
- 60% I
- 80% N
- 64% F
- 53% J
- 64% T
I was pretty accurate as far as Jane goes and way off on her dad and her older sister. I read up on how accurate these tests are and supposedly they aren't very, but I really like them and have found that they are very helpful to me. Even if a metric is flawed, I can see the value in this kind of thing. The truth is almost every system is flawed and we do the best we can with the information we have. One pattern I'm noticing is that I seem to have a lot of trouble with the INFP types and since I tend to get along well with I, N, T, and P, I'm guessing it's the F that gives me the most trouble. I feel like these people are easily able to manipulate and exploit me and I don't know how to get away from them or protect myself better. I read an article that said being smart was like a double edged sword. On one hand you have the intellectual capacity which is nice, on the other, you have very little capacity for feelings, either your own, or that of others, so you're at their mercy and everyone knows it. This is a very terrible feeling and position to be in, particularly when you have people who are close to you that you can't really get away from. I give and give to these people and they take and take.
I need to find a way to restore the power imbalance or I'm going to keep going down this path and I really need to stop the train and get off at the next stop. I once told my boss that it felt like I was dealing with two sets of children; one at home, and one at work. I think really what I was seeing is how these groups treat me similarly. They can take care of themselves better than I can. It's too easy for me to wall off and just live in my head, this comes at a price that I'm increasingly reluctant to pay. I want to go in and tell people that I'm quitting because I can no longer work with these people, but that's not really the answer either. My theory is that one of the women in my department is an INFP and the other is an ISTJ. S and F seem to give me a lot of trouble. I acquire information differently than the S types and I can't figure out emotions like the F types.
People at work:
- Cashier 1: ENFP - this is my unicorn friend, very dramatic, can be flighty, loyal, way smarter than she gets credit for being, no idea why she hasn't been promoted yet except I think her attendance is an issue which is understandable, but lame in my opinion
- Cashier 2: INTP - this is an educated guess; super smart, very efficient, gets labeled as lazy which I disagree with and don't think is fair, would put this person in another department if I could
- Cashier 3: ENFP - this person sometimes gets an I, very fun to work with and talk to, but also exhausting
- Cashier 4: INFP - this is my friend with the crush; clever, fun, bubbly, can be assertive, sometimes says things I wish she wouldn't, needs to work on her obsession
- Cashier 5: ENTJ - this person came over from the cafe. Very smart, not very nice. Has boundary issues, sometimes I feel for this person, but they make it hard to keep that going.
- Cashier 6: INXP - interesting person, kind of a trouble maker in a weird way, is always nice to me and I'm not sure why, makes me feel very understood which is kind of cool
- Cashier 7: ENTP? one of our recent hires and I just love this person, super insightful, great instincts, wonderful to work with and talk to, aware, kind, pleasant and positive, but keeps it real
- Cashier 8: INXX - Sneaky, lazy, manipulative, boring, but I try hard to get along with her for the most part, would fire her immediately given the chance, very moody, brings others down
- Cashier 9: ESFP? - Hard working, intelligent, not intuitive, but super nice. Says she doesn't understand me at all which I always find surprising
- Cafe 1: ENTP - guessing here, but I really like this person, would also accept ENTJ, super hard working, motivated, driven, going places, and I think gay based on a recent conversation
- Cafe 2: INXP? - another beautiful person, quiet, very dry sense of humor, seems slow, but isn't, very deliberate and sweet, works at a steady pace, good personal sense of style; INTJ? INFJ?
- Cafe 3: Whatever the type she's unpleasant. Works hard, rumored to have trouble with drugs/alcohol and I believe that based on her purchases and personal interactions. Very unhealthy person.
- Cafe 4: This person is a friend of mine, has shared very private information, feels trapped in a loveless and abusive marriage, stays for the kids, wish I could do more for her
- Kitchen 1: This person is in a quasi romantic relationship with one of the people in my department, he knows she has someone and this really bothers me
- Kitchen 2: This person is super nice, works hard, very quiet, bilingual, always has a sleepy smile for me, but doesn't say much, deserves a raise in my opinion
- Kitchen 3: Works so hard it should be a crime, very beautiful personality, always has a compliment for me
- Manager 1: INTX - thinking this person must be very close to my type, very quiet, very private, will sometimes snap at others, is very overworked and conscientious
- Assistant Manager 1: IXXJ - this person drives me crazy, but isn't actually mean to me, kind of lazy and bored, but thinks that they work super hard
- Manager 2: INTJ - a guess, and I could be wrong. I don't like this person, but she makes quite a bit of sense to me
- Assistant Manager 2: INFJ/P One of the most beautiful people at work, ridiculously overworked, intuitive, silent, suffering, I have no idea why this person isn't the manager except the perception is that intelligence is lacking and that is so not the case it isn't even funny
- Assistant Manager 3: No idea here, kind of lazy, listens well, laid back, I generally get along with this person, but would not put them in the position they currently have
- Grocery 1: Guessing this person is another introvert, draws well, has a lot of tattoos, doesn't seem to be very emotional, guessing T and probably P, INTP?
- Grocery 2: Not really sure here except I've been told I by this person. Nice enough, doesn't work real hard. Probably intuitive, has surprising insights at times. INFP? Doesn't seem stupid, but doesn't strike me as having the intellectual capacity of the INTP although he could.
- Grocery 3: Also thinking this person is an introvert. This is the creeper. Whatever type he is, I'm not a fan. ISFP? ISTP? Would also buy ISTJ. Always feels like he's watching others. Ugh...
- Meat 1: One of the people I would fire on the spot if I could, complete ass and bully, not creepy, but not cool, would love to ice him, but he's generally decent to me so I don't
- Meat 2: Another person I just don't get, would probably get rid of him too, that whole department is strange
- Meat 3: Morning person, seems nice enough, but has one of the blandest personalities ever, I just can't warm up to her and I feel bad about that
- Meat 4: Very mellow, probably another introvert, loves to ride his Harley, never had a problem with him, but I don't think he likes me very much, guessing he must be an INTX, this is how I would treat someone that I didn't know well, but didn't want to get to know well either
- Meat 5: The only person in the department who has an actual personality, going out with one of the cashiers and I do not get why they are a couple, but it seems to work for them
- Produce 1: INTP - another educated guess, I get along very well with this person who reminds me of Cashier 2
- Produce 2: ENTJ - also a guess, I get along well with this person, but every once in a while we clash and I think I know why
- Produce 3: ENTP - still guessing, I used to get along with this person, now this person has gone over to the dark side, this person hurt my manager deeply and that really upsets me
- Upper Management 1: Hall Monitor type who pretends to be friendly to others, not a fan, totally useless when it comes to real issues
- Upper Management 2: Another Hall Monitor type, but worse because this person is super lazy, I literally have no idea how this person ever got promoted, would immediately fire, no motivation, no ambition, not much business sense, likes to get outside and explore the outdoors, should move to Colorado and work at a ski resort
- Upper Management 3: I like this person, but I would eliminate the position, guessing another intuitive thinker, probably an introvert, and I think a J type
- Wellness 1: INTJ - this is me
- Wellness 2: ISTJ - guessing - we do not get along and that is putting it mildly, super lazy, controlling, passively aggressive, power trips and cozies up to management. I loathe this person.
- Wellness 3: INFP - guessing - also lazy, takes the path of least resistance, doesn't need to work for the money and it shows. Can be very intuitive, has a brain and uses it to get out of work which is despicable to me.
I could spend more time on this and probably will because I want to be able to use this information in the future. I probably should have made a table, I could sort this in better ways if it was a spreadsheet, I didn't really plan on doing this, once I started, I got carried away because it is fun to sort, organize, and think about how people fit or could be moved. Realizing I'm forgetting a lot of people because they aren't prominent in my mind. Will go back and add them later. Feel bad about boring others with this, but nobody is forcing anyone to read things I write for myself, sorry, not sorry, but sorry...