The Power of Touch

Today’s writing prompt is a bit hard for me to interpret as it is written.  I’ll concentrate more on this part..”the sense of touch brings back memories for us”.

My mother wasn’t big on physical affection, almost to the point that it was something she was proud of.  I think my dad was a bit more physically affectionate with us as kids, but looking back, I think since we received so little physical affection from her, getting it from my dad seemed odd.  My dad dropped some sort of innuendo once during an argument with her about how cold she’d been in that regard, even with us as babies,   I was never quite sure how to process it.

For me, holding a baby and kissing their heads is one of the greatest joys of life.  I still try to give my kids a hug everyday…even though they think they are to big for it.  I love to run my hands down my husband’s arms and feel how his arms and hands are different than mine, somehow the familiarity of this is comforting.

I have mixed feelings about touch outside of my inner circle.  How I respond to touch seems something that comes from somewhere deep within myself.  Many years ago, I ran into a friend.  I was busy that day.  She wanted to talk, and she touched my arm in the process.  I think I sort of recoiled.  What she wanted to talk about was her sister with cancer.  What a jerk I was to have acted like that.  I’ve gotten better since that day.  Sometimes with hugs I get confused…does a hug transform our relationship into something it wasn’t before?  Do you have to accept a hug if its offered.  If someone at work comes up behind you and starts rubbing your back to you have to act thankful, disguising the awkwardness you might feel?

I’m a nurse.  Sometimes a comforting touch can be a part of our toolbox in helping someone settle who is confused or scared.  I’ve felt a lot of connection holding the hand of someone who is confused, just sitting there with them until their anxiety level decreased.

Well, yet another post in which I expose my odd self.




The Outsiders

With the prompt “The Outsiders”, we are instructed to talk about a time we felt as if we are on the outside looking in, however we wish to interpret that.  If I haven’t used the words “being an outsider”, I have felt that way many times during my life.

When I was a kid I was very shy.  I don’t feel like I had the feeling of being an outsider though until my family moved when I was in elementary school because of my dad’s job.  Starting at a new school I’d felt everyone had already formed friendships, and that there wasn’t a place for me.  I did make friends, but it seemed to be more of a struggle.  In my young mind the rules seemed different, and I wasn’t sure how to navigate. Understanding a math assignment…no problem.  Understanding the politics of making friends in elementary school…much more mysterious.

I’ve also sometimes felt like an outsider at work.  My current workplace has more cliques than any I’ve seen before.  Brown-nosing and schmoozing with the boss will get you far.   I’m no good at it, but at this stage of my life, I really don’t care.   Make no mistake, I’m perfectly pleasant at work..but that is as far as it goes.  Because I don’t get invested in the politics, I can see how sometimes the schmoozing goes a little too far and often does not end well when the boss delays taking action when one of her groupies is having problems at work.

I’m not as shy as I used to be.  I am an introvert though.  At this point in my life it doesn’t bother me to be an outsider.

Leaving(not really)

In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “If You Leave.”

With this prompt we are to explore the last thing we contemplated leaving.  I have no plans of moving anytime soon.  I’m happily married.  So that leaves me with my job.

There are a lot of practical reasons not to leave my job.  Despite by mutterings I doubt I will leave it any time soon.  I’m sure many others have similar feelings about their jobs but I am so sick of the peripheral bullshit and dysfunction.  If I left this job to find another, I could find a fresh batch of dysfunction. one that hasn’t become quite so frustrating to me yet.

A couple of my supervisors have this odd mindset.  They will frequently have a couple employees they feel sorry for.  Because these employees have oh so very difficult lives, there is very little expectation of accountability.  I’m not sure why my supervisors get so attached to these projects(people), but if you dare complain they will visibly bristle.  The people who clean up their messes every day and take on the work that the  little darlings won’t finish…they mean nothing.  But isn’t it wonderful that my supervisors can be so accommodating and flexible to meet the all of the little darling’s needs.

Work and A Certain Brand of Feminism

“I’m One of the 56% of American Mothers Who ‘Prefer’ To Stay Home”….I come across this piece by Darlena Cunha as I am feeling super crappy. My gut felt weird, and my bones ached.  I always feel a little off when I mess with my sleep schedule.  The last 8 or so hours that I worked I’d earn an hourly rate that was sort of an equivalent to a lunar eclipse for me.  I’d be earning just about double what I normally earned.  It was the perfect storm of me being greedy and employer desperation.  Of course when I agreed to work these hours, I only thought about the money..not how crappy I would feel after I worked.   Working the extra hours at a time when most normal people would be sleeping would mean I’d have some extra money for Christmas, or a family trip.

I’d been thinking about  doing some work related and then I read the piece by Ms .Cunha.  It isn’t obvious from her piece but Cunha both makes money as a mommy blogger and as a journalist.  She’d like to work outside the home, but for her the conditions just aren’t perfect.  She says “Who are feminists even fighting for? Me. They’re fighting for me”.  I can’t speak to what the feminist playbook is, but I wonder if she realizes that many moms work outside the home even when they don’t have perfect access to childcare, or the $70K Cunha states she need before she considered working outside of the home.

Cunha’s kids are seven years old.  Mine are teens.  I don’t have to navigate issues of who will care for my kids while I work.  On the other hand, for both my husband and I, the lifestyle we chose means one of us might miss a game, a parent teacher conference or musical performance.  I have worked in varying amounts ever since my first was born.  My husband and I have used some childcare.  Mostly though through the years we managed my working opposite hours.  Now the need to do this has dissipated now that our kids are older, but we still have to consider how the youngest will get here and there.

When I was working under the glare of fluorescent lights, and my husband and kids were asleep at home, I wonder does Cunha’s brand of feminism see me?  Does she see my coworker who has kids younger than Cunha’s who does the same sort of thing?

“For many women, staying home is their desire. But for many more, it’s a decision of convenience. Our society is structured in such a way that gives us the most rewards for living in the way it deems we should. Fifteen years ago, we found ourselves putting in huge amounts of effort to work outside the home, and we got very little reward in return. We learned that, yes, we can venture outside of this societal box of mother and homemaker, but our culture does not invite it, does not make it easy for us, and does not make it worth our very valuable time and effort.”

I can understand wanting to stay home out of convenience.  But does Cunha’s brand of feminism see that whether convenient or not, many women still must work.   What should our culture do to make it worth our very valuable time and effort?  What does that even mean.  I work to fund our retirement, to help with the oldest’s upcoming college expenses(eek!), and a million other things.

I wonder how Cunha thinks things should change.  Does she see the woman that wakes up in the early morning hours to go make donuts, work in a hospital laundry, staff an emergency room or stock grocery store shelves.  Where do they fall?  Where do people like my husband(and all the other fathers fall) in her expectations of how our culture should make work more inviting?


I am supposed to start training someone at work soon.  Days of training.  Having someone at your side for 8 hours straight.  Well he doesn’t have to be at my side for 8 hours straight.  I’ll pretend to have tons of confidence in him and send him off to do tasks independently.  Having to explain and make lots of conversation.  Yay.  He is someone I already know, moving in to a new position.   Why does this task fall on me, when plenty of others could surely do it.  I’m sure one of my coworkers will be upset that she doesn’t get to train this somewhat strapping young man.   While he might be somewhat strapping he is also somewhat needy at the same time he thinks he knows everything.

If I had some hidden talent like quilting or writing bestsellers, now is the time I wish I would show itself.  I’m not a good schmoozer and the workplace politics make me a little weary.  I’d like to work away in a room without having to talk to anyone.  Oh wait, if I were a writer of bestsellers, that means I’d have to book tours and deal with publishers and actually schmooze and talk to people.  So much for that strategy.

I deal with people all day long at work.  Sometimes that can be exhausting for a misanthrope like me.

Don’t worry, on the appointed day of training I’ll plaster a smile on my face and act like I am a cool collected font of knowledge.