All the Single Ladies

A shorter post today.

The holidays are here.

I stood at a tree lighting and holiday concert (mostly Christmas), looking around me at the people. There were families with kids of different ages; the little ones made me smile. There were couples, some ridiculously sappy, some relatively normal. And there were the single folk like me watching the couples.

Suicides rates among our elderly population are highest this time of year. Drinking rates increase as well across the age groups. Why? Because this time of year is when people most feel alone.

Year before last Christmas, I, the elf of my family; friends; and co-workers, had the absolute hardest time getting into the Christmas spirit. I went through the motions of decorating and wrapping presents. I listened to Christmas music. I really tried, but there was no snow. I was single then too. It was hard. I finally got into it when I watched my extended family open presents from me; then I had the Christmas spirit.

Last year, I could tell it was going to be hard again, but my family kind of fostered another family which had three kids who hadn’t had the pleasure of hunting for a real tree or participating in small-town Christmas events. Watching their faces light up made me quite appreciative of all traditions and Biblical reasons for Christmas. I had the spirit the whole time.

This year, well, it’s difficult again. More of my friends got married over the summer, including friends quite a bit younger than me. There’s already been five engagements this season in my age-group and my little brother’s age group with a wedding coming up for someone younger than me. It’s hard being single around the holidays.

I’m reminded that we are humans. We were not created to be alone. Women specifically were created for the sole purpose of being a help-meet for our husbands (I’ve written about this in an earlier post.). It’s ok to feel like we’re missing something this time of year because we are. But. Don’t let it ruin the experience for you. Enjoy time with your family and whatever friends you have. I am still praying for snow to help kick-start the feelings, but even without them, I still have plans for my family!

Happy Belated Thanksgiving! Merry Christmas!

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Knife in the Back

Brothers in Badges. Brothers in Arms. Partners.

Such few words with such meaning!

You don’t expect someone claiming any of those titles to act so dishonorably as to not only question the reputation of one they claim as a partner or as a brother/sister, but to actually lie about the morals, ethics, level of professionalism of one with whom they work so closely…well. I don’t know how anyone would be able to trust them anymore as a partner.

This might seem random, right? Wrong. Someone who was supposed to have my back, someone I was supposed to trust with my life and the lives of those in my care, lied about me. By lying, this person called into question everything for which I have worked so hard – my morals, my ethics, my level of professionalism! My first instinct when the e-mail was read to me was to laugh. I thought for sure that the suit reading it was joking. Guess what? It wasn’t a joke.

It was a conspiracy.

When my base was changed, this person and their former partner tried to get any of us moved off of it. Thankfully, they were refused. Then circumstances left me without a partner, and this one pulled strings to get it. We had been friends. Gone out for drinks with our co-workers, one night we all had a get-together at their place.

Imagine my surprise when they turned out to be an awful partner. Rude to myself and my new co-workers. Rude to local heroes to the point of questioning their motives for joining public safety (per this person, firefighters are adrenaline junkies who only care about the thrill of the call with no regard for the victims). I caught the person trying to take supplies from places other than where we were supposed to without even asking the workers of that place. I told them about it, and they started watching inventory closer on the nights we were there. This person started pushing buttons on equipment they’ve never used and did not belong to our company. Equipment that had confidential patient information on it. I alerted the proper person about this and, thankfully, the private information had already been transmitted for the night (even though when I was telling my “partner” about this, I was told I “don’t know what I’m talking about” as that machine printed not transmitted. I was right.) This person tried to pick fights in front of those for whom we were supposed to be caring. I chose to not take the bait and did not respond other than to change the subject.

I started counting the days until my graduation when I could go PRN and not have to deal with that fool. Things got worse.

They drove through a construction site, compromising my physical well-being. They refused to lift properly, saying that proper lifting technique does not involve the legs. Guess who ended up with a hurt back when that poor technique endangered my patient? Me.

When this person was called into question, they played the victim. Nothing was done. Things got worse.

I finally figured out how I could sign each individual report rather than the overall consent. I began to exercise my RIGHT to read each report before signing. Did you know, that this makes someone difficult? Truthfully, I would not have pushed the issue to the point I did had my trust been completely in my partner. However, when someone goes to great lengths to seal reports before they can be read, to not allow me to know firsthand what is going on, and gets mad when I ask, I suspect they’re hiding something. Gone is the trust.

So now, I’m thinking I just can’t trust this person, but they might still have a decent skill set and knowledge. That changed when a trip was rejected by not me because this person claimed we were not equipped to reverse the effects of something should it go wrong. 1) We did have what they denied we had. 2) That something was not in the protocol to be used.

Now, I know I can’t trust their skill set either.

I’m writing this the day after I was told that I was pulled from my base because this person complained that I was difficult. They complained that I added pertinent and necessary by policy information to the report – even though I initialed it that yes it was me who added it. Did you know that’s wrong? It’s actually not, but obviously this person skipped the legalism part of training and has self-admitted to not liking to read – so keeping up with current events, policies, laws, does not happen.

I put in my notice and requested to finish my two weeks at my base, on the rig that has been my home 25% of my life for over three years. I was denied because the feelings of this person were offended. The person replacing me? Their old partner.

My trusted friends are slowly pulling the knife from my back. But knowing that someone would stoop so low as to betray everything it is to be a partner, would become so corrupt and hostile as to bully me onto a different base, is absolutely mind-blowing to me. I was raised traditionally, and I realize that not everyone has been blessed in that way. But to be cussed out at work in front of co-workers (oh, did I not mention that? Yeah, that happened too.) because someone does not come anywhere near the high-leveled bar of standards I have set for myself, and to be punished for refusing to cower before a bully who needs the ego to counteract lack of skill and knowledge is a completely different betrayal. That sword through the back will take a long, long time to remove without damaging vital organs.

 

Sanctuary

When you get so overwhelmed in life and you just need to feel as close to God as you can get for comfort, where do you go?

Do you sit in a church just staring at the communion table or the cross or the pulpit from a pew? Do you go outside in God’s creation, the woods, a park, the lake or ocean?

Personally, I prefer to go outside. I might just sit up against a tree enjoying the natural sounds around me of the birds and the squirrels, maybe a fox if I’m lucky. Sometimes I just sit there and enjoy the beauty and think “wow!” Sometimes I take my Bible with me to read of others who turned to nature to feel closer to God than they did during their busy schedule. Sometimes I take my journal to jot down some thoughts or my poetry journal to jot down the feelings.

I started thinking of this when I realized that on tv and in movies, the characters always turn to sitting in a pew when they’ve had a rough experience. Myself, well, I used to be highly involved in every ministry and event at my church as humanly possible. When I went to church in times of needing that calm comfort, I did not get it as much because I would get distracted by a project or a person wanting to talk about something. My sanctuary had to be out where it was just me and God and the occasional chipmunk.

The song that has played through my head as the soundtrack for so, so many sunsets and sunrises, rainbows and thunderstorms, snow and sun is How Great Thou Art. There are times when the beauty of the natural, designed event is too much for words. All I can say is, “wow God” and then hum that song for the rest of the day or at least for all the verses. Today as I was exiting a bookstore after an awful day (don’t you love when someone who is suppose to be as close to you as family, someone who is supposed to have your back as you have their’s lies about you to the point where your moral, honour, ethics, and professionalism are called into question?), I was miserable. The two books I had just bought for relief had cheered me up a bit but not to the point where I could relax my shoulders (they’re still up by my ears) and smile. The rainy, strong winded day was not helping matters any. I turned to hold the door open for someone, and the wind became less harsh as it blew my hair around. I offered the person a polite smile and then froze when I heard the next song begin to play over the bookstore speakers. Elvis singing How Great Thou Art. I then made the choice to have a better day.

I did not get the chance to walk through the woods or even the park. I’m still struggling with that betrayal, but I am reminded my God, El Roi, sees my struggles and cares for me. Oh, and He’s the Creator of the universe! That thought is my comfort, my sanctuary, for today.

Respect

You know how some things stick with you the rest of your life? Some things fade over time?

As a country, we have people of all walks, gender, cultures demanding respect.

When I was in kindergarten, our very first lesson was to stand when an adult entered the room as a sign of respect. Every. Single. Time. The boys were then taught to stand when a lady approached as well. Again, this was a sign of respect. That’s not taught anymore.

I visited a school and not one student stood when I walked into the room. They did not stand when the principal walked in behind me. I approached a table full of boys, and guess what. None of them stood at that time either. In restaurants, I remember my manners. I am a lady, unfortunately now an adult, so when a man considered my peer comes over I stay seated. When I approach a table filled with men, only the older gentlemen still stand as a sign of respect.

How can people in this country demand respect when common manners which existed for hundreds of years and showed respect are no longer taught and demonstrated?

I was, again, watching Blue Bloods. In this episode, one of the women walked into the room with her sons. Her niece, brother-in-law, father-in-law, and grandfather-in-law all stood from their seated positions at the table when she entered the room. Her sister-in-law who is her peer, remained seated. I noticed this immediately.

When I watch shows such as Criminal Minds and Last Man Standing, the men always stand when a lady enters the room. In shows such as Blue Bloods which emphasize tradition and proper behaviour and manners, the children stand when an adult enters the room. Comedies which more liberal undertones and/or spurn tradition do not have their characters demonstrating the same level of respect.

The liberal parties cry out for respect for all, but they are part of the reason why respect is missing in this country. However, since this is not meant to be a political post, I’ll finish with this: I want to marry a man who stands when I walk into the room. He’ll stand when my mum walks into the room. He’ll stand when his mother walks into the room. He’ll stand when my dad walks into the room. He will know proper respect. Then, my children will be raised to stand when an adult enters the room. The sons will be raised to stand when a lady, even if she’s already in the room, approaches them. I’m going to do my part to help bring respect back into this country.