Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Great In Comparison

                                                               The Past

The business trip I'm on is not off to an especially good start but I am going to refrain from referring to the situation as a 'total meltdown'.That term is reserved for the real thing.

I'm sitting in my hotel, enjoying the luxury of cable  TV and all I can seem to watch is ongoing coverage of the horrific confluence of disasters that have befallen the people of Japan. There are other things on TV, but I cannot seem to pull away from the news channels despite (or perhaps because of) my rising dread, sorrow  and anxiety.

All of the TV experts agree: there is no good outcome possible with the nuclear meltdowns, the only thing left to determine is the severity of the catastrophe. Japan is a small and crowded island and can hardly afford to have a huge swath of coastal land rendered uninhabitable for decades.

And then there was the quake and ensuing tsunami. By now I'm sure you've seen  footage- entire valley towns completely destroyed, boats, cars and shattered homes carried miles  inland...there were people in many of those vehicles and structures. Thousands and thousands of people. All gone.

Japan is affluent, has a very strong society and is in good standing with the world community, these are huge positives when it comes to disaster remediation- but I wonder how many international aid workers and volunteers will be scared away by the all-too real threat of  uncontrolled radioactivity?

Meanwhile back in my relatively insignificant life, things seem to be going more or less OK. I've started therapy  and I like my therapist. Initially, she explained psychiatric terms and concepts to me by using metaphors and symbology and not the actual terminology- I knew the technical words for what she was describing  and I think I  surprised her a bit with that knowledge, but I told her that I preferred symbols and metaphor,that it was much easier for me to get the true meaning that way since that is how I tend to see things anyway. I won't get into it here, but none of the words she applied to me were "psychotic" or "sociopath" or "incurable", so I felt a little better for that.

And I have a decent job for a change. 14 months at the same job! Last year I started as a file clerk and right now I'm sitting in a swank downtown D.C. hotel with a belly-full of expense account dinner and  fancydessert, resting up for tomorrow, which will involve a massive system tear-down and re-build and probably a few more trips up here for me.  I like getting out of my cubicle for a few days and this hotel is far nicer than home, so I can't complain about that...but the coming work is impossible. It'll be the fourth such  mission I've been sent on and I haven't failed yet, so I guess I'll figure something out tomorrow. It'll work.

It's only a database I'm working on, it can't physically hurt me. The building I'm working in is above sea level (and has always been) and the only radiation hazard I face is from the antique cathode-ray monitors in this office's file room. When I go home no one will wave a Geiger counter over me and when I turn the faucet in my sink, potable water will emerge.

That makes me a lucky guy. I should remember that but for some reason I keep forgetting it. Maybe we all are prone to forgetting how fortunate we are despite whatever trials we face at any given moment.

Are you a lucky person? Do you ever forget it?



billy pilgrim said...

did the therapist ask if your mother ever had a miscarriage and was she typing away on a laptop as you talked?

i'm like that three legged neutered dog named lucky.

Allan said...

Nah, Mom never had one and she died years before laptops were common.


I'm glad that you are in therapy..everyone needs help.and you were smart enough to ask for it..

Allan said...

JS- Being smart can really suck.

Craig D said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Craig D said...

I keep hearing thereports from Japan on theride to and frm work.

I keep waiting for an announcer to come on and tell me that I've been listening to the Mercury Theater's production ofg H. G. Wells' "The War of the Worlds" but it hasn't happened yet.

Bes of luck with your therapy, BTW