Saturday, January 21, 2017

Just another Day

So,  yesterday was Inauguration Day 2017.  Here in this country, whether any of us likes it or not, our Commander in Chief is President Donald J Trump.  As I say - whether we like it or not that's just the way it is.

I've given up worrying about what that can or will mean.  As those who know me have come to realize, I'm not a worrier anyway.  But social media seems intent on whipping itself into a frenzy about things and this particular situation is at the top of that list.  Just go onto your Wall (or, that's what they used to call it) and write a strong statement either supporting/denouncing either Trump or Obama and see what happens.  It's not healthy.

I had dinner with a friend last night who enjoys stirring the pot and posts stuff like that just to see what it causes.  He's fairly unique in that he surrounds himself by people of diverse thought so no matter what he says someone will disagree.  Most of my friends have made a post in the vein of "If you'e done so-and-so then unfriend me now!"

In my FB world, I've got a few rules.  First and foremost - be respectful.  If you're an a$$hole, I don't want you trolling around my world.  Other than that, tho, I find it hard to espouse respect and diversity but then shut down those who feel differently than you do.  I suppose it's one of the many flavors of hypocricy we all see in our day to day worlds.

For me - I can censor what I allow into my world but I can't censor the world itself.  Whether or not I watched any of the inauguration events yesterday (I didn't) or not, it doesn't change the fact that it has happened.  I've said before that one of my strengths is that I'm incredibly focused on things once I've set my sights on them, and that can be both a blessing and a curse.

One of the reasons it works for me is that I'm good at filtering out what I perceive to be "noise".  Currently, there's lots and lots of noise.  Many people wade into it full throttle, feeling that it's important to thrash at everything that makes them angry.  These people are typically well intentioned, but they'll eventually drown in their own darkness or die trying.

Don't get me wrong.  I'm not criticizing people's passion.  I'm just saying my own approach is much more strategic.  That's not by design, it's just the way I'm built.  That's how I'm able to stay calm when others are whipped into a froth.  I can certainly get frothy myself, but the triggers to get there are few and far between.  If you find one, tho, watch out.

Betrayal is one.  I get frothy over my perceptions on betrayal.  A few of my closest friends have done it.  HRC did it.  And I've reacted very strongly.  Thankfully it doesn't happen very often...either because I've become more guarded in who/what I'll allow to betray me or because I've simply grown wiser over the years.  Regardless, the point is that I'll focus on things that I can focus on and I won't paint anyone or anything with a single brush.  Again - hypocracy rules the day more often than not.

Today is a Saturday.  I woke up in my own bed, made my coffee, took my dogs for a walk, published our most recent episode of our podcast (link here), and I've got a pretty full day planned.  Although in the big picture the world may have changed between last Saturday and this one I'm not out marching, I'm not yelling, I'm not even outraged.  I take it for what it is, and I'll do what I have to do.

My work is fascinating.  As I think I mentioned I manage all the engagements coming into our Enterprise Network Services group from anyone outside a data center.  My engagements range from the mundane (opening a port so a postage machine can download postage) to the large (we're moving all our gates at the Athens airport) to the huge (we just started brand new service into Havana) and everything in between.  I don't actually do any of the work...I just manage it and at the end of the day I'm the person who gets blamed for any number of perceived transgressions.  I've got a large team of engineers around the world to do this work so I coordinate it...I'm the central point of contact.

I doubt that there are many jobs like mine.  Anywhere.  I mean, I realize that there are similar positions at networking or shared service groups in any large company but the thing that makes it really interesting to me is the airline angle.  Working with airport authorities around the world, especially given that we fly almost everywhere, involves an additional layer of complexity that I seem to enjoy.  One of the reasons I'm effective in this role is that same thing I said earlier - I'm very focused and I filter noise well.  Things can get pretty hairy sometimes and engineers sometimes need a calming buffer to do what they do.  I am that buffer.

This is my last "calm" weekend for a while.  Next weekend I head to Dallas.  The week after that I've got a good friend coming as my guest for several days.  When she leaves another arrives.  Then I've got to go back to Dallas for several days, and a side-trip to Austin.  I'm also hoping to fit a brief visit home to Charleston into the mix as well.  So - I'll enjoy this quiet while I can.

I was at dinner with a friend and a friend of hers earlier this week and mentioned the word "dilating". My friend's friend took offense at the word, saying that she felt it "objectified" us and was inappropriate to even mention.  I have to admit to being taken aback by her sensitivity, especially given that I have no idea what she's talking about.  I've grown very comfortable in my body and don't know why that word should provoke that response.  I respect it - I just don't "get" it.

In a completely separate conversation, without any connection whatsoever, another trans woman at lunch today referred to the "D" word.  I had no idea what the "D" word was so I had to ponder it for a moment.  Then it hit me.  As aI say - I'm not sure why it should be such a sensitive subject.  Good thing I didn't bring up M and O - Masturbation and Orgasms.  Things could have gotten REALLY uncomfortable.

Anyway, it brings up a couple of funny stories.  One year I was coming to visit my son here in PHX and I had my dilators in my luggage.  He must have been 16 or so at the time.  He saw one of them and said, "That's a dildo!"  I said (a) no, it's not a dildo and (b) how the heck do you what a dildo is anyways?!  I know I didn't teach him that word.  Our kids grow up so fast.

Another time I was traveling and had one in my carry on baggage.  In the x-ray machine I think it probably looks like a large bullet so the TSA lady pulled me aside for some extra screening.  She found it and took it out...I told her what it was - without any shame or discomfort at all - and that was that.  Afterwards I reflected that if she stopped to consider where it had been she'd be extra glad she was wearing gloves.

Anyway - I digress.  It's time to get this day going.  Onwards!

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