Saturday, November 05, 2022

Compassion Challenge: Day 5

We did this as a congregation in 2021 and I'm doing it myself this year. My life feels different now than it did 365 days ago, and I hope this will keep me grounded and help me live my faith.

Inspiring Compassion: The 30 Day Compassion Challenge. 30 days to explore the topic of compassion: Mindfulness, Compassion for Friends & Family, Self-Compassion, Compassion for All, Compassion for Our Planet.

I guess today would be Compassion for Friends & Family, though Aisha and I have never really been friends. In a way, it's also Self-Compassion, because it gives me something productive to do with my anger. Let me explain ...

Aisha is a project manager. She was added to our team at work a year ago, when the agency/client relationship was still good (meaning, before agency management completely fucked it up). Her job was to help keep all of our schedules straight so we could meet our deadlines. She was OK. She certainly tried hard. Every morning she sent out a "hot sheet" listing our daily deliverables and she closed it with a "Today in History" trivia tidbit. I appreciated the latter. Most of us were too self-involved to read the whole "hot sheet," we only checked our portion, and probably didn't even see her "Today in History," but I loved that little bit of extra effort.

Anyway, due to colossal mismanagement on our boss' part, we lost the client and Aisha lost her job. Because she'd been with us just 11 months, she only got one week of severance. While we were comparing our travails with unemployment from the State of Illinois, she casually mentioned that the food stamp application process was easier.

FOOD STAMPS? Upper management screws up and now Aisha has to depend on food stamps? That is so massively unfair. They have no accountability, she has no money. I cannot begin to articulate how mad this makes me.

So I tried to refocus. Instead of thinking of management, I thought of Aisha. I offered to be her reference when she starts interviewing. I left her a recommendation on LinkedIn. I told her to call on me any time.

I also realize, and am grateful, for how lucky I am. I will be receiving severance for 4 months. I qualify for unemployment and then, if I choose, I can collect Social Security. I have a 401(k). I'll be OK, for a while at least. I can afford to relax, concentrate on getting better, and take stock of my future and my options. Aisha doesn't have those advantages. My energy is better spent supporting her, not railing against the management that doesn't have any relevance to my life anymore.

Saturday 9

 Saturday 9: New Attitude (1984)

Unfamiliar with this week's tune? Hear it here.

1) In this song, Patti Labelle sings that she feels good from her hat to her shoes. Do you often wear hats or caps? Never. I hate hat hair. When it gets cold, I go with my ear muffs.
2) The lyrics tell us that Patti's worries are few. Is anything particular bothering you as you answer these questions? Yes. I'm very concerned about election deniers on the ballot. I remember how incredulous my classmates and I were when discussing Germany and the Nazis. "How could the Germans let that happen?" Now I get it. People are so focused on their daily lives that they don't see the danger right wing extremists present to our personal rights and our democracy. ("But the price of groceries!")

3) The video for this song takes place in a high-end boutique. What's the most recent article of new clothing you bought, and where did you buy it? I bought this sweater on Thredup. It's comfy and I like the pastels.

4) In 2019, a street in Philadelphia was renamed "Patti LaBelle Way." At the ceremony, she was referred to as "The Godmother of Soul." Do you have godparents? If yes, tell us about them.  My godfather was my mom's brother, my favorite uncle. My godmother is my dad's sister, my aunt, who is still alive and kicking. She was a freshman in high school and he was a junior when I was christened more than 60 years ago. She recently confessed that she had a mad crush on him. That makes me smile.
5) Patti dropped out of high school during her senior year. When she was in her mid-30s, she went to night school and earned her diploma. Do you have any diplomas or certificates framed and displayed in your home or office? Nope.
6) Patti was once engaged to Otis Williams, founder of the Motown super group The Temptations. Who is your favorite Motown recording artist? Here's my girl. She's enchanted me ever since I first saw her with The Supremes on The Ed Sullivan Show. I have seen her in concert many times and she never disappoints. My favorite Diana live moment was during my birthday trip to Las Vegas in 2015. She entered by triumphantly striding from the back of the theater to the stage singing this, my favorite of her solo songs. It was like the diva herself was wishing me a happy birthday! 
7) A diabetic herself, Patti has volunteered her time to organizations that fight the disease. Do you know anyone currently dealing with diabetes? Yes. I have two close friends who have it.
8) In 1984, when this song was popular, Angela Lansbury premiered in Murder, She Wrote, a show still seen in reruns today. Were you a fan? Nope.

9) Random question: What's your secret to a good night's sleep? Hell if I know. I have tinnitus, so sleep can be complicated for me. Now that I'm no longer setting the alarm clock, I hope that my body will show me what I need sleepwise and I'll be able to comply.