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1/13/2017 11:57:17 AM

Struggling and My Jellyfish Mantra

Greetings to all and I hope your new year is going better than mine.

I am grumpy.  Very grumpy.  Trying not to be, but struggling quite mightily.  If you don't want to read a grumpy post, I would just skip this one... but there is a message at the end that might help next time you are struggling.

Hubby has decided to bow to the company cretins (his assorted bosses) and stay down in Colombia to save the program during the La Dorada “site acceptance test”.  So he won’t be coming home this weekend (the absolute promised date for him to come home when he agreed to go down there again).  I fully support him in this, but on the other hand…. while todays paycheck included a comparative smidgen of expenses, it doesn’t come close to the amount owed.  And again… they want us to pay their credit card bill out of our pocket without paying us the money.  This is the 8th paycheck in a row that has been screwed up… FOUR MONTHS that they have owed us over ten-freakin-thousand dollars, and that amount has only increased steadily since then.

Thankfully, we were smart enough to be keeping as much money as possible in the bank or we could really be in trouble.  As it is, we are okay, but not making any of the progress that made being apart worth the stress.

Hubby has been spending a ton of his free time trying to get the payroll people and bosses to do their jobs, and all they do is say it is someone else’s fault in a big circle and never bother getting anything fixed.  It is really beginning to seem like the only person in the whole damn company who does their job is hubby.  Or at least anyone even peripherally involved in the Colombia project.  They can’t possibly go forward without hubby down there, but every single promise they have made to him has been complete bull.  It seems very counter intuitive to be abusing the wheel that is the only thing keeping a several billion-dollar contract on track, but evidently being that critical “wheel” doesn’t give hubby any sway or benefit… or even a corrected paycheck.

We keep trying to remind each-other that the pay is good and he loves the work… but it is getting very thin and awfully hard for us to accept this continued abuse.

I have got to remember the mantra I made up while in Thailand…. “There is only one jellyfish… there is only one jelly.”

It sounds strange, but let me explain a little...

“One step at a time.” only serves to remind me that there are a million more steps to get through.  In fact, it seems like the most horrible possible thing to say to encourage someone who is struggling for any reason.  It says no matter how many steps you take... there are just more waiting.  So you should probably just give up and drown in a panic (literally) over the 15 tiny jellyfish that have you surrounded.  Er.... and in fact I really almost did drown... repeatedly... because I wanted to go see the bit of brown coral in one corner of the jette on "coral island" where standing up would be impossible due to the thick carpet of spiny sea urchins.  And in the final attempt to see the coral... I made it!  Only to look up at a solid wall that no longer contained any water.  The semi-translucent jelly mass surrounded me on all sides.  I desperately clutched the camera to my chest in the hope that it would prevent any jellies from sliding into my swimsuit and kicked tiny kicks in desperation saying "Your okay.  Gasp. You're okay! Gasssgupa.  You're okay!  You... gaspa... your're okay!  There is ONLY ONE jelly! Gasp.  There is ONLY ONE jelly!"  Thank heavens we had rented full face-mask snorkels or I would have just drowned on the spot.

Soooooo.... my mantra says there is “only one”.  That in this moment, there is only one step to climb, only one person to pass by, only one block to walk…. only one jellyfish.  Despite the fact that you can clearly see the hundred rough steps, the thousand people pressing in a crowd, the never-ending blocks to walk in over a hundred degree heat and 150% humidity......... And the solid wall of tiny jellyfish that is so thick it actually feels like trying to swim through a bowl of jello...  All you have to do is survive ONE.

Next month, next week, next hour, minute, or even second... doesn't matter at all.  In this moment… all you have to do is survive...  one.  That is all you have to do.  

"There is only one jelly."

I feel considerably better now.  Maybe because I am chanting my mantra in my head... or maybe just because this is not nearly as bad as swimming through jellyfish-jello.  And maybe just because this makes me remember the amazing relief I felt when I finally cleared the jelly-mass, made it past the urchins, and to the clear area of shore.

So maybe the moral of the story is to find a nicer beach to snorkel on (which we did on Phi Phi island latter in the trip), but I am going to stick with "There is only one jelly." 

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