Plant perspective

My job stresses me out and I want to leave. This would have been a true statement a month ago, a year ago; in fact, 2 years ago, going all the way back to when I first started. The nature of the work holds inherent stressfulness – I edit/proofread letters and reports and such, and most of them have to be ready within 1 business day. Or less! (Too often it is “less” and too too often those are the BIG documents . . . *aggravation rising*)

I’ve ranted at Loki multiple times since I started the job that I wanted to leave and find something better. I didn’t do complain like that for quite a while, because I really needed a solid, pretty decent job when I found this, and in many ways it is the best job I’ve had, and I was grateful for what it does provide (most of my coworkers are pretty great). However, I’ve also always known it was just “temporary,” that there are other kinds of work, and other kinds of organizations, where I want/need to be. When I asked Him once, after a particular bad bout of “hate this shit” for a several year look-ahead, it looked like I might be at the job for 4-5 years.

But then several months ago, Loki dropped a very strong hint/nudge/something that I would be leaving this job this winter. This joyful news relieved a lot of the typical job stress, and generally improved my mood, for several months. Then the office was closed for the holidays, I got nice and relaxed, and then . . . back to the non-stimulating, exhausting, occasionally extremely frustrating job . . .

Since Loki dropped the original clue, He – and some of the Others – have given me other hints about what’s next, and nudged me here and there to learn some additional things, but as of yet, I have no idea what the position I’m supposed to be looking for (or being lead to) will look like, or what the organization is. None of the information has been of the kind I could clearly map to my descriptions of such places, anyway.

A week or two ago I looked at my savings and I did some quick math and realized that I could actually just fucking quit and I’d be okay for a small number of months without immediately having another income source. And I’m sure I could get some temporary work while continuing my job search.

It’s very, very tempting.

I’ve experienced periods of 6-12 months of joblessness, did not enjoy the stresses that came along with that (some of it was quite nerve-wracking), and I’m not eager to reexperience anything like it again, but it is hard to weigh that against the absolutely known stresses of continuing my current job and have those be the lesser evil.

I’ve gone back and forth on this a lot. I really don’t want to be at my current job any more, but at the same time, I think a lot of my dislike/discomfort comes from reminding myself of how much I dislike it, so, you know, if I can district myself enough, it’s less bothersome.

Then I was at the co-op last night for my volunteer shift, and took a break to lie down on the couch in the staff area (it has been a tiring week+ at work) . I was thinking about this situation while trying to get some much needed relaxation going. There’s an asparagus fern overhanging the couch, and I was thinking about how when plants have shitty life circumstances, they pretty much have to tough it out, and what advice would they give me? Well, “stay,” is what came to mind, but it’s not quite that simple, because a lot of plants do have some ability to move on – or at least to expand their colony, and expand it towards better conditions.

This is from a lengthy page all about spathiphyllums (peace lilies) and what their lives are like in the wild vs. how people are typically instructed to care for them:

Obviously, these species can live in shade. Even though Spathiphyllum can and do tolerate poor conditions does not mean they prefer them. In nature it appears they prefer medium or bright indirect to direct light as well as adequate water and food. However, the genus is sometimes found in full shade …

Full shade does not indicate a plant should be eternally stuck in a darkened corner of a room either. In the forest tropical plants are living beings that are capable of slowly transporting their colony to better conditions when their current placement becomes inhospitable. Those that can climb trees just climb higher but Spathiphyllum must use another method.

It is not uncommon for the forest canopy to encroach on bright to moderately bright light to the point the understory plants that live on the ground cannot gather enough light to survive. Since Spathiphyllum species spread as they reproduce and grow they simply begin to reproduce themselves away from the shade and each new growth shares its stored sunlight with neighboring plants via their underground connections.

So. Stay – but also make movements toward better conditions, while maintaining connection to the place that provides known support. Which is basically the same (safe, practical, blah blah blah) advice I’ve been giving myself the whole time – but I feel a little more at peace with it now.

And as long as I am at the job, I have the option to say “fuck it” and bail, which, if I have misunderstood all the “winter” stuff, I might well do come spring, ’cause I’m past done with the job – and my previous experiences of not-entirely-intentional/desired joblessness, which stressful, did also come with some major benefits.

(The awful coda to this is I got home and found my spathiphyllum – recently acquired – drooping; it had been a few days since I checked its soil, and it had gotten dryer than it likes. AUGH :( I’m sorry!! It has been thoroughly watered and now I have a better sense of how often I need to do that.)

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About Fjothr Lokakvan

More or less Northern Tradition polytheist.
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