Saturday, April 23, 2005
Work For Me!
I woke up at 11am this morning after basically slipping into unconsciousness last night, in my clothes.
Last week is a blur. I have one outstanding memory, from yesterday, which really pisses me off. I did a teaching demo and was trying to illustrate a few things at the same time, cause and effect and also transitions and then did this:
In my beleaguered state, that didn't make sense, but I also didn't have the awakeness to simply say, okay, 1 - is, 2 - are, (present tense) where 1 = singular and 2 = plural. 1 - was, 2 - were, (past tense).
I should have written: 1 - is/was
2 - are/were
Someone pointed out in my demo that I'd made a mistake and then I also said something, defensively, which also wasn't true. I said:
'If you say, Health and happiness are important to me, that's singular. Health and happiness are one.' I was just in such a dwaal.
I didn't want to dwell on this, this morning, because it is just silly stuff.
This morning I woke up, despite so much sleep, feeling really really tired.
I was wondering, sipping tea and honey, what it was I did to allow myself to get so sick. I don't believe sickness happens to us, it doesn't just happen, at some point, we consent to it, by the things we do, or are too lazy to do.
So I think it is a combination of things. My exit from South Africa was profoundly stressful, given that my body was tired, and the rush to organise and pack and get a lot of things done just meant I didn't have time to really think about what I was doing. I was trying to do that, and soak in the sunshine, in the few scattered moments of peace after the Ironman.
It was also hard leaving behind someone I had grown really attached to, and having my cellphone stolen at the airport added a lot of unnecessary emotion to an already draining experience.
So that is the foundation of stress that can lead to illness. I was in a way responsible for the cellphone. It probably would have been more prudent to have kept it in my pocket. I'll know next time.
Once in Korea I needed to get my sleep patterns in order, and although I made some valid attempts, I needed to have suffered a bit more to finally get into a good day/night sync. I know for at least a week I was going to sleep at 6am, and waking up at 5pm, which is roughly the pattern in South Africa. 5pm in Korea is 10am in SA.
The next thing that stressed me out a lot, was wiring money to Marelize Slabber in South Africa, to pay for the phone I'd borrowed from her. I wanted to get all the loose ends done through her, including topping up my credit card, paying my sister for a very old unpaid cellphone bill, and keeping some money in my account in SA where it can grow with a lot more interest. I emailed her beforehand to find out whether she was prepared to help me, and felt that I could relie on her. It was important to get my money out of the Korean Savings Account because it had been sitting here for 3 years at 1-2% interest per annum.
It boggled my mind when she said she'd received the money, but I guess she must have heard some rumor about money laundering or something. She told me she had received 'expert advice' and then grew really suspicious of what I was doing, and she said she wasn't going to have anything to do with the money. So she wired the money back.
It cost a lot to wire it there, over R1000, and the exchange rate didn't do me any favors coming back, the same money I wired to myself (basically) came back minus R1500. That's annoying.
I know a large part of what adds unnecessary stress is our own psychology, particularly in this simple thing: what you resist persists, so accept and do what you can do to improve, to flourish in your life. I find I am often resisting, and I hate to say it, complaining. I mean this post is ample evidence of that. It needs to be habituated out of behaviour. I guess the good way to do that is by going:
what's happening? okay now what can I do?
At the same time I ordered some books on Amazon, and once I confirmed the order saw that I had about 10 books, 5 of which were being shipped separately. I was paying, again, another $50 or so just for shipping. I tried to cancel orders, and some were successful, some weren't. I just got the feeling that you work, you labor to make money, and then the dodge tricks, and well meaning intentions from friends (that are ultimately misinformed and costly), all that time you spent working, and saving, not catching a taxi to save money, eating rice and pieces of fish instead of something more expensive, all those small savings got wiped out because you were essentially tricked by other people not caring about your money, or trying to scrape some off for themselves.
These aren't the rantings of a greedy person, it's really an ode to lost youth, lost time, where you've really determined to work smarter, work hard, and then you realise how hard it is to keep the precious bit that you have accumulated from just trickling out a small incision made at the bottom of the bucket at that one moment when you weren't looking.
When you waste money, you waste the time and effort that went into making it.
It's basically like realising you went to jail for nothing. That's sickening to me, and it's happened a lot recently. What can I do: get well, and get working.
Now I am back in Korea and I am here to save, and my first few weeks have just been a drain on my savings. Only in the last days of the week, did I even realise that I was paying double for my subway trips because when you transfer you have to follow the arrows away from the exits, so the turnstiles don't swallow up your tickets. Another waste.
It also agitates me that there is stealing going on wherever you are. In South Africa my cellphone was stolen. Here, it was a bicycle.
I know someone in the back row is muttering, 'Nick, that's life, get used to it.'
I am. I'm just explaining that the strain of getting used to it is why I am sick. The world is a bit sick. I listened on TV about suggestions to avoid the yellow dust. They suggest people stay indoors as much as possible. And wash themselves. Correct me if I'm wrong, but this is before the advent of radiation right. This is BEFORE any kind of nuclear event?
In terms of work, I may have made a mistake not taking that job in Hwajong. The prep time for the company I'm training with is 2-3 hours, and they provide no benefits at all, which makes that spectacular looking salary a lot less spectacular. It's hard then to justify all that prep and professionalism, when you could work for a cosy mom and pop operation, in a relaxed environment, and earn about the same amount. Do I need to feel important or better than the other teachers here, by joining this company, when the bottom line, the bottom line pay is essentially the same. No.
When they ask us to be 'passionate' I wonder whether it is not a subtle way of requiring as to work hard at following every procedure and every detail like robots.
I'm 33 and I'd like to think I will possibly not attend another job interview, or look at the classified section in the paper (for a job) again in my life. I'd like to think so, and I'd like to bring my life to the poijt where that is a reality.
Sorry about all the griping. I'll try to be more positive as I become healthy again.
Outside spring is springing quite beautifully. Looks a bit like Christmas - lots of pink and white blossoms in the trees.
The flower festival is going on in the park 5 minutes from here. That's quite a big deal for this area, and a lot of people from Seoul and elsewhere come to check it out.
I"m going to spend today reading.