Bending, not breaking


At least that is what I would view my current frame of mind.  My boss and my boyfriend may beg to disagree. 

Last week was a 7o hr week at work, the week before 65, and this week may likewise break 60.  So, it’s not hard to imagine that I’m getting a little tired and cranky.  Until this last Monday I was handling it somewhat gracefully.  Sure, I was loopy, but there was no yelling or tears.  But, this last Monday I finally lost it.  And while there is little residual damage – I merely broke down in tears in front the boss (he started it!  He asked me how I was doing.  I mean, come on with that kind of provocation who wouldn’t come unglued?), and then screamed an expletive-filled rant at the boyfriend (again, he started! He called to see how I was doing.  I mean, how much concern can one woman take??).  I did, however, hold my tongue with my co-worker who I am truly angry at.  While I do need to address things with her, this is not the time to do so.

But, I’m better now.  A little sleep and a change in expectations, and I’ll get through another week . . . and then another . . . and another.  I hope to finally get some time off  in, oh, February.  My colleague has opted to take a long vacation right after we go live and leave me covering her unstable apps as well as mine.  Grrrrrr.

On the way home from work last night, I realized during all this drama, I had pretty much forgotten the dharma.  My meditation practice has been in the toilet and now lacking a regular spiritual community,  it’s pretty easy to forget many of the ethical guidelines by which I tried to live my life.   It’s not like I have become part of the criminal element, or even one of the Spears girls, but even relaxing my standards a bit makes me feel a bit guilty. 

It’s mostly my mouth that has gotten out of control.  I’m angry at my colleague and rather than be an adult about it, I’m talking shit behind her back.  It’s juvenile and wrong, I know.  But, it can be such a delicious way of bonding with another person who likewise doesn’t like the person we’re dishing.  My anger feels righteous, and it’s fun to be snarky and bitchy.  Yet, I know it’s wrong, which makes it less fun.

I am even knowingly breaking one of my Pratimoksha vows:

  • Abstaining from killing
  • Abstaining from stealing
  • Abstaining from lying
  • Abstaining from sexual misconduct (basically cheating)
  • Abstaining from intoxicants

No, I shan’t say which one I’m breaking.  🙂  But, I know I am breaking my vows and I do regret it.  But, at the same time, I think it is the one where the only harm is done is to yourself, so I’m cutting myself some slack.

There are a lot of things I can learn from this experience, but I’m still in it so it’s a bit early to reflect. 

Oh, and Happy Holidays?  I hear a major holiday is right around the corner.  At least that’s the rumor I heard somewhere around the office. 


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