October 18, 2018

Detrimental Mediocrity

I Googled this because I was curious to see if it was really a thing.  Apparently it is!  But each link on the first page referenced employment in some manner or life in general.  

What if a person doesn't have a mediocre life but does mediocre things for others?  When treating themselves they buy tickets to their favorite sports game or explore a new restaurant on a regular basis.  They take full advantage of anything that makes them feel happy and fulfilled.  That's what they will do for themselves.

For those around them, on the other hand...

"Well I did the best I could!"  
Really?  Did you?  Did you really do the very best thing you could do?  Did you sacrifice a little of what you do for yourself to give a little more than the bare minimum?  If the answer is anything but a verifiable 'Yes', then they are practicing detrimental mediocrity.  I say detrimental because it will end up having that kind of effect.  Friends, and sometimes family, are dropped every day because they don't put equal effort into relationships.  People stop going to restaurants or using certain services because they aren't getting good quality.  We don't condemn someone for dropping a mechanic who repeatedly damaged their car or seriously overcharged.  Fair weather friends and family are given chances until there are no more to give.  There's only so much a person can take before they have enough and move on to reliable counterparts.  

One thing we tend to say out loud is, "they knew better than that!"  Ideally, no they don't know, but once they realize they are causing harm to others and ultimately themselves, they wake up and fly right.  The more sobering fact is, yes, they absolutely know and they justify their behavior because they don't want to do any better.  
Out come the lines: 
"well this is what was done to me so that's what I do to others" 
"you came to me, I didn't ask you to"
"you expect too much"
"this is the best I can do, I'm sorry if it's just not good enough for you"

See there's this fine line between good and good enough.  Sometimes good enough simply isn't.  Yes, C work may be one person's best, but it is not The best.  (I'm not picking on anyone with genuine limitations, stick with me here)  If a person is totally capable of doing well but offers up less than that, they can't complain when it isn't looked on favorably. The most fun thing about people who do the least for others is the praise they expect for doing anything at all.  A minimal deed is seen as an amazing, praise worthy attempt at goodness.  Those around them are supposed to focus on that one small thing, not the multitude of things that should have happened, but didn't.  Any criticism of that fact gets met with a smoke and mirrors type response, "well I did X!  Why are you worried about A-V??"  Or they start picking apart the ones who point out that this could have been done better.  Personal attacks and pity parties rear their heads.  Recipients or those who go to bat for them are labelled as ungrateful or having unreasonable expectations.  The fault never lies with the selfish prick who just wanted 5 minutes of false praise.  

It's pathetic really.  When you really start noticing what certain people favor in their lives, you get a good bead on what and who they find important.  After a while, those mediocre gestures stop being effective.  Other people have to step in and make up the difference or fix a mess that is made because the best solution wasn't employed.  So then what?  Expectations hit the floor.  Relationships break down.  The losers pick themselves up, throw away the trash and start saying, "no thank you".  It takes a while for the realization to hit those who have been neglectful.  Mindful people feel remorse and try to repair the damage, but not everyone is so astute.  Others take offense to the perceived slight on their "best" and flounce away.  They sit around pulling up crocodile tears wondering why no one wants to deal with them anymore?  Instead of reflecting and trying to become a better person, it's much easier to just find a new group of suckers who buy a "they all left me" sob story.



September 07, 2018

Normal is Relative

Some days there just isn't enough coffee.  But there may be red lipstick and appetizers later.  

Apparently I'm not supposed to be venting in a "public" blog.  Ya know because those I write about might catch wind of it.  oooooo. Bad Liz, bad bad.  I'm not supposed to air the perceived transgressions of my ex, or fuss about things in life that get under my skin.  Well, I suppose maybe I'm allowed just as long as it's only to an approved source that will keep any frustrations to themselves.  Or maybe I'm supposed to continue to play my role as kicked puppy and not say anything, ever, in any capacity.  Meh.  Either way, those latter things aren't going to happen.  Getting all this crap out of my head has been therapeutic in it's own little way, I never should have slowed down.  If anyone gets referenced, inadvertently or otherwise, and takes offense, so be it.  This is my brain spillage, this is my perception of life thus far, other people have their own perception and that's OK too.  

Get offa my cloud.

Anywho.  On to the meat of today's spill.  I've been tossed back into an old pond recently.  I've rekindled with a Marine Corps buddy that I was close to years ago overseas.  It's been a sweet and bittersweet reunion.  We search for others in our crew from back then, talk about the good and bad days we had and plot our future successes.  Along with this reunion I dove into helping out a couple other buddies who have been victims of our beautiful government system.  You see, the federal government only takes care of personnel they deem worthy of their time or money.  There's no algorithm to it, to rule to follow, no rhyme or reason to how they choose those they wish to reward.  It's personal.  Every time.  This troop didn't conform exactly the way this one higher up wanted, so they are a permanent target.  This other troop did the job fine, got out, asked a single question while doing the VA dance, now they are a permanent target.  

I was finally allowed to have post surgery physical therapy for my carpal tunnel release.  (yes allowed-the surgeon kept refusing my request) I was able to go to a private clinic since the VA is crazy full right now.  The therapist did explain to me that typically the surgery goes well enough that PT isn't necessary-thus the VA surgeon's insistence that I didn't need extra help.  Typically the patient is sent home with some exercise instructions and they heal up appropriately.  Mine, however, wasn't ideal.  The length of time I dealt with the condition coupled with the severity of the nerve crush, a little extra help should not have been ignored.  I do actually have to work for a living.    

Seeing my little injustice pared next to people who have had real rights straight up denied because they didn't kiss an ass or didn't kiss the correct one slays me.  Reading about the mind games the fleet and later the VA play with people is astounding.  I know we are all brainwashed during basic training, that has to happen to develop a soldier, but to throw us back out into the world without a guide....that's just wrong.  Even the most basic, peacetime troop exits active service with bits of OCD and mild anxiety.  That's what boot camp does for you.  It rewires your brain to question little to nothing and maintain very specific standards that are hard to shake.  I haven't made a bed daily since I was discharged, but when we change sheets, I have to do it my own way otherwise I literally can't sleep in the bed.  My work desk is a strange, ordered mess and my closet is ordered very specifically...don't touch my stuff.  We all have our ticks.  

Thankfully we do have advocates who are here to help us get over the hump and fall back into some societal norms.  If I can do one little thing to help someone else who had a far worse time that I did, I'm all over it.  I don't necessarily regret my enlistment but it certainly is not a highlight of my life and I don't talk about it as if it is.  I can't imagine what it's like for those who have been cast aside.  It's those people I'd like to find some measure of justice for.  Their only crime may have been trying to live like a normal person, normal is the enemy of the state.  


Detrimental Mediocrity

I Googled this because I was curious to see if it was really a thing.  Apparently it is!  But each link on the first page referenced employm...