compartmentalization: divide into sections or categories.
i’m excellent at compartmentalizing-well as long as there is only one compartment. that’s a kind way of saying an amoeba probably does a better job at compartmentalizing than i do.
without the ability to separate and segregate, some little perturbation seemingly scatter my life, like a house of cards. How useful would a car be in the light in the glove box went out would cause the tires to fall off. unfortunately, that happens far to often, for me.
about a month ago, my life was cruising. everything seemed to be pointing up. all seemed well. I took a job painting some cabinets for a friend of Mary’s. I have three and half years painting experience and I had single-handedly painted another kitchen. this one would be a little bigger, but no prob.
i requested a paint that would have fit the bill just fine. the owner, with my warning of my lack of knowledge with a second product, would lead to great uncertainty, selected another paint. I wish I never used that word, uncertainity.
first i used regular painting technique and had dust all over the doors. My first bout of frustration came wondering how to fix the dust problem. after employing painter’s “clean room” techniques, i got on top of the dust problem. not without the problem oozing to other parts of my life. the one compartment syndrome began. i can’t remember the last time I snapped at Mary, but i did three times in two days. I knew the fire started but i didn’t know how to put it out.
then the second problem reared its ugly head. the paint was and is very persnickety. I struggled to get a smooth coat on the doors. I slowly succeeded whittling the problem down to the seven “problem doors”. as hard as i tried I wondered if i’d ever finish those doors. frustration increased even further than before. it is easy to say that the paint selection has added at least a week to the job. some of the doors will be getting the eighth, that right, the eighth coat, of paint still trying to get things right. i started to take my frustrations out on other friends, while Mary got another emotional black eye or two.
then came time to start mounting the cabinet doors. the hinges were euro hinges which allow for a clean front and muy adjustability. the thing is i had never installed said hinges before. i enter the school of hard knocks and after 6 hours, i had 2, count ’em, 2 doors successfully installed. let’s see, 25 doors, 3 hours per door, but two doors installed, i only had another 36 hours to install the cabinet doors. imagine my frustration, now. still more wounded wandered in life and Mary took an ied or two.
and if that wasn’t enough, I have an anniversary, a biggie, 25 years and a party to follow a few days after that. initial plans had me done with paint some two weeks ago, leaving me plenty of time to help and finish stuff around the house. just so you know, i knew and recognized about the dwindling time. more frustration. and as if i needed any other reminders, Mary reminded me about next week. oh great, pile on the broken kid. additionally the ooze continued as i doubted my capabilities in an area that I at least have competency if not do well.
so, where do things stand? there are now ten doors installed, still about 4 doors that haven’t taken paint properly, yet, and an anniversary in less than a week and an anniversary party 4 days after that. oh, and btw, no,stress, no frustration, no anger. hah! if only this or if only that. there are just far to many things to second guess. one thing is certain, a little dust, a little paint, a little cabinet door hanging has left my life a living mess. if i could have only kept the paint job in its own little compartment, the paint job would be screwed but the rest of my life would be okay. instead, the out of control nature of dust, paint, and door hanging has oozed like hot lava into every corner of my life.
all i ask, all i want is some semblance of control back in my life. maybe not the mythical “total” control but at least enough to repair my now shambled life. additionally, i have to wonder how this lack of compartmentalization feeds into my depressive cycles. one little thing wrong sends my life into a tail spin, hopefully avoiding the big “d”.
addendum: i now realize when I lose control, in one of its many forms, it robs me of my energy. Without that energy for myself, it makes it hard to help others more or less share where i’m really at. huh, it looks like the roots of my isolation.