T.A. Barnhart

carpe bucko

victimization

2018-08-15 victim.png

I am not a Permanent Victim, but I’m beginning to sound like one.

“There’s always something” were the exact words I heard, and I heard them in my head as I was thinking about how difficult it is to accomplish what I feel I want or need to accomplish. There are always challenges to acting according to our self-written scripts here in the real world, and there are two types of approaches to those challenges:

1, How do I adjust and adapt and move forward?

2, Why do these things always happen to me?

Yesterday, it was a number of smaller things that gave me the opportunity to not get things done. Today, it’s the air quality and heat. I rode my bike to the SE 142nd Freddies at 8:30 when it was still cool out, but because of the crap in the air, I wore my particulate mask. If you’ve never worn one of those, I can tell you this: once you’ve gone out and tried to breathe in one of those damn things makes staying inside a superior option.

I returned home, drenched in sweat, and this is a nice and easy bike ride to that store. But the work I had to do to breathe air that was filtered of shit that would exacerbate my asthma means I’m unlikely to leave the house today, and that means a few of things I would like to do are not going to happen.

Which is when the thought “There’s always something” came to mind, and, with it, the realization that I’m veering towards Permanent Victimhood.

You know what a Permanent Victim is, of course. Nothing ever goes there way. Many are poor or poverty-adjacent. They are angry. They talk endlessly about themselves, their bad luck, and the bad people who treat them so badly. They are impervious to advice and help. They look to use others, both for sympathy and for temporary respite (ironically, turning those who try to help them into victims themselves).

I do not want to be that person. I want to be the “adjust and adapt” person. I think that recognizing the PV trap is what saves me from the PV trap, so I’ve got that going for me. But I also need to undermine the life choices that make PV-hood a possibility. It’s like in sports, where a bad call by the umps or a bad bounce of the ball costs the team a game: That call or bounce only matters if the team or player fails to do put themselves in a position so they wouldn’t matter.

A lead of five runs means even a grand slam can’t beat you. A lead of one run means, if you’re the Dodgers, you will lose in the ninth inning.

So today, I’ll be indoors the rest of the day. I won’t be going to swim laps; I won’t be going to a coffeeshop to work in fresh surroundings. That’s the day I get today, so my number one task is to make lemonade out of it. 

And in late afternoon, add a splash of vodka and sparkling water.

T.A. Barnhart