16 October 2009

How I get home

My job. It can be difficult.

I have a theory, a kind of rule-to-govern-my-professional-interactions, that everyone (almost everyone?) carries around this impression, this sense, this subconscious attitude, that their job is "The most difficult job in the world." Remembering this when I have to deal with other people, especially people at work, helps me to meter my expectations, and my reactions to their reactions, too. If I remind myself that they're usually thinking "He has no idea how busy I am. How can he be asking me to do this? Doesn't he know how hard my job already is?" I find I'm way less surprised by the ways people react when we interact, and then we're usually on track toward having some sort of mostly-positive collaboration.

The same thing tends to be true when people ask me to do stuff, I think... And lately, I've been trying to proactively counter my natural inclination to think or project the attitude that "I've got the hardest job in the world" on my end, too. I've been trying to kind of actively push those thoughts aside when people ask me to do stuff or make demands on my time. I dunno if it's working, but I hope it is.

'Cause the truth is, my job, it can be difficult. And I should remind you: you have no idea how difficult it really can be. I know, I chose it. And have (almost?) had chances to get out of it. Plus, I know: I have no real obligations to keep doing it, even though it (almost?) pays the bills and is (almost?) basically secure.

But, seriously, working with nine-year-olds (to say nothing about teachers, administrators, nurses, counselors, speech therapists, OT/PT specialists, secretaries, receptionists, aides, and sundry other school support staff-types) everyday, day after day, for years and years and years... Let's just say: It can get taxing.

There are lots of ways to keep your sanity in any demanding job working with all sorts of demanding people (who may or may not intend to be demanding), students and/or coworkers alike. Some of us turn to drink. Others spend wildly. Many quit for greener pastures.

Me? I ride my bike home everyday. For two reasons. One: my family is home. And I love my family.

And Two: because this is my ride home, and it rocks...

05 October 2009


I visited the best known of our 3 or 4 local lavatubes* with my brothers and some of their kids this weekend. The older boys came up from Scottsdale with their Jr. High church youth group and met up with the rest of us out in the woods on Saturday afternnon. Phoenix, apparently bored after a morning of leaf-peeping, was out at the lavatube in-force, too, so there was quite a crowd all along the tube's 3800' distance. One group of out-of-towners even managed to crawl out of the cave only to find one of their party missing-in-action, necessitating an urgent call to the county Search and Rescue crew, helicopter and all [Update 07 October: they found her safe and sound]. Exciting. Crowded. A bona fide natural wonder.

* Other local lavatubes and caves that come to mind:
  • The much-shorter, way-harder-to-find but very awesome Slate Lake Cave north of Kendrick Peak near Slate Mountain.

  • The otherwise nameless but still quite legitimate and somewhat tricky-to-find Ice Cave (a collapsed lavatube) near the Sycamore Rim Trail.

  • The closed-to-the-public Ice Cave at Sunset Crater.

  • Any and all of the truly uncountable, thoroughly unmapped volcanic caves, tunnels, and cracks along the base of Mount Elden

May your trails be crooked, winding, lonesome, dangerous, leading to the most amazing view. -- Ed Abbey