Sure, it's a bit demoralising to already be aware of the unpleasantness which may occur, but at least it lacks the elements of surprise and disappointment, and in many cases it's possible to plan ahead and ameliorate the experience. I hope to be able to use this tactic in the following two important areas.
1. Unfortunately the post-operative complications I mentioned in earlier posts mean that I have to go back to hospital later this week for more surgery. This is depressing enough in itself, because it means undoing 4 weeks of healing and starting almost from the beginning again, with the accompanying limitations to daily life, activity, and general well-being. But in addition I am now more aware than previously just how dispiriting a place hospital can be, largely due to the sad loss of the "TLC ethic" in favour of "performance markers" and "duty-of-care", and other similarly fatuous socio-politico-legal phrases.
However, I am now ready to take a much more active role during my stay, even at the risk of not being considered a "good" patient (ie quiet, undemanding and compliant).
- Instead of meekly waiting for a suitably qualified staff member to wander past so that I can ask for assistance, I will make much more use of the bell.
- Rather than smiling inanely at the people who enter and leave my room without speaking or even looking at me, I shall greet them cheerily and ask about their role and the purpose of their visit.
- And I will remind each and every person to turn off the spotlight and return my bedside trolley within reach when they have finished attending to me.
Yes I'm afraid this time I will definitely be a "pain".
2. Since my return to ODP/DMOZ a month ago, and for similarly self-protective reasons, I have adopted almost the opposite tactic (equally uncharacteristic for me).
Sadly, I have still not recovered from the shock of having my previous efforts devalued and publicly ridiculed by community management, so this time I am making much greater use of an already well-practised Ostrich Attitude to matters outside my immediate control. I admit that it still feels very strange to be working in a state of semi-isolation, because I used to put a lot of effort into what I saw as essential teamwork, but I now understand why so many of my volunteer colleagues long ago retreated to similar positions.
One of my greatest enjoyments as an editor was the interaction and friendship with people from all over the world, and unfortunately it's quite a fine line between serenity and loneliness, but I am gradually learning to balance the two.
Wish me luck with both of the above endeavours!