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Monday, September 26, 2011

Awfulizing

I waste a great deal of time and emotional energy in awfulizing.  Do you do this too?  Something happens…it may be significant, or it may be completely trivial.  But then I start thinking about the worst thing that can happen as a result.  That horrid scenario becomes more and more real in my mind, and I play it through again and again…if this horrible thing happens, here’s what I will say, here’s what I will do, here is how I will feel.

It happened twice in just the last day or so.

In the first instance, I had an argument in IMs with one of the managers of the New Resident Services group.  She also happens to be the owner of one of the help islands where I do a lot of greeter and mentoring work.  The cause of the argument was my fault…I made an announcement in the group chat for my Introduction to Cybering class.  She took exception to that, because she felt that the subject material was not suitable for a PG group.  I disagree – the class meets Linden Lab’s requirements for a PG activity.  There is no nudity, no strong language, no explicit sexual animations.  The raciest activity is chat emoting while on a pair of kiss poseballs.  However, she certainly has a right to her opinion, and the class does talk about adult topics, in the same frank way that a middle school sex education class would. 

It’s not a class that is intended for teens – in fact, I explicitly advise underage residents not to lie about their age to get into Moderate and Adult areas.  However, if some kids did show up, I don’t feel that anything in the class would traumatize or corrupt them.  It’s not like 16 year olds don’t know about this stuff.

In any case, it’s her group, and she has a perfect right to ask me not to do that again.

But I started, in my head, to jump ahead of the actual argument.  I imagined her kicking me out of her mentor group, and banning me from her island.  I was angry, frustrated, and indignant.  Some or all of that may happen…but my point here is that it has not happened yet, and may not happen at all.  So why does my stupid mind keep dwelling on it?

And it happened again, just before I sat down to write this entry.  The Resident Geek is off visiting his mother, and is returning today.  It’s a long drive, about 13 hours or so.  I called his cell phone, just to check on his progress and chat for a minute…and he did not pick up.  I knew about where he had to be, and it was not time for him to stop for gas or a break.  He should have picked up the phone.  I started to imagine reasons why he hadn’t…an accident!  He might be hurt!  He might be dead!!  The whole scenario started to play in my head…getting the call from The Authorities.  Calling my mother in law.  The funeral.  Dealing with our investments, our creditors, the projects we have in work.
Thank goodness, he called a few minutes later – it was just some phone glitch and his calls were all going straight to voice mail.

I blame the whole thing on my mother.  She was the world’s worst awfulizer.  No matter what someone did, especially me, according to her it was always sure to be headed straight for disaster.  I’m pretty sure I inherited at least some of her awfulizer genes.

Thanks a lot, Mom. 

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