Archives for posts with tag: life beyond work

I only just noticed I was already “at the office” and working, rather than fully here in this place, in this moment. I left the office with an important piece of work completed, but with room to take it further, to correlate more details, to consider more variables, to increase the complexity… and was so deeply involved in it that my day ran well past the usual time, quite by mistake. I spent last evening continuing to think about work, barely aware that I was, but I certainly wasn’t fully in that moment, either. Eventually, I went to bed. This morning I woke from dreams of working, and filled my head with further thoughts of work. An hour after waking, I notice. Coffee cup is empty, no recollection of drinking it, half-finished email to myself (addressed for my work email address) with some notes for further work waiting to be sent. I take a deep breath and step back from the work, and make a second cup of coffee.

This mindfulness thing takes practice. 🙂

Another couple deep breaths, a few minutes spent pulling my consciousness from the sticky mud of this enticing work assignment. A second cup of coffee. Time spent becoming awake and aware and present here, now. I notice, too, that I’m still in my jammies and fuzzy spa socks… how have I not showered and dressed for work?? I am startled by the realization, and spill hot coffee on my keyboard and in my lap. Some fun time with swear words, and then it’s off to the shower to properly get ready for work…

This self-care thing, this adulthood thing… yep; they take practice, too. lol

Once the morning routine is back on track, I sit down to write, and catch up on things-not-work-related. The weeks seem to race by since I took on the new job… 7 months in, I guess it doesn’t count as new so much any more. lol I smile, and sip my coffee. I chuckle to myself – how fast was that shower? What’s left of my coffee is still warm.

I sit quietly sipping my coffee, and thinking about life, generally, and feeling rather content with things as they are. The house hunting is just dreadful and although I am taking a patient approach, I am entirely made of human and have some moments when I feel very discouraged. Yesterday was an example of how that can so easily develop; I noticed a listing that had sat without much interest for quite a while. Okay, why? I noticed it is listed as a HUD home, which generally means it is a fixer that my VA loan won’t be suitable for, and I don’t even go so see those… this one, though, was in fair shape, and my inexpert eye just couldn’t see a reason it wouldn’t qualify for a VA loan, so I asked to see it. It was definitely (and comfortably) in my price range, good location, and met all my minimum needs… we arranged for me to see it after work. Within an hour of firming up plans to go see it, it went pending. LOL This has happened a couple times, in a way that seems to defy likelihood. It’s every bit as irksome as making an offer on a house at several thousand dollars over list price, just hoping to have that offer considered at all, and find out later it sold to another buyer who could afford to pay not only thousands over list, but offering tens of thousands over the appraised value, which is tens of thousands of dollars over list price. I try to avoid being angered by that, but also struggle to understand why that buyer wasn’t looking at nicer homes they could afford at a higher price point? I find myself beginning to fuse with that other emotional experience, even though, here, now, everything is calm and quiet. I take a deep breath and let that go.

Being present in this moment, takes practice. 🙂

I smile over my coffee and think about going to lunch with my Traveling Partner and a friend, yesterday. It was a lovely break from the day-to-day routine, and I definitely needed a break from that work project. I laughed at the end of the day when I noticed my departure from work was delayed from my usual time by almost exactly the length of my lunch out. I felt a moment of satisfaction, as that seemed to me to be exactly as it should be. 🙂 Pleasant recollections definitely feel better than fussing and feeling discontent and aggravated by the frustrations of house hunting. Then, I notice the time. The work week is not yet over, and here it is, time to go, already.

Today is a good day to be present. Today is a good day to be and to do. Today is a good day to begin again. All of that takes practice. There are verbs involved. 🙂

I’m nearing a year on a very important journey; I find it easier to measure the distance in life’s journey using units of time, rather than distance.  It has been a most singularly choice-driven year of growth for me. It is no surprise to me, considering the matter, looking ahead to future years, looking back on years past, this year is defined by my choices.  It hasn’t always been so obvious to me.

Going the distance isn't about someone else's destination.

Going the distance isn’t about someone else’s destination.

My difficult day at work, at the start of the week, culminated in a profound moment of self-respect, consideration of my own needs over time, self-compassion, and real regard for the work I’m putting into myself to heal and be whole. I’ve invested a lot in my own experience this year. Rather than have any piece of that derailed now, seemingly so close to… something… I made a choice, and after so many opportunities in life to choose the needs of others over my own, to support something outside what I, myself, truly value and support, the choice I made this time is for me.  I resigned from my current employment, and only a few days remain to rise before the dawn and walk in to this office each morning.

I don’t write much about work, in part because I don’t define myself by how I am employed – nor do I define others by what they do to earn a living. I look for something beyond that in the people who are my friends and associates. There was a strange disconnect in my values there, that finally became a challenge. A new bit of life’s curriculum appeared on my lesson plan, because although I don’t define myself by how I am employed, I had been – for many years – allowing employer after employer to have an effect on my sense of self-worth.  The thing is  – it’s not real, any more than any other label we choose to wear.  I am at a place in my life where my needs are vastly more important – and more worthy of my attention and my time – than the needs of any one employer.  The time I spend investing in my health and wellness right now is significant, and worthwhile.  With the encouragement of my partners, I’m taking an opportunity to stop for a moment, on another level, and find stillness – and maybe clarity around my desire to find purpose, and meaning in what I do; something that has value beyond a paycheck.

I didn’t know in February that I would be capable of making a choice like this. I didn’t know I might want to. Hell, in February, I just wanted a reason to go on living. What a very long way I have come this year. What I choose to do to earn a paycheck does matter.

I’m looking forward to the holidays. I’m eager to take a break from the work routine and breathe. It’s premature to retire altogether, but I’m overdue for a break, and an opportunity to reconsider the future, my needs over time, and ‘what I might like to be when I grow up’.  There’s more to life – and success – than a paycheck.  We each define who we ourselves are – and this year, I have changed the way I define myself.

Today I am content, and I am optimistic. Today I am compassionate, and responsive to my own needs. Today… I will change the world.

 

My day started wonderfully well yesterday. Calm, strong, confidant, I enjoyed the walk to the office. Along the way, I passed the spot where someone else, on their own journey, regularly stacks a number of rocks. They are often tumbled down by someone else, on a very different trajectory in life, and that was the case yesterday morning. It touched me and being moved I stood motionless in consideration.

I really find value and a moment of stillness and calm in that stack of rocks, so carefully balanced. I didn’t question that feeling, simply stood and experienced the moment. Then…

I stacked the rocks.

I stacked the rocks.

A humble offering, a moment of gratitude for the serenity that short pillar of balanced stones has offered me so many mornings. As I walked away, I wondered how long it would remain.

On the other side of an extraordinarily unpleasant stressful day at work, during which I had many opportunities to deploy new tools, practice new skills, and discover depths of strength and character I did not know I had within myself, I walked home. I felt aggravated. I felt disrespected. I felt unappreciated.  My walk was aggressive, fast paced, and my heels struck the ground on every step, rather than seeming to move softly over the surface of my experience. I felt angry to the point of wanting very much to define myself as anger.

Then I got to the pillar of stones I had stacked in the morning, still standing there so still and strong. Hot angry tears held back with such discipline during the day spilled out and coursed down my cheeks. I stood, still. I felt my feelings and really gave them the room they need, instead of trying to steady myself and gently hush my spirit. I’d done what I had to, it was finally time for me. I stood and I wept and I felt the strength of my breath, and the simple power of acknowledging choice and will.

I walked on feeling calmed. I got home and my loving family was there to greet me and the evening was gentle and nurturing. Other challenges were set aside for the moment, and we built instead of destroying. No railing against the unfairness of it all, no hours of dissecting the who and the why of every painful moment. I was content to be home, to be safe, to be valued.  As I drifted off to sleep – which surprisingly enough came with relative ease – I heard the voice of a favorite cartoon character in my head “I learned something today…”

Today, I am strong. I am compassionate. I am open to change. Reason? Purpose? Value? I have them in good quantity, and they are my own to make use of as I will.  Today, I will change the world.