I’m having one of those days. It’s Sunday, and for some reason I just feel sick to my stomach about going to work tomorrow. It’s that same feeling I get when I’ve been on vacation for a week and now I have to go back. I just don’t want to go. It’s actually making me sick. So, me being me, I have to travel down that maze of a road that is my emotions so I can analyze myself and try to get to the root of it. Guess what? You get to come with me! So put on your muck boots and jump in!
I guess I should start with I’m feeling sad, anxious and maybe even scared about going to work. That’s ok. It’s ok to feel bad. I usually try to just jump right over that and get to the good stuff. I hate feeling bad. Who doesn’t? But, sometimes we just have to. It’s normal. It’s life. Suck it up Buttercup. Ok, sucking it up here. I’m sad, and scared and anxious and that’s ok. What’s next? Next is finding out why.
Why am I feeling this way? I told you that I just started this job the beginning of July. So, I’ve only been doing it for 3 ½ months. I think one of my problems is, I don’t have any friends there. At my old job, I was fortunate enough to have a really good group of friends that I ate lunch with every day. I loved those lunches. We would sometimes laugh so hard our stomachs hurt. No matter how bad my day was, I knew I could count on them to make it better. I’m not good at making friends. I never have been. I’m shy and I just don’t like talking to people that I don’t know.
Another problem that I have is I expect myself to know how to do everything and to even be great at it right from the beginning and I’m just not. I still don’t know a lot of what I’m supposed to be doing. There’s nobody to train me because nobody in my department knows how to do it. That’s frustrating. Why wouldn’t they have a basic how-to manual labeled “This is how to do it”? I don’t know why. It doesn’t matter why. The fact is there is no manual and I have to just “fake it ‘til I make it”. That makes me anxious. I like to know what is coming at me and I like to know what I’m doing. I guess this is just life, right? I mean life doesn’t come with a manual. There’s nobody saying this will happen and you need to do this. I suppose you could say that my life is like a river. Sometimes the water is nice and calm and crystal clear and other times it’s choppy and fast and so murky you can’t see the bottom. There are twists and turns that come up, that you just don’t always see coming. Usually my life is somewhere in the middle. It’s murky, but you can see the bottom if you really try. It’s got a current, but it’s not so fast it knocks you down. It has twists and turns, but they’re usually pretty gentle and I can usually see them coming at me. Right now I feel like I just went through one of those turns and the water got choppier than I expected. So, I suppose I should put on my life jacket and try to make it back to shore without falling in.
How do I do that? I can’t just magically wave my wand and know what I’m supposed to be doing. I can’t just learn years of knowledge in a day. No I can’t. And I shouldn’t be expecting myself to. Much as I hate to admit this, I’m going to make mistakes. I’m going to mess things up. It’s just going to happen. It’s like being a kid. Kids make mistakes because they’re young and they don’t have experience. I’m a kid at this job and I don’t have the experience that other people have. Without that wand, that knowledge is not going to come overnight, so how can I feel better until then? Wait for years to go by? Nope. I’m going to practice the steps to peace.
- Take responsibility – I’ve already taken ownership of how I feel. But, I guess it’s the accepting it that’s hard. I don’t like feeling this way. I don’t like feeling alone and like I don’t know what I’m doing. Nobody said life was easy. I just have to accept that changing these feelings is up to me. I have to take responsibility for feeling sad and scared and anxious. If I want that to change, I have to take the steps to make it change. So I have to suck it up and move on to step 2.
- I don’t know what other people are thinking or feeling. This is so hard, because I just assume that I know what other people are thinking and I really don’t. I need to work harder to truly understand that my boss may not be thinking that I’m slow at catching on or that he wishes he had hired someone else. I don’t know. Maybe he does think that. I don’t know and I can’t change it. I also don’t know that students are thinking I should be doing something more or something different. I’m assuming that they spend a lot of time thinking about me and what I’m doing and they just don’t. Truth is, I’m sure they don’t think about me at all until what I’m doing affects them. Maybe they’re all happy with the job I’m doing. Maybe they aren’t. I don’t know. I could ask them. Or I could also just do my best and try to be happy with that. I need to stop doubting myself so much and be happy with the progress I’ve made. I’m doing better now than I was 3 months ago. In 3 more months, I’ll be doing even better. So I really, really, really, need to give myself a break and stop beating myself up. I’m doing the best job that I can and I’m not intentionally doing anything wrong. That’s what I’m going to work on for step 2. I’m going to stop beating myself up and thinking that people are disappointed in me. How? How do I do that? On to step 3
- Be grateful – I’m going to tell myself over and over how grateful I am to have this job and to be learning so much. I’m going to tell myself that I’m grateful for this chance to meet new people. Sounds easy, but it’s not. I have all these doubts that maybe I made a mistake leaving my old job. And truth be told, I don’t even want to work. I never thought about that until right this moment. Maybe it’s not so much that I don’t know what I’m doing as it is I don’t want to be working away from home. That might be a big part of why I’m so sad about Monday coming. I don’t want to work. I was a stay-at-home mom for years and that, for me, is the greatest job on the planet. Not because I’m lazy and don’t want to work. Not at all. But, because I love taking care of my family. I love doing things for them and being there for them. You would think now that they’re grown it wouldn’t be a big deal, but it seems to be even bigger. I want to be able to babysit my granddaughter at least one day a week. But with working, I really need my weekends to get chores done. I try to watch her every Saturday, but then I can’t get other stuff done and it just piles up. I also want to go and visit my daughter in Minnesota at least once every month. That’s a 3 day weekend. I can’t take that much time off and again, when will I get my weekend chores done? You get the point here. I’m just like about a million other people in the world. I don’t have enough time to get everything done that I need to get done and I don’t get to be with my family as much as I want to. That’s why practicing gratitude is so important. It will make what I have, feel like enough. I feel like I don’t get to see them enough and because I have to work I don’t have enough time to get everything done. So it’s super important for me to keep telling myself over and over and over that I’m so grateful for my job and I’m so grateful that I get to see my kids and grandkids as much as I do. I need to be grateful that I can talk to my daughter everyday on the phone. I need to be grateful that I don’t have to work on the weekends so that I can get things done. I need to be more grateful. If I can do that, I won’t feel like I need more or like something is missing. Maybe I won’t be so sad that I have to work. Jeesh is this one hard because I DO feel like I need more and I DO feel like something is missing. Gotta work on this. For the next month I’m going to keep working on my gratitude for my job and the time I get with my family. What’s next? Step 4
- Do unto others…… Ok, first I have to think about what I want. I want to spend more time with my family. How on earth does that fit in here? I’ve actually spent the last 5 minutes belly breathing and trying to clear my mind so God can get through my cluttered up mind to let me see how this step comes in to play. I’m not coming up with anything, so I’m just going to talk myself through it to see what happens. Here it goes. I want more time for myself so I can be with my friends and family. If I want more time for myself to be with family and friends, then I have to make more time for them. That doesn’t even make sense. How can I make more time for them if I can’t make more time for myself. Do unto others as you would have others do unto you…… Do unto others as you would have others do unto you……. Do unto others as you would have others do unto you……. Ok, stay with me here. Maybe I’m going at this wrong. What do I want other people to do for me? I want my boss and students to be understanding of me as I learn my new job and I want my family to spend time with me. Ok, so flipping that around, I need to be understanding of my boss and students if they get upset with me for making mistakes or being slow. It’s ok if they’re disappointed. I can’t take that personally. I can’t take their feelings on. I just have to understand that they need to feel that way and let it go. Ok, but what about my family? I want to be available to spend time with them so I want them to be available to spend time with me?! That doesn’t even make sense! How is that doing unto others as you would have them do unto you? I’m stumped. Help me out here God. Ok. What if……. What if I’m still looking at it wrong? I want to be there for them…..right? I want to help them….. right? My problem is I don’t feel like I have enough time. I wake up at 3:45 am to exercise and get ready for work, I get home at 4:45 pm and I go to bed at 8:00 pm. My problem is where do I fit all of my weekend chores in there so I can be with family on the weekend? Do unto others as you would have others do unto you…….. Ok I want someone to give me more time so I guess I have to give more time. Does that make any sense at all? How am I supposed to give more time if I need more time? Ok, I’m going to try this. I’m going to try to move my weekend chores (getting groceries, cleaning, mowing the yard, cooking for the week) to the week days. That way my weekends will be free for family. Does that sound right? Do unto others as you would have others do unto you….. I want more time for family so I need to make more time for family. Right? Am I seeing this right? I think so. I’m going to stop whining about it and for the next month, I’m going to start doing my weekend stuff during the week so I can devote my weekend to family. That should, in theory, make me more content. I’ll let you know how it goes. I can’t quit my job to be a stay-at-home grandma, but I can arrange my schedule so that I can see my family as much as possible. This is going to wear me out. I guess that’s where step 5 comes in.
- Relaxation & Visualization – I need to relax and take care of myself. I need to visualize myself getting things done and staying calm. I also need to visualize myself being calm at work, even if I don’t know what I’m doing. Every time I start to get down on myself I’m going to be my own cheerleader. I’m going to tell myself that I’ve learned a lot in the short time that I’ve been there and that it will just keep getting better. I’m also going to tell myself that I am a good mom and grandma and if I can’t be with them as much as I want, that’s ok. I’m doing my best and I love them. At night, before bed, I’m going to practice visualization. I’m going to start in my happy place (mountain meadow) and make sure that I’m completely relaxed and calm. Then I’ll see myself doing my job well and people being happy with my work. I’ll follow that with making a mistake at work and someone being disappointed in me, but I stay calm – knowing I did the best I could. From there I’m going to see myself making time to be with my family by doing extra work on the weekdays and feeling ok about that – not feeling rushed and overworked.
I told you I am a work inn progress. How did I get from I don’t want to go to work Monday to I want to quit my job and spend more time with my family? I have no idea. I’ll let you know how this all works out.
Do you have any questions or comments for me? I hope so. Let me know what you think. I would love to hear from you!
Wishing you all the peace in the world,