Adjusting to ordinary days
I have been talking about navigating seasons of transition in the irregular episodes on my podcast. I started a new role in April, going from working mostly from home during school terms to working in an office four days a week without school holidays off. It has been a monumental shift for me and my family. There was a lot to process about transition and change. But what comes next?
After almost 6 months in the role, it feels less new with somewhat established routines and rhythms. There may still be new elements to adjust to, but the intensity of the transition has settled. Now I am in a season of perseverance. This will be the same for most of you, I’m guessing. We live out our ordinary days, facing the usual demands, niggles, joys, and unexpected moments of everyday life.
In many ways, this feels foreign to me. It has been several years since I was last in a reasonably steady place due to the challenges of the pandemic, changing roles frequently, and pursuing new types of work. I realise that this muscle of doing the day-in, day-out routine of a ‘regular’ job is weak. I have to keep reminding my brain that this isn’t a short-term sprint but a marathon. I can stop scanning for what change might be looming or what opportunities I may be missing. The default of constant pivoting can be reset.
Maybe this issue is unique to me and my life, but I suspect there are others coming out of a long period of disruption or transition and figuring out how to settle again. We are used to functioning at a level of intensity that isn’t sustainable and yet now feels so normal. I found myself feeling frustrated and restless without a specific reason. It scared me as I wondered if I had made a mistake in taking on this role, even though I love the work I am doing and the people I am on a team with.
Thankfully, I know to pause and process rather than react. As I dig deeper, I recognise the drive to try to prove myself and be productive to show my worth. I see the false correlation in my mind between high intensity and importance. I have devalued the ordinary days once more as I live out a definition of success that contradicts my values. The liturgical calendar is filled with weeks of ‘ordinary time’. I want to lead myself well on these days too.
This is a work in progress- as it always is. Here are a few steps I am taking:
Redoing the Emotionally Healthy Relationships course- I have signed up to be a table leader for the next round of the School of Emotionally Healthy Leadership to dig into these concepts of slowed down spirituality and loving others well once again. (You can find out more here)
Taking time to make a cup of tea and chat with colleagues- it sounds silly, but I allow my to-do list to overrule too often.
Resuming my midday silence practice- I had let this lapse in the pull to be productive.
Making space for a creative activity with my daughter in the evenings
What is one step you could take this week to lead yourself well in the ordinary days?
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