Saturday, September 8, 2012

Life lessons

(SYLC 35)

Anyone who's been reading my posts lately knows I'm a bit obsessed with Sarah Wilson and her blog. Ever since I spotted her I Quit Sugar program and the fact that she's a bike nut I've been following her reflections.

A few months ago she took off for some time out in Europe and it read like a journey of discovery. I know the power of solo travel, it's a raw experience that can give you the space to reflect on life without the usual distractions. My trip to Europe in March was the first time in many years I'd been away without having to study or work during the trip. Liberating, to put it mildly.

Stockholm archipelago, Sweden

The amazing thing was while away I totally relaxed which is something I'm not at all good at. There were days at a time where I had no distractions other than a book, no internet to suck my time so I just got on with soaking in my surroundings and moving with the rhythm of wherever I happened to be. I'd sit in a cafe for hours at breakfast, drinking tea and watching the locals go about their lives. In Sweden I fell into their relaxed pace of life. There was no plan, no agenda, I went with the flow and listened to my body. Wonderful.

Ax-les-Thermes, France

Vow as I may that when I get back from these trips I'll keep the feeling of being relaxed and alive, it never happens. I just fall back into the same pattern of running running running.

But I'm tired of running. I yearn for an inner calm and that feeling I had when the sun warmed my back on those chilly mornings in Stockholm. Lately more than ever I feel like I've been taking on the weight of the world - especially at work.

Three weeks ago I cracked and decided enough was enough. A friend suggested acupuncture which has been pretty amazing. I hate needles so was skeptical but I've found that two hours lying in a dim, quiet room with needles all over me is unbelievably calming. 

Yet what I really need to address are the feelings that I am responsible for the work of other people who are not performing, and that I need to carry the load where no-one else will. When I look back I've been doing it all my life. Talking to my friend P the other day he said some wise words.

"Sometimes in life things keep coming back to us 
until we learn the lesson they are trying to teach us"

I was stopped dead in my tracks. I knew what it was. I don't like to fail. As simple as that. Letting work from my area go undone even though it's not mine would be like a failure. Leaving work to go to the gym when things are needing to be addressed would letting others down - a kind of failure. But the reality is the only person I'm failing while I continue on this path is myself. Big time.

So I need to fail. Openly. I need to admit I can't do it all and just let it not get done. I need to hold others accountable as while I continue to cover for them they will continue to under perform. I need to let them fail. I need to let work not get done and make it evident that the staff shortage needs to be addressed.

Scary thought for someone like me but also strangely freeing. Its really time I spent less time trying to make things right for everyone else, to slow down and make them right for me instead.

4 comments:

  1. well done! It is so hard to figure out what is going on between the lines of our lives and you have done it perfectly. I really hope you can ease the burdens on yourself and make things right for you xo

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    1. Casojaha it is exciting to have made this discovery. Now the hard bit - addressing it. Watch this space!

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  2. Oh wow! What an amazing discovery to make about yourself. I love your quote, I often find I get stuck in a "why does this keep happening?" frame of mind and now I see that it's because I probably haven't learned my lesson yet. I wish you all the best as you navigate this new approach and try to take back some time for yourself...the photos you included evoke a peace and calm that would be so awesome in everyday life, eh?!

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    1. Thanks Bethmarie. Those pics are from my trip earlier in the year - both places I felt relaxed, alive and inspired. I so want to feel like that everyday. I'm working on it...but I'm not all that patient ;-)

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