Embracing polysemy, I declare this upcoming workshop to be both a sign and a problem, thus making it an opportunity:
To figure out what I really want to do
To face my fear over professional failure
To push myself
To make time for myself
To practice just getting things done and moving forward.
After realizing how close it was to the event, I opted not to cancel and to go ahead with the workshop. I reached out more to colleagues for advice, and decided to stress less.
Today I called the office to learn a few more details about the event, including how many people to expect. Tonight I was able to put together a 3-page e-hand-out for participants and wrestle the outline into something workable. A bit more time on it, and I’ll have something acceptable to present. Yes, I really really wish I would make more time and do a better job. But I won’t do that right now, so I’m happy with figuring out what a good level of effort would be and providing that.
Incidentally, I think that may be one of the main lessons from my doctoral program: don’t overthink it, and don’t work harder than you have to (otherwise known as work smart, not hard). While this advice fails in a number of ways (note my lack of an academic career), it certainly makes for a more pleasant experience.
I don’t want to work.
At least, I don’t want to work on a project for my business. I applied to do this workshop months ago, and assumed that by late August I’d have the energy and enthusiasm to pull it off. I’ve had a couple of months of just family time, caring for my daughter, cooking, reading, all the home nesting things that I love.
How come I can’t drag my attention to this workshop on a cool topic that I proposed myself? Why do I feel completely over my head? Where is my professional edge, driving me to succeed?
What I would much, much rather spend my time doing: Caring for my daughter. Organizing our family recipes. Continuing cleaning out, purging, organizing and making attractive every corner of our home. Writing. Developing an author’s website. Reading. Reading about home schooling. Planning home schooling. Visiting with friends. Researching nutrition for our family and planning out better meals. Sewing. Crafting. Walking. Doing any of dozens of mini-projects we have for our family, from the arenas of health through finance through spiritual development to disaster preparedness.
My heart is in my home. My energy is in my home. What can I learn from my complete lack of energy for this workshop? Should I – SHOULD I – push myself to do it? It’s not like work is fun for everyone all the time. Count my blessings, learn to do the hard work and do it.
I have a unique opportunity right now to choose where I expend my energy. I have the support of my spouse to select and pursue the path that is most true to my heart. I can see clearly where my heart is not – therefore, have the courage to say no to the opportunity/ball & chain.
What is it about overcast skies that makes me so hopeful, in such a particular way?
Pushing baby on the swing in the park today, watching the trees glow in reflected light, I felt invigorated as I considered the direction my life might go. The direction is inwards, homewards, family-wards. I thought about home schooling and smiled. I reflected on our fall schedule and felt the energy surge through me. I tapped on some work activities I’ve been dreading and acknowledged with gratitude the ability to not do them. Reading, food preparation, crafts, community, learning, writing … all centered on home, and all rendered particularly magnetic and real as the clouds close in.
In the end, it barely drizzled, and the sun did break through, but the morning’s resonance leaves me excited about this new direction, glad to recognize how true it is for me if not for the world around.