A couple of friends made the comment this past week that the way people see me is as extremely capable and maybe almost too much so as I’m on a path to burn out. I like to think I don’t wear my heart on my sleeve, but coming back from vacation, my mind has been slogging through mud this week. I don’t feel “rested”.
Things are going very well on many fronts at home- with husband and children- and work- with my boss. Haven’t nailed that balance for myself yet, but the hypnotherapy recordings and also some meditation practices have been helpful when I start to feel the world spinning out of control (help- I want off!) I certainly feel like my coping “toolset” has improved. I’ve been a bit distracted from the weight-loss goals but am trying to forgive myself that I can only focus on so much at one time. I have not been binging which is excellent. Overall our eating habits have been quite good. My missing piece is carving the time out for exercise. I’ll have a good pattern for a week or two and then bam- back to working long hours, or the kids are sick, or I’m not sleeping well, etc. I have to carve out some time that’s just mine- regardless of what is happening around me.
A friend from elementary school passed away a couple of weeks ago- and i hadn’t seen her in years. Good memories of her as a child, warm, always smiling and laughing. Most recently 39 yrs old, 2 time breast cancer survivor, extremely active athlete and mud-runner- running a Montessori school and teaching. And she had a brain aneurysm one day in class and died the next day. She left behind a large community of friends, family and children who loved and admired her, and she was a good and positive influence in this world. That has been a brutal reminder about how precious life is and how being “present” for my children and husband is truly the most important thing. What “i do” st work cannot be the extent of what defines me. It could all be over in a moment- wham!
My husband learned at work this week about a man from work, killed in a head on collision when a car crossed the center divide on Folsom Lake Crossing. He leaves behind a wife and 18 month old child. We’re trying to discuss in “parent code” by spelling and Joey picked up enough to understand that someone’s daddy had died. We had this grave conversation with him. Yea Joey is learning to spell! But sad that we can’t protect him from these harsh realities. It’s hard to remember sometimes that he’s this little thoughtful and warm hearted person- when he spends so much of his free time fighting with or poking at his brother. In order to be completely “present” for my family I need to be “present” for myself- and my energy account is still a bit low.
I think the realization that I’m coming to is that I think I want to do some career planning. Maybe tap into more of my hypnotherapist’s Professional Life Coach services. For the past 19 years I have defined myself through what “I do” so much that my identity is very mixed up. It’s hard to know if it’s work that’s keeping me unsettled, if it’s just me still avoiding some of my own rooted issues. Maybe if my work life were simpler it would be easier to find myself? Then again I might not be satisfied with a simpler job. My pattern is that I tend to have about a 7 1/2 year run at a given company, with 3 or more moves within that company during that time. It’s a lot of change and movement where each experience builds on the last. In my last two companies I didn’t necessarily run out of things to do- it was just different opportunities and different positions in life and I knew it was time to move on. I’m coming up on my 5 year anniversary with this company and I sincerely would like to spend as much of my career with this company as possible. I feel emotionally zapped and stretched thin at work. I don’t know how much of it is the work versus just me being flighty. Other managers around me are feeling the same- all overwhelmed and the perpetual machine of demands never stops. Many have “jumped ship” to move to other companies to seek life-balance and they’ve been very happy with their moves. I see a few possibilities:
1) I’m sensing the “7-year itch” a little early and just need to dig in and stay put.
2) The place I work is a bit insane and maybe I should look around at other companies. My reasons for staying may be too idealistic and for the wrong reasons.
3) Maybe I shouldn’t be a manager- maybe it’s too taxing for me and I should potentially look for a way to stay in the company but go back to being an individual contributor.
4) Maybe I need to go back to school to build on my current skills and knowledge. I should go back for my masters or additional certifications even being in the position that I’m currently in right now. I think that for my next career/ company change that I might want to go into teaching at the college/ university level. Either way I need more school and have a hard time forming a plan to know when the time will be right to go back and do that. I should have done all of this before having kids- and now school could be one more thing that draws on my energy.
5) Maybe because of my current life situation my 10 year plan should be for as little career change as possible until my kids are older. Then I can go back to school and move into teaching. So I should dig in where I’m at or find something with an acceptable level of demands and stress elsewhere.
6) Maybe all of this is because I’m turning 40 next year and feel like time is fleeting. Maybe I’m panicking and this is all in my head.
7) Maybe I should put the career stuff out of my head and get back to basics with the weight loss.
8) Maybe I’m in a panic because of the approaching holiday season with new food and time/ demand challenges. Have a mountain of work to complete before the end of the year too and maybe I need to add to my coping toolset.
Sorry for the long and scattered brain dump- but I’m looking for some guidance where to go next. In your experience would some career/life planning potentially help clear a path? Or is this avoidance and we should get focused to fortify my coping mechanisms to get through 4th quarter this year? Either way I need to book an hour with my hypnotherapist/ life coach to come up with a plan. A plan will help me feel grounded.