This past month I wrote about compassionate self-discipline and I promised a three part series to be posted sometime in December about happiness.
And then, *long sigh*, life happened. I fell out of a rhythm with my practice and I completely distracted myself from moving forward with my goals as I allowed other things to cloud my mind.
Outside of the intense energy circulating the holiday season, I had entered a new job that wasn’t shaping up to be a positive experience. After a month of feeling like I couldn’t breathe I finally decided I needed to find a new job and in a completely uncharacteristic move, I quit without anything else lined up or without a single days notice.
To give some background, I was being harassed at work. As a seasonal worker my options were to 1. Suck it up, or 2. File a grievance and then work through the issues. Ultimately, though, I would end up with the same supervisor holding on to hope that things could improve but with no evidence to suggest it would.
With compassionate self-discipline in my heart, I allowed my mind to be quiet for once and went with the decision that felt best for my health. It was an easy decision to make after coming home for the -nth time crying from frustration and feeling constantly on edge.
I’ve now been “fun’-employed for two days and I have to say I feel pretty wonderful. It’s amazing what some extra time off to be human can do for the psyche. For the first time in a long time, I’ve been able to consciously choose to spend my time relaxing instead of being the task master and it has brought me the chance to see old friends, be present with Cooper, and do some much needed self-TLC. The ironic thing? I’m being incredibly more productive than I ever was when I had that task-master voice in the back of my head judging me for watching Netflix instead of figuring out how the next decade of my life will unfold. I’ve applied to fifteen jobs, had three interviews and set up three more, went to my internship, finished some homework, cleaned the whole apartment and did some laundry, and cooked breakfast this morning for Cooper and I.
I’m finding it funny how much this education is challenging my belief on productivity. I’ve spent a great deal of my childhood being the type-A one, constantly planning and working towards accomplishing goals. Nothing would give me greater satisfaction than checking off a bunch of things on a to-do list. By the end of the day, though, the feeling of fulfillment just wasn’t there. I allowed myself to become so buried in tasks that stepping away to do something I enjoyed filled me with stress because it was time “wasted”, time that could be better spent on getting things done.
Now that I’m allowing myself to consciously choose my next step without the aid of a to-do list lingering in the background, I’m finding my understanding of productivity shifting. What’s really productive is choosing to spend my time how I want to spend it in that moment and feeling satisfied that I’m giving my body and mind what it needs.
It’s a timely realization as this month my class is studying non-excess, and I’m learning on a personal level just where I begin to move into an excessive relationship with my outdated idea of being productive versus doing what makes me feel fulfilled. More to come on this later.
In the meantime, no need to worry about the job hunt and the consequences that could await me from this temporary unemployment. I have a second interview tomorrow with a great, local company and a few more lined up later this week and I feel confident that everything will work out. Until then, I’m cherishing the time I have available to appreciate my education and the hundreds of other things in my life that continue to bring me joy.