Working (or not)

Here I am, on my first it’s-official-I’m-not-working-anymore Tuesday.  What am I doing?

Working.

I’ll qualify that by saying I’m working at home in my yoga pants and a soft tee shirt with the word “Paris” emblazoned on the front. I’ll qualify that further by saying all the widows are open, and there’s a deliciously cool breeze blowing the stacks of medical records around the room. And my two dogs are asleep at my feet, since they just had a very long walk/sniff around the neighborhood. It’s nice.

I’ve been working about two hours now, and I’ll probably be done in another 90 minutes. I took my lunch break outside on the back porch (ever notice how much better a turkey sandwich tastes when you eat outside?) and read a fascinating blog post by one of my favorite, most erudite book bloggers. In it she talks about fears  – of learning new skills, and of answering the big, important questions about ourselves and our lives. It’s all too easy to accept our preconceived notions about ourselves, the ones we’ve been holding onto all of our lives. The kinds of notions that say, “Oh, I could never be a teacher, psychologist, doctor, nurse, missionary…I’m too introverted, too squeamish, too intellectual…”

It’s much more difficult to look at our past experiences and see them- and consequently ourselves-in an altogether different light. Lately I’ve been thinking a lot about what might be next for me.  Because for the longest time I’ve been tied to a desk, shuffling papers, I’ve come to think of myself as a “behind the scenes” kind of person, always the “support staff” and never the one on the front line. Once upon a time, when I was in therapy years ago, I told my therapist I was thinking about going back to school to become a legal assistant. “Why?” she said. “Why aren’t you thinking about becoming a lawyer?” Because I’m not smart enough, too shy, don’t have the time…

In the past year or two at work, I’ve felt myself drowning under a sea of papers. Perhaps the urgent need I felt to crawl out from under that pile of paperwork was indicative of a need to stop hiding behind papers and do something more meaningful. I really AM too squeamish to be a doctor or a nurse…this I know for sure. But perhaps I can find another way to make a meaningful impact on people rather than just on piles of paper.

Food for thought on this lovely summer afternoon.

But for now, I’m back to the papers…

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10 thoughts on “Working (or not)

  1. Sounds like a great first day, even though you are working. Reading your posts the last few weeks has made me really start thinking about my planned retirement. I’m hoping to retire by January, 2013 and just now starting to pay attention to all the paperwork to be done. Maybe I’ll just do that after I retire, Will still have time before the required dates.
    Now, stop the paperwork and relax and enjoy.

  2. Becca, if there is one thing I know for sure it is that you will make a meaningful contribution. It may be through work, through service, through both. We can make an impact on people each and every day of our lives, simply by being kind. Going out of the way to listen or help or care. No schooling required. And if and when you are ready to tackle something more academic to help lead you toward that goal — well, I have absolutely no doubt that the opportunity will present itself in the right time. No doubt at all!

    • Jeanie, I love your optimism and your faith – it’s always a bright spot in my day! I do think we can make an valuable impact on people in small ways, sometimes without even knowing it. I’ve been too stressed and unhappy to make a positive impact on anybody lately – but I’m feeling a lot more positive these days!

  3. Keep feeding your soul (and burn those papers!) I’m having an intuitive thing come to me as I’m typing this. You CAN be a lawyer. Just as you COULD HAVE been the manager your former boss wanted you to be. Be Becca. The one we know is pretty darn awesome, and I’m willing to bet money she’s capable of anything. And remember, I don’t gamble. 🙂

  4. I am with Angie, being Becca is where it’s at. Easier said than done though if it means discarding outdated ideas about who Becca is. This post, as so often when I come here, resonates deeply with some of the stuff I am currently working through (no papers involved!). The other day I talked to a friend about how much I identify myself with that person “who needs to feel safe”, and how that core idea about who I am affects so many of my thoughts and decisions. Who would we be without these preconceived ideas? For now I would say, enjoy the new freedom, even working at home, and see where the summer – and life – takes you …. P.S. I have my own vision of what I see you focus on: music and being a grandmother 🙂

    • “Being Becca is where it’s at. Easier said than done though if it means discarding outdated ideas about who Becca is.” I love this comment, Kerstin, and it really hit home. I’ve always felt I had a healthy sense of self esteem – I like myself (most of the time) and I’m satisfied with who I am. But I feel like there’s a part of me that’s been hiding behind those preconceived notions, and I need to unearth that hidden Becca and invite her out to play 🙂

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