Work, Work, Work!
by Michelle Graham

About the only thing I've been doing lately is working. So that's what I've been observing in my practice. I'm in the process of moving, and so I have been cleaning, fixing and painting the new place as well as the old place. This is in addition to my normal 40 hour work week, so I have very little time for relaxing, socializing, or sleeping right now. From this current experience I have noted some interesting observations about myself.

One such observation is that I can see how reliant on routine I have been, and how upsetting it can be to a part of myself when that routine becomes disturbed. With the move, almost every area of my life went into some form of upheaval - from having problems with my phones, to not having a refrigerator, to my car dying, to living out of boxes, and to just not having any free time. These changes to my "normal" life have been very uncomfortable for the part of me that wants things to always stay the same. I have been hearing a voice in my head saying, "I can't wait until things are back to normal!" But I have been getting a bit more comfortable with the discomfort, and seem to be going with the flow more now. (Although I must admit some more sleep would be a good thing.)

Another thing I have noticed is that it seems that a big part of what makes work so un-enjoyable is just the thinking about it beforehand. Many things that seem so huge a task to tackle when thinking about them are not so bad or difficult once I do them. So my best experiences in working lately have been the times that I just list the things that need to be done and then do them without thinking about them first. That saves time, energy and mental anguish! Its been easier for me to do this right now because I don't have the time for excuses or thinking about things like I usually have in the past.

Perhaps the strangest thing I saw in all of this was that there were a lot of ideas and thoughts that came up for me when I would start to do certain things that some part of me thought were things I couldn't do because I am a female. I am amazed at how many of those triggers I have seen. I know consciously that I should be able to learn about and do anything a male of my size and strength can do. But when I would start to do something like fix the washing machine or install a light fixture, thoughts would arise that tried to tell me I would not be able to do it because I am a female! Well I got past those thoughts and fixed everything so far that I have needed to fix with no problems.

And one last thing I have noticed about work is that my old habit of trying to always take short cuts in getting things done was not really helping me. I have found that when I put more attention on something and find out the proper procedure and take a little extra time in the beginning, (i.e., properly masking before painting), it makes everything go smoother, the results are better and less time is spent fixing mistakes after. I also then feel better because I have learned more and have done a better job.

Well I better get back to work!