How not to melt down
Whatever you cannot enjoy doing, you can at least accept that this is what you have to do. Acceptance means: For now, this is what this situation, this moment requires me to do, and so I do it willingly. –Eckhart Tolle
Tonight’s the full moon; yesterday at work a new policy that disadvantages all of us who work on a particular product was announced. General unhappiness was rampant; one person in particular was really angry.
This morning first thing she was presenting at a fairly major meeting, and both she and the meeting pretty much melted down. I was only on the phone, where it was bad enough–I was pleased not to be an eyewitness to the train wreck.
Yesterday I was able to receive the bad news with equanimity, and feel fully at peace, which really made me happy.
Earlier this week I worked an intense 12-hour day tracking down production issues. When I finished, I told my manager she could call me the next morning if she needed me.
About twenty minutes after I got up, just as I was about to pop my farm egg into the oven, the phone rang.
What I meant was that she should call me if she needed information she didn’t have to answer questions from the VP. What she wanted me to do was to start working again at that moment and produce results to be presented at the management meeting in an hour. I produced results in half an hour as the dogs circled, wanting their breakfast, and then got back to my morning routine.
The night before, my manager had strongly encouraged me to leave the office and go home, and I’d said that as long as I was working late, I might as well finish what I was doing–and mentioned that I’d thought of leaving early the next day, and she agreed. As I left my unbaked egg on the kitchen counter and headed into my home office, I was so glad I had. I know very well that I don’t handle a lot of overtime well. I can crank up the intensity and get extra results out of a fairly normal workday, but working continuous extended hours is not a recipe for success.
I need time to recharge my batteries, to wind down so I can sleep, to breathe.
So the day of the wakeup call, I did all that immediately needed to be done, attended scheduled meetings, and then took the rest of the afternoon off. I took a lovely walk by the river, and then ate at a barbeque restaurant and had a cocktail. I knew a local chef had opened this place, but didn’t know quite where it was. I wandered into a chain-linked patio with a Coffee Bar sign, and found I was actually in the restaurant I’d heard about.
It was a really peaceful, laid-back afternoon, and I think the physical exercise out of doors was significantly helpful.
As well, I have had a regular meditation practice for some years now, 15-20 minutes morning and night, pretty much without fail.
Some years ago I came across Doreen Virtue’s Archangels & Ascended Masters while browsing in the bookstore. I keep it on my coffee table and frequently flip through it before I meditate, asking one of the angels or masters for assistance with a particular concern, insight, healing, or whatever’s top of mind. I usually focus outward in the morning, inward at night.
I’ve also been using the prayer before work I posted awhile back on weekday mornings, especially when I have to join an early conference call before I’ve had a chance to meditate and center myself for the day.
I don’t feel a great deal of attachment to this workplace, which helps. I have absolutely no intention of retiring there, as a number of my coworkers plan on doing. It is not my home, and except for a few good friends, they are not my people. (Typically my people are not just everywhere in the corporate world in general.)
When the new policy was announced yesterday, someone asked if it was forever.
“I can tell you this,” I said. “Nothing is forever.”
It’s hard to contemplate that the good things in our lives won’t be forever, even if we ourselves are the ones to leave first. But for the not-so-good things, it’s a comforting thought.
No, this will not be forever.