The Check-in that Isn’t Quite

This morning I only had to work until noon, which on another Friday might have been cause for rejoicing. But I might as well have sent Boring Robot Jesse in my place, because my brain sounded like this: blahhhhhhhhhhhhhh.

I did not did not DID NOT want to write a check-in on my blog. I left a measly comment on Havi’s Friday Chicken:

Chicken ears, oh chicken ears β€” how I love the chicken ears (sing-song in my head)!*

The Hard
– Feels like I am fighting with my job
– Pain and writing about hard stuff is…hard

The Good
+ Writing about hard stuff is also good!
+ Big possibilities opening up ahead
+ Massages
+ Bright red toenails make me happy πŸ™‚
+ A connection with a fellow Rallyite
+ Trying harder Shiva Nata stuff!

*Sung to the tune of Spider Pig, bien sur.

How misleading interesting that I chose to focus on the good stuff! Because if I had actually unleashed my inner grump it would have looked a lot different.

Anyway! I spent the afternoon with the wee one and instead immersed myself in good things like naps and eating string cheese. I tried not to think about other worries pressing down on me that I distinctly did not mention on the chicken, like

  • Money. Money! Money.
  • “Fighting with my job” is an obscene understatement
  • The big fog of blahhhhhh — why and wherefore?

So thinking-but-not-thinking about this, I took a question with me on my evening walk: why am I struggling?

(Which sometimes morphed into: am I struggling? Why?)

And I decided it wasn’t good enough to keep not-thinking about the whole thing, so I took this question with me into Shiva Nata; I broke out the DVD tonight and decided to really Make It Hard — transquarters, LEGS oh my, and even jumping ahead into some level 3 insanity and then went back and tried level 1 arms superfast and then my head started to spin and the arms hurt and then they didn’t make sense so I turned it off and laid down in the silence of the empty living room.

Here is what came to me: am I struggling against the right things?

Oh. Well, let’s think about this. Because struggle really is kind of the theme o’ the moment. Currently I struggle against:

  • Chronic Pain
  • Some depression/anxiety related to pain issues
  • Body image
  • Family divorce
  • Some relationship issues
  • Balance and other mechanical body problems
  • Work stucknesses (my own)
  • Other work stucknesses (organizational)

When I asked myself why am I struggling, I meant in general, but really it’s causing the most trouble at work, over the last three or four weeks. It feels like I’m constantly struggling to get work done, to focus and move from one task to the next. Or into one task at all. And it’s not that I’m being productive on personal stuff. It’s just struggle all over the place.

But when I look at the above list, I noticed that so much of this struggling is non-work related.

Of course, there are lots of connections. Pain and posture and wacky neurotransmitters have a lot to do with whether I can, say, sit at my desk and concentrate on a task. And of course stress in one area of life is never truly compartmentalized from the rest of your life.

But perhaps the more intense struggle right now is centered in my personal life, my body. All those balance-creativity-pain-identity things that came up in my Rally vision. Things that I am struggling with (and maybe not moving forward with) and that are growing issues every day. And none of them are things I particularly engage with at work.

I realized that I’m not even struggling with work. I’m struggling with such a big nest of other worries that by the time I get to work I don’t have much energy for that particular struggle.

A-ha! This is one of those famous (and sometimes famously obvious) moments of “bing!” where the neural circuits realign.

The pattern I experience is: the uncomfortable, fuzzy-static blahness of why can’t I focus and why is this so hard. It has everything to do with the fact that all my energy is over in another bucket. The struggle bucket. It makes perfect sense that if so much of my energy is pouring into the bigger struggle that the smaller struggle is going nowhere fast, too.

It’s as simple (and as maddeningly complex) as the realization that I simply don’t have a lot of energy to bring to my job right now.

There, I feel a bit more at peace with myself just saying that.

Thanks, Shiva Nata. Thanks, little monkeys in my brain that finally helped me see what the hell was going on. Even if it doesn’t fix anything, clearer sight is so very, very welcome amidst all this muck.

Coming next week: In which I try to figure out how the heck to manage work using the energy I do have. Oh boy.

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About jesse k.

Writer. Mama. Spy in the house of self-awareness. Occasional crafter, letterpress geek, and academic snob.
This entry was posted in Blah Into A-ha, Checking in. Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to The Check-in that Isn’t Quite

  1. Pingback: Very Personal Ad No. 7: Workly and Travelness (and wherefore, wishes?) | my seed house

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  3. Qrystal says:

    Ohhh! THE STRUGGLE BUCKET! I’m pouring a lot of my energy into one of those too! How do I stop? I think that’s what I need to ask Shiva today. πŸ™‚

    Thanks for putting this out there! And thanks as well for linking to Havi’s “stoopid epiphany” post, because I needed to read that again today too. Cheers~!

    • jesse k. says:

      Hi Qrystal!

      I have to thank you for coming back to comment on this post, because it spurred me to re-read things and think about past lessons in a very good way. I’m slowly working my way up to thinking about maybe contemplating the idea of posting a new blog entry πŸ™‚

      Glad the link to Havi’s piece was helpful!

      Wish I knew more about how to stop pouring things into the struggle bucket…I do know that being aware of it is hugely helpful. Knowing that a lot of energy is going in that direction is helpful so you don’t beat yourself up wondering why you can’t force the energy to pour into a completely different bucket.

      Best of luck to both of us as we Shiva our way out of this one πŸ™‚

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