Overcome with emotions, I have choked up more than a couple of times in the past couple of months due to work related changes. First my boss was let go, the team I was part of disintegrated. Then I found a home, a sweet and cosy one, where I was welcome with open arms, and found myself surrounded in an atmosphere of trust, growth, and development. Just as I saw the pieces of the puzzle fitting together, my new team got split last week. I am in a new team with a new mission under a new boss.
Change is the only constant. It is inevitable, hard, and disruptive. I remind myself that it is also an opportunity to explore how I can rise up to the challenge, and solve new problems. The first time I had a big change at work several years back, I remember my former boss telling me, “Sometimes what seems like the worst thing in the moment, may turnout to be the best turning point in your life,” that’s something that has stayed with me. It was true, with that change I went on to learn new things, meet some inspiring leaders and team members, who have shaped my work ethics and enhanced the breadth and depth of my knowledge base. I have been fortunate to have been under managers who have championed for me, nurtured me, and have had my back. No wonder, I choked and grieved. The changes felt like a loss. Loss of a leader, mentor and friends.
I am not the kind that proactively seeks out change. I get cosy and comfortable in the status quo. So all these ups and downs at work, is life’s way of making me exercise my resilience muscle. I am reminded of the saying, don’t cry because it’s over, smile because it happened. I don’t know what tomorrow holds, but today I close my eyes, and hold all the folks at work who have moulded, supported, and inspired me, and offer my sincerest gratitude for their trust and confidence in me. I wish them well in their endeavors.
The internet was down, which meant working from home was going to be a stretch. For the first half an hour, I was wrought with frustration. Some construction worker somewhere knocked the internet lines, and I was paying the price for it. I was getting back to work mode after three days of PTO and an unproductive day was the last thing I wanted.
Luckily, after the initial frustration, some sanity prevailed. I took stock of the big picture. Was it a nuisance? Yes, yes and yes! Was it going to hinder my productivity? Somewhat. Did I have alternatives? Yes, I could go two doors down the road to my friend’s place where connectivity was not an issue. Can I still avoid the drive to work? Yup. What was I complaining about then? So many things were actually going in my favor.
The lack of internet turned out to be a blessing in disguise. I was efficient on the work front. I caught up on personal emails. And best of all, I was not tempted to check emails, Facebook, WhatsApp, and Hulu. I felt less scattered, and more present.
I am thankful that for the past two days Hari and I could get our work done by hopping over to my friend’s place. I am thankful that I have the flexibility to work at my pace on the work front. If internet hiccup was the worst thing that happened to me, then I am blessed to have had a good couple of days. There are people fighting tougher battles day in and day out.
We went to bed knowing that we will get a call at 5:00 am. Without intending to, I kept waking up every once in a while to check if it’s that time yet? What’s the scoop about the 5:00 am call you ask? It’s that time when the school going families in our town receive an automated call from the school superintendent informing us whether the school is going to start late or if it’s going to be a snow day. And today is a snow day. The call informed us that there are fallen trees and power failures on account of the Nor’easter.
I peep outside and don’t see any damages in the front yard. As always at first glance the snow looks magical. What is not to love about pure white? At closer look, the snow is wet and heavy, so I am bracing myself for an hour of shoveling at least. I don’t mind that because there is something humbling and gratifying about seeing the fruits of hard physical labor that we often don’t get to practice in the age of convenience and outsourcing. Snow day also means all extra activities get canceled and we are all huddled under the same roof doing our thing. The kids are happy to get the downtime, and know to keep themselves entertained without hindering my productivity. No changes at work but I am grateful that the snow day is not a source of stress because of the flexibility to pace my work. All that matters is I get my work done. It’s not as simple for so many people that I know.
This is the home stretch for this winter. We are in the first week of March, we are inching closer to Spring. I hold on to that thought as tight as I can.
I get to do one of the coolest things right in the middle of the work week, in the middle of work day – yoga! My company conducts a yoga session every Wednesday. I so look forward to it and I am very protective of this time.
“There is earth beneath you, breath within you, and you have good intentions. So many things should have gone right for you to be right here, right now. There are places to go. There is work to do. The most important work begins with you. Take the time. Take care of you,” the yoga instructor reminds us as we stretch and warm up. “Believe in the power of your strength, and the natural ability of your body to find balance,” she continues. I hang on to every word she utters and commit it to memory.
I love these reminders.. To stretch, to pause, to reflect, and to connect my breath with my body. Immensely thankful for this mid-week break that refreshes and rejuvenates me like no other.
November is Thanksgiving month and I am joining UL this year too in offering my daily thanks.
I am traveling on business today. The hotel I normally stay in was sold out last week but as luck would have it, there was an opening yesterday. I am thankful that the stars aligned and I can just plonk myself without having to worry about arranging for transportation. I would have figured it out if needed but I am glad I didn’t have to. I am also thankful that I get to spend an evening just vegging out. No need to cook, no need to clean. Just flipping channels and typing away.
Intensive work calls, sick child at home, and kids’ dentist appointment – that was my day today.
I had my aha moment this morning when I realized that all this week I have slept well. A nice deep slumber for 8 hours. I have not had this kind of consistency in sleep pattern in a really long time. I thought it was attributable to the stress associated with the business of adulting (cooking, cleaning, nagging,… etc.). That might still be part of the reason but I think the true culprit is my caffeine intake. For whatever reason, I just assumed that my body is immune to caffeine. That an increased intake would not affect me as much. Apparently not. The amount of sleep I get seems to be indirectly proportional to my caffeine intake. Lesson learnt..!
Today’s focus was on nostril breathing three times per day. That is, close one nostril with the thumb, breathe in slowly. Close the other nostril with the pointer and breath out slowly. I did it twice when I was getting stressed out at work. I have to practice more to see if it works or not for me. The way I look at it, atleast it is better than escaping from the situation by surfing, whatsapping, facebooking etc.
Eats – ok. Baked potato for breakfast, quinoa salad for lunch, a long list of snack (green tea, corn on the cob, nuts and raisin, apple), and dinner was split pea soup and grain based bread with home made basil pesto spread. Grapes and fig for dessert.
Hydration – did ok I think. Sleep – 9 hours of fragmented sleep. I liked the one hour of no screen time prior to bedtime. Jogging – 17 mins.
What I am thankful for today?
- TGIF. Amen to that!
- I am thankful that intensive work calls are not the norm in my work life.
- I am thankful that I could afford the luxury of keeping the sick child at home without having to take the day off. I am thankful that the sick child did not hinder my productivity at work.
For the past couple of years, I have been Working From Home (WFH) a lot. WFH is a double-edged sword, especially for a person like me, who slips and slides swiftly along the slippery slope of indiscipline. But thankfully, I am also a stickler for delivering on my commitments. So the traits balance each other out.
The kids have definitely benefited from my working from home. Hari hardly went to after school program in the last two years of elementary school. They have enjoyed the luxury of simply chilling at home on one-off holidays and vacations. My working from home dynamics have also helped mould their personalities and values. They know clearly that work is my priority during working hours. They know to keep quiet during my work calls, and keep themselves occupied without resorting to screen time.
I have truly lucked out when it comes to my job and my managers. If I haven’t climbed the corporate ladder, it’s for my own reasons. The company offers plenty of self development opportunities, and my managers over the years have allowed me to work without micromanaging me.
There are trade-offs to WFH. I miss being in an office environment. I miss being where the action is. I miss out on the culture aspect. But I am ok with missing all of that because I have gained more than what I have missed.
Change is the only constant, so who knows what’s in store. For now, I offer my thanks to the flexibility and work life balance that my company has offered all these years. Much appreciated!