This post was written in December 2009. It documents my transition from part-time to full-time coaching.
I noticed this thing that happened over the weekend, on Saturday. Basically, as Saturday afternoon wound into Saturday evening, I started to mentally run through what was coming up next. The thought process was something like, “Okay, so let’s see: today is Saturday, tomorrow’s Sunday. What’s going on tomorrow? Anything I need to get done before Monday?”
There was this immediate dip in my mood as I thought about “having to” go to this job that I hated, and then remembering that in fact I am not teaching this upcoming Monday, and this caused an immediate lift, a sense of palpable relief. My work for the past year has been to notice that dip in mood every Sunday evening, and to remind myself not to give it too much power.
It occurred to me that I’ve been doing that dance with the weekend for a loooong time–far longer than I’d like to admit to the blogosphere, in fact. Some weekends I was able to not give Monday too much power, and other weekends, I was far less successful. There are a lot of dimensions of this that I could write about and will go into some other time–for now, I want to write about how strange it feels to realize that there is nothing for me to “push against,” work-wise, any longer.
Does that make any sense?
There’s this “thing” about work–people like to complain about their jobs. In fact, it seems to me that jobs are an easy dumping ground for most of life’s problems. Jobs become the thing that constrain our time and “suck our souls.” As a coach, I’ve noticed that each of us–that includes me–have our defaults for where we’ll put our blame/drama, and work is often enough the place where we put that blame/drama because job titles don’t get hurt feelings when you call them names, the way our loved ones would if we were blaming them (though for all of us at times, that can be another source of blame).
This Monday is the first Monday of the rest of my life. I have an entirely different set of questions to confront about my working life, namely about what it means for me to be/feel productive. There is no longer that thing to “push against,” in the work realm, so my work now becomes making sure that whatever tendencies I have to create drama or complain don’t get pushed into some other area just to fill the void.
I’m also sort of in awe of the spaciousness of that void–of how big it got. I don’t yet have words to explain what it is like to see what I’m passionate about move into center focus, instead of being something I work on on the sides. I’m already noticing that it feels really weird to manage my computer time–the computer is often enough a source of both work and entertainment. Where do the two overlap?
I’ve been thinking a lot about the steps it took for me to actually let go of my teaching job–because it was really, really hard–and realized that my coach and I approached it all in a very methodical way designed to be as in integrity as possible. I wrote down each piece and what I’m going to do is this–starting on January 1st, 2010, I’m going to post ten consecutive steps towards Stopping the Job Suckage. Stay tuned!