I faced my fears yesterday. I ventured out of the house, drove through the city, down the highway and walked through the doors of my weekend employment ready to confront the day ahead of me. It had been four weeks since I last worked.
The wheels in my head were rusted and corroded. I had a very hard time jumping back in. My employer's wheels had not stopped turning since I last been there. She has been forging ahead with year-end work and she was already in with both feet. My toes were barely wet.
It was stressful. I nudged, pulled and prodded and faint memories of how-to-do-things came back to me. Slowly.
Meanwhile, I could sense the pace that her mind was working at. Anxiety levels were rising. I was battling self doubt at every turn. I felt like I was in over my head.
Finally, I simply told her what I was feeling. I acknowledged that she was running on full tilt and I was still warming up. She recognized that I had not been at work for a month and immediately correlated my sluggishness to how she feels when she jumps into someone else's role.
The change in our mutual expectations was immediate. We both felt validated and each of us understood the other. The day was easy from that point onward.
Our progress was halted because the Internet was down. I went home after a full day's work and was told that I may or may not have to work this morning (dependent on the Internet connection). I was to call her at 9:00 to find out the fate of my day.
It is amazing what a tentative deadline can do for a person. I had until 9:00 to do-what-most-needed-to-be-done in my world. And I did it!
I have not had the strength or confidence to submit articles for the publications that I write for. I read, reread, edited, deleted and vetoed article after article. Too personal. Not coherent enough. Too many scattered thoughts. Good start, bad ending. Simply, not good enough!
Why have I done this? Who do I think I am? There are so many writers who are so much better than I! I can't do this. I can't!!
One sentence pushed me through a moment. A comment from an editor that I write for: "I did hire a fantastic new blogger!" Now, she didn't specify who the blogger was, but she was writing an email addressed to me so I took a grand leap and guessed that maybe I was the one she was referring to.
One comment did not erase all of my self-doubt. It helped, but a tough-first-week-back-at-work drained me. My confidence levels were waning on so many levels. It is hard to push through and change that path once you are on it. But leaving my house and facing a tough-day-at-the-office yesterday made the difference.
Admitting my feelings to my boss (can I tell you just how much I love working for this lady???) and having the conversation that followed strengthened me in so many more ways than she will ever realize.
I woke up this morning and was ready to face the day!
I have submitted a month's supply of articles to each of the publications that I write for. My work there is done (for a month). I now have the strength to move on. Finally.
Doing hard things always energizes me. Always. I become paralyzed in fear with each hard thing that I don't do. Fear has been ruling me and it is not a good motivator.
It is now 9:00 and I have been told not to come into work today. Because I had that 9:00 deadline, I accomplished 'hard things' before my day has even begun.
I need to push myself into the habit of doing 'Six Impossible Things Before Lunch'. Once you do 'the impossible' you feel ready to take on the world (and even if you don't, you have accomplished great things and you still have the rest of the day at your disposal).
Now that I have been pushed into action, it is time to make the most of the remainder of this bonus-day-at-home!