Out of my comfort zone

Hair Salon

I was sitting in the hairdresser’s chair just a stone’s throw from work. As the minutes passed by, I stopped paying attention to the hairdresser, as my mind began drifting to another place. (In retrospect, that was not a good idea, but that’s another story.)

Reminders were around me. In the mirror I could see reflections of my potential clients walk by, visions of my impending future.

In that moment, my memories were more than intangible thoughts. They were palpable, evoking a visceral reaction from deep within my belly.

It was a sensation beyond nervous butterflies daintily flitting about. It was a little more onerous. It was a little darker. It was a like firm stress ball of apprehension. It was also a feeling of being trapped, like a rabbit caught in the headlights of an oncoming car.

When I’m far away from this place, it is far away from me, my daily life, my thoughts, my very being. I feel unburdened, my mind and emotions free of the thick, and sometimes, choking smog.

I can’t quite put my finger on what it all means. Maybe it’s because I’ve been there a long, long time. Maybe it’s because sad and disappointing things sometimes happens there, soul sapping and unedifying to the spirit.

I’ve been free from its clutches for 14 months. The thought of going back is unnerving, unsettling. But I’m doing my best to don a cloak of positivity and spectacles of optimism. My time away is now done, and into that zone I must plunge.

I’m returning armed with my favourite T2 tea and tea pot, some lavender oil, music that speaks to my soul, and photos to remind me where my true priorities lie.

I’m going to focus on being calm. I’m going to try and banish encroaching overwhelm, to avoid being swamped by the deluge of what is awaiting.

I’m going to remind myself to take my lunch breaks. I hope to even manage a daily brisk walk or run in the beautiful park next door, making sure I give myself little break through the day to throw off the shackles and replenish my energy, spirit and attitude: maybe even get some perspective.

Park Lake View  Park City View

Maybe, I’ll even try to exercise daily gratitude and remember to smile; to make an effort to climb out of myself and focus on others.

It’s going to be a time of readjustments; a time to get my bearings. It’s going to be a time to be open and real with myself, real about what I am feeling and where I am at. Time for research. Time to get all the ingredients to figure out what and where to next.

And I guess that’s the point; I’m not really trapped no matter how I feel. It’s in my power to change both myself and my situation.

Either way, it’s D-Day and I’m being pushed out of my comfort zone. I don’t like it but I trust it will help me stretch and grow.

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18 thoughts on “Out of my comfort zone

  1. Your sweet face in that shot says it all… oh boy. You know I know exactly how you feel. I made it work for over seven years, so I just know you’re going to be just fine. Streeeeeeeetch. x

    • Lots of stretching been going on already and it’s only week 2, Bron! Lots of reflecting, boundary setting, reassessment too! It’s a bizarre experience. Never what I’d expected when imagining what my working life looked like!

  2. The oils, the music, the incense…I think you’re doing all the right things to keep it all in perspective. 14 months is a long time. But remember you’re also 14 months stronger, wiser and more in tune with yourself. You might surprise yourself. All those things that used to upset or annoy you might now just be trivial matters. You’re in a different place now. And that’s the advantage you have this time around.

    • You know what, Grace, a week in and I can see what you mean about being wiser and more in tune with myself. And each passing day, I’m having to really refine that, reassess what I want and don’t, where my boundaries lie, learn to let go. It’s still a work in progress. A good question I’ve foud myself asking is whether something really maters in the big scheme of things. It’s a really interesting and strange way to look at work.

  3. I sat here this morning ttrying to figure out what to say…. I think the girls above said what I couldn’t put into words perfectly :)

    • Thanks, Donna, for thinking about it. It’s been a really interesting time being finally back and learning how to manage it. It’s not really as much about managing the juggle between home and work but more so managing myself at work and how I let it impact me personally. Yes, I have issues. I guess even a reformed workaholic can still have a few bits of excess baggage still rattling about there. It’s only week 2 and all a work in progress.

  4. It is a big day returning to work. I have a couple of catchphrases to get me through work crap…
    1/. Don’t let the bastards get you down, and
    2/. Things will be better when I am in charge.

    Tea and oils and photos are definitely in order. I hope it’s way better than you expect.

    • I absolutely LOVE your catchphrases, Lee! They are perfect, though I pretty much gave up on aspirations of meglomania long ago. They will never put me in charge. BUT I can totally not let them get me down. A few of my colleagues and I even set up an informal FB group for the “Enjoy Your Life Foundation” just to remind ourselves there was more to our lives that work and particularly that work place. But tea, photos and oils never go astray. I got myself pretty much all set up. It sure helps!

    • Thanks, Robyn. It has been tough to give up time with my girls and time to do things I am fully in charge of, not following someone else’s agenda. It’s also been a really eye-opening experience and I’m learning quite a bit on a personal level. I’m still processing it all. After all, it’s only week 2! :-)

    • It’s going okay so far, Tat. A very interesting and eye-opening exercise in a way. It’s given be cause for lots of reflection, evaluation and reassessment. I might try and put it all together in a blog post……..if I get ever get the time or the energy to push through my tiredness in the evenings! Apart from everything else, the tiredness is really draining!

      By the way, I’m off on Mondays, Tat, and there are weekends so we’ll make it happen.

  5. I am feeling for you, Veronica. Your words paint a tangible picture. I can sense the overwhelm, but I know what amazing strength and optimism you have too. Being out of your comfort zone sucks at the best of times. I am sure you are returning with a fresh & different perspective (and like you said, you know where your priorities lie) and that is going to carry you through. Sending you lots strength and love as you adjust to your new space. xxx

    • It’s week 2, Deb, and I’ve been thinking, assessing, reflecting and reviewing A LOT! It’s been an interesting experience on so many levels that I’m not quite sure I can put my finger on it all quite yet. There’s the reformed workaholic aspects. There’s the juggling family aspects. There’s the career pondering aspects. Lots to think on. Thank you for your good wishes. I am making the physical space as much of a peaceful cocoon as possible (it’s an open plan office) and trying to keep my most important priorities before me. It helps to have my two girls staring back at me from my computer screen desktop!

  6. Hope your first day back went ok & you are settling back in to the swing of things while not being overwhelmed by any of the workplace BS. Just keep swimming :) xxx

    • Thank you, Nee. It wasn’t too hard to slip back into things, but that’s where I’ve had to start checking myself so I don’t fully slip back into my old workaholic, stress-head ways and make sure I make it work for me. The workplace guff is still there but I’m trying to brush it off and just get on with my stuff. It’s going okay so far. Lots I’m learning; mostly about myself, ha ha!

  7. You are going to be fine Hun. It is tough for the first week but you have to remember to be kind to yourself and reward yourself for small milestones. Taking yourself for lunch dates is a great idea. Good luck lovely. I am thinking of you. Xxx

    • Thanks, Sonia. First week reacclimatising was a bit tough but thankfully I was able to go at my own pace. It’s week 2 and starting to get more serious. I’m learning a lot about myself, mostly, and it’s been a really interesting exercise reassessing where I am, what I want and don’t want, what matters the most and how to keep boundaries. All a work in progress! Thanks for the good wishes. I appreciate it!

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