I am going against my usual blogging routine with this post, which, if you know me, you know that I am a perfectionist when it comes to writing so the chances that I will be able to maintain my standard of quality in this post is slim to none. For the third day in a row I am laying in bed, before 8:30pm, with an ice pack on my back. After spending 5 nights on a fouton I have re-activated my sciatic nerve pain. While I am not entirely ready to call it a night I am stuck in this position with limited mobility options, those limited options have forced me to write this from my phone (the horror!) with very little editing function. The Type A part of me is praying that I don’t end up with a post chalked full of improperly auto-corrected words and misplaced commas. If my prayers go unanswered and this whole thing makes no sense, blame Bill Gates.
I’ve made an effort recently to explain the tremendous stress I have been under at work in the last three months to the people in my life, usually they, being the nice people that they are, have listened and have been sympathic but without having them in the foxhole with me the stress doesnt always translate. The Readers Digest version: I work for a grant funded program and we had to reapply for funding this year, which by itself is typically not a big deal, more par for the course, but when my boss and I originally started this process we made a decision to look at this “stressful situation” as an opportunity to move forward, make changes and be strategic with how we would relaunch in the new fiscal year. This is where things have gotten tricky. Creating something new in the midst of still functioning under old pretense has been really difficult. Don’t get me wrong, it’s incredibly exciting and I am so proud to be taking the lead on how this program will be shaped but I am freaking exhausted. Blowing up our original blueprint for how this program functions as almost opened too many doors, causing me to strategize and restrategize, on my own. This constant individual brainstorming could land someone in the nuthouse! I want to be clear, I am not complaining. Just being honest about the mental, and eventually physical toll this “opportunity” has taken on me.
As I started noticing some of the effects of the stress on my interactions with my peers, my staff, my family coupled with the physical manifestaions, I made a decision on how to move forward. It was the first time in this process that I made a purely selfish decision. I decided that I am also,going to use this opportunity for self-reflection. Pinpointing the competencies that I want to build within myself to ensure the next transition I usher this program through has fewer bumps in the road. Previously, as this program went through a significant transition, I was in survival mode, the only person left to train new staff and learn how to be a manager at the same time. Simply put: trial by fire. I had to learn fast and learn as I went along. This time around I am going to spend time figuring out what kind of manager I want to be, what kind of manager this program needs and what do I need to have put into place to make all of that happen. Change is brewing and frankly, I am excited to see where it’s leading.
On this path of self-reflection I’ve already been able to identify things that I want to move forward with: a more positive perspective, purposeful strategy and service integration (I know which of my readers are currently rolling their eyes at that) and pureposeful processes and procedures that are standardized, documented and enforced. To start with. During my mid-year review with my boss today these were things that she mentioned as my strengths but I was a little surprised because I would probably have categorized each of them as the opposite. It seems as though, subliminally, I have already made those points a priority so made I’m on the right track after all.
Long story short:
-Look for the opportunities in the craziness
-Take some time for self-reflection
-Don’t be afraid to acknowledge that you could use some help
-Put your positive pants on