Pulling Myself Together

This week started pretty terrible. It’s difficult to pinpoint exactly where my misery at work stems because I could technically blame my boss or blame a lack of resources or blame January, but my working environment has complex layers that all fold into one big pile of dysfunction. On Tuesday morning, my stomach roiled and my head pounded and I wondered if maybe there was some radon exposure in my office. By Tuesday night, I was ready to just call in sick…for the rest of the year.

But come on – you know me. I’m a problem-solver. I like to swim upstream. I’ve been here before, and this time there won’t be a “Fred Meyer Incident.”

On Wednesday morning, I made a list; a TCOB list. Some actionable items that would give me control and direction for finding a new job when my contract is up in June.

First off, I set a meeting with my boss (the nice one) about my existential crisis concerns. I explained that I’m not my authentic self right now, and if I were to die in a car crash tomorrow, the real tragedy would be that I didn’t die doing what I love. She listened, empathized, and literally suggested we burn some sage in the courtyard. (We might need to do that).

Next, I scheduled a meeting with my former boss (the phenomenal one) about my toxic emotions concerns. She also listened, empathized, and gave me a very specific “to-do” list to advocate for and protect myself. She asked, “Despite all the terrible stuff, are you building strong relationships with your teachers?” And I said, “Absolutely.”

Then I emailed a few other go-getting people outside my immediate network and set up a couple dinners that will help me plan for my future outside my current situation.

Finally, I played soccer with the boys at lunch, and had a chicken salad, and did this ridiculous “releasing the balloon” mindfulness strategy I used to practice with my students.

So all in all, today wasn’t bad. I was busy and didn’t dwell on the crap because I have a plan – loose and open-ended plan – but a plan nonetheless.



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