Return to Overwhelm?
I have been one of those lucky people who has gotten to work from home for the past year. My job remained in place, just from home. It has been really nice. I am not going to lie. I prefer working from home. I feel like I can balance my life better from there. Seems like I make most important wherever it is that I am…so if my center is at home, then home is vital. If I am in the office, the office reigns supreme and home tends to be secondary and out of focus.
Today I am returning to the office because we have a trial. I am not back to full time in the office but I will be in there a lot more in the coming weeks and it has grossly overwhelmed me. My kids are returning to school as well and that has made me completely discombobulated…which is no different than any other parent…the new back in class schedule is ridiculous and so very complicated. I am not sure why we are even doing this…any of it.
I guess I just need to take a moment to express how very much I feel overwhelmed by returning. Leaving the house has become something that I did less and less. And now I have to send the kids back to school and go back into the office myself and I feel completely overwhelmed by it all.
It is going to be interesting to see how the world handles the return to the old patterns and schedules. For me, I can feel it is going to be a hard return. I am not the person I was last year. So much has happened and changed in the world and in myself. I can’t bring who I used to be to this new environment because I am not that person anymore.
So I will endeavor today to show up imperfectly and have that be ok. I will do my best which differs from day to day…and sometimes, like now, wildly fluctuates. I am honestly doing my best even though by outward appearances, I am not doing as great by comparison.
But isn’t that the subtle violence we all do to ourselves all the time? Comparing ourselves to versions of ourselves that no longer exist? Would it be fair if I were to compare myself to the twenty year old me? No, she has long left the building and would arguably be a very poor comparison to the person I am today. Yet, I somehow think that proximity in time, makes a fairer comparison…it, in fact, does not.
Perhaps the best and only comparison for me is who I am right now. That I can improve upon. That I can work with. That I can do better on…maybe.
For today, I am going to try to be patient with myself and all the overwhelm I feel. I am also going to acknowledge that this isn’t just happening to me…everyone is in the same boat. We are all being asked to return to a schedule and life that we no longer are familiar with or intimately acquainted. It is a lot. And while returning to what we used to do every day doesn’t seem like a big ask, it is.
There I said it. Going back to my life that I did before is going to be a hard adjustment and it likely not possible. I have been forever changed by the events of the last year and they are not going to just magically disappear, returning me to a place that was somehow frozen in time. This time, like all other time, will demand something new from me that I am not sure how to even give.
So I will move forward today attempting to have my own back. To say when I feel overwhelmed and acknowledge when I see it in others. We have all just been completely rearranged and there is going to be some holes, glaring oversights and defeats along the way.
I guess ultimately I get to make the choice as to whether I return to overwhelm or I use this time as an opportunity to do something different. I can return to overwhelm…or I can resist and be more honest and purposeful in my return to the office. I guess I am going to have to let you know which way I go…