[Bill the Cat, copyright Berkeley Breathed]
In between our kids’ soccer games today, I fell into some weekend reflection on my job, my service work, my personal life, and the state of our country currently. Lots to think about on a sunny Saturday afternoon. It turned out to provide some helpful, if not revolutionary, insight.
There’s a common thread of difficulty and repeated obstacles that keep popping up, slowing things down, making life more challenging. This theme seems to run along all aspects of life currently. And if I really consider it, for the last several years. Maybe more. Some examples? Sure thing…
I started a new job a couple years ago. And I have to say, overall the people, company, and products are AWESOME. I give thanks everyday for the opportunity to work with such a great group of folks at a business on the brink of big things in their sector.
That said, it hasn’t been easy to get up to speed on so many different facets of the work I do. There are several diverse groups I interact with and am influenced by on a day to day basis. New processes, new systems, new requirements, new goals all swirl about, demanding attention and competency. It’s be very rewarding, but it’s been challenging too.
In my service work — I belong to a local Lions club — our group finds itself in transition of membership and charity activities in which we are engaged. Old and new interests seem to be colliding more, and we are struggling to find our way forward. Our club has been around near 50 years. We are working to keep the programs going we’ve long supported, and also attempting to diversify activities to a point. It’s a difficult process, for sure.
And then there’s the good ol’ U.S. of A., and the national conversation that seems increasingly rooted in conflict, inequality, and strife. When I consider the situation, it goes back more than twenty years, really. It seems that we grow further apart in attitudes and perspectives as time goes on, walls to common progress go up endlessly. It’s the Democrats versus the Republicans, the Right versus the Left, #MeToo versus the Kavanaugh Supreme Court Nomination, and on and on and on.
There’s more I could list from my afternoon wandering of mind, but you get the idea. And with all this piled up, how does one keep from getting frazzled, from growing flustered, from throwing one’s hands up and tossing in the towel…? It’s pretty simple, really.
Don’t expect that any great progress will be made quickly, that you’ll reach the other side and it will all suddenly get easier. When you sense things getting out of control, pressure building, frazzle starting, take a moment (or more) to STOP that process, those feelings. Give yourself time to reflect frequently the small things — what’s in front of you just now — and if you feel so moved, on the bigger world around you, too — and how you can help the given situation in the present.
It’s perfectly fine to also consider the big picture, long-term plans, strategy, etc. Just as important though is what can be done RIGHT NOW, to make things better. This simple approach applies to work, it applies to home, it applies to parenting, it applies to marriage, it applies to life.
Don’t get frazzled.
Pause, Reflect, Lean In. It WILL get better. It might be just a little bit, it might be a lot. It’s up to you to make a difference.