Friday, October 7, 2016

As good as a rest

They say a change is as good as a rest.

Of course they (whoever "they" are) mean that a change that is more or less positive does as much good as taking a rest from something that is more or less negative. But they don't come out and say it. (Just saying.)

That being said, I've had the opportunity to give that saying a bit of a whirl - and I've just started 'whirling' this week.  I was offered the opportunity to take on a new role at my work for a while.  For how long, I am not sure, but it will be for at least six weeks and could be as long as four months! It involves more responsibility, using skills I haven't used regularly in a long time, and includes learning new skills and knowledge I never had before, and using them 'on the fly.' I spend a lot more time with my electronic calendar than I ever did, and I am so grateful that it is there as a tool for me to use.  A lot of things would fall off the plate without my electronic to-do lists and appointment reminders. (Whew!)

Photo "Daily Planner With Pen" by
BrandonSigma at
I just finished a week in my new role. Wow. I'm not exactly sure about what the saying says, because it really feels like I've been thrown into the deep end of the pool - and I don't swim. I know that it feels like I have more energy at the end of the work day. However, the down side of this is that it takes me longer to decompress from it before I can attend to my school work.

Having said this, throughout this week I have noticed a few encouraging things about myself.

First, I survived.  Nobody yelled in anger at me.  And I even got some encouraging feedback from more than one person.

Second, I am spending more time up and about.  I am way more active in this new line of work: away from my desk and walking back and forth to talk to this and that person, and bring files to this and that person, I sometimes feel as though I could wear a pedometer and count my job toward my exercise count for the day. That is totally different!

Third, I made mistakes.  I knew I would, and I decided ahead of time that I would adopt a teachable attitude and learn as much as possible ... and if that meant learning from my mistakes, then so be it.   And it has.  And I did. And I'm still in the process of learning - and I don't expect that I will ever stop learning. (I think that is a good sign. It means I'm alive, as my husband says.)  I used to be so afraid of failing. But I've come to understand that failing and making mistakes are two different things.

And making mistakes in procedure and protocol - like I did this week - wasn't the end of the world.  I have a wonderful manager who has taken it upon herself to teach me the ropes of my new role, and today she sat with me and went over some of the duties I had tried to do without direction, and provided that direction. Then she walked me through one of the major tasks in the job, showed me where to find what I needed to do it, told me why it was important to do it that way, and much more.  She corrected me when I told her about something that I had done that was against protocol, and she told me why it was not advisable.  At no time did she ever get angry or scold me. At no time did I ever feel as though she was NOT on my side. In fact, I got the impression that she wanted me to succeed. That was worth a LOT to me. 

Finally, as a result of that meeting today, I think I rounded a corner in understanding how it all fits together and how my cog fits into the machine.  I might still make mistakes (and probably will) but I know that I have good support people, good teachers, and good leaders. I couldn't put a price on that. Slowly it's dawning on me, as I go through this learning curve, that my confidence level is increasing even as I admit how much I have left to learn (and maybe because of it!)  That "beginner's mind" that our counselling class discussed during this past July's Summer Institute has indeed come to my aid.  

I saw this neat Maya Angelou quote that sums it up:  "Do the best you can until you know better. Then, when you know better, do better."  Cool huh? 

Maybe this change - which involves flying high and getting more of a bird's eye view of my work section - is just the rest I needed from the sameness of 'in-the-trenches' work that I was doing before.  I can still do that work (when I have time, and I've been encouraged to do that as well) but I think I can help more people doing what I am doing now. 

That feels good.  It really does.

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