Keeping Busy Isn’t Always Enough

Friday, a week ago, I had one of those “down” days.  I felt tired and unmotivated and just wanted to lose myself in a novel.  It had been a relatively busy week, including a productive work session for my consulting project and attending a one-day conference with good information and good networking.  However, the constant uncertainty of my position sometimes drags my spirits down.  Along with that, the on-going background issue to my current situation was active that week, which stirred up murky feelings.

This past week was over-busy, with the start of another part-time job (the international connection – more on this another time), meetings and calls for my consulting project, and a two-day workshop on Management and Planning (complimentary, thanks to a friend who needed an extra body to round out the group.)  I bounce from one “job” to another each day, working from a careful daily agenda, and shifting focus on a tight schedule.  Friday, for example, I started with an 8:00 meeting at a café in a neighboring town. It was supposed to last 30 minutes, but ran long and overall took two hours, including driving time.  I got home in time for my 2-hour weekly volunteer stint at the library, after which I rushed home to heat up some soup for lunch and put in 45 minutes on my Canadian job.  Then it was off to the town office for a meeting with the town treasurer in my role as auditor.   I was still trying to understand how the highway expenses last year ended up exactly, to the dollar, equal to the approved highway budget.  (The reasons were made clear, as well as the plans to avoid such reporting anomalies in the future.)  Back home, I did more for the Canadians before calling it quits for the week.  Including the volunteer work, that’s four different jobs in one day, and that’s not counting various emails and research for other opportunities.

All week long I was feeling under the weather.  I woke up feeling headachy almost every day, and I rarely have headaches.  I felt tension in my jaw and neck, and my stomach was often unsettled.  Looking at it objectively, it seems obvious that I’m feeling a rise in stress, but it’s hard to pinpoint why at this particular time.  I’m still coping, I’m busy, and I’m continually well supported at home and by friends.  I’m still looking for full time work while still working part-time. What’s different? I think some of the stress comes from not knowing what I really want at this time.  I got excited about the recent interviews and was mentally ready to commit.  Now, it’s hard to build up the same enthusiasm for the next round of applications.  It makes me think about what I want to do versus what I feel I should do versus what is possible for me to do.  Some preferences are not available as choices.  Some possibilities seem risky.  How do I work through the stress associated with open-ended situation?

In the meantime, I have an extension, with improved terms, of my consulting position, and I am truly excited about my expanded involvement with this project.  If they had the funding available, I would be suggesting a full-time commitment to it.  At the same time, I have an interview this week for a totally different position, one that I had given up hearing about until the call came.  I am preparing for that one without much hope, but I will go in with all engines firing.  The story continues.

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