As I write this, I have just finished a day of final preparations for travel. Over nine days, I will attend two events, both of which I signed on for with great enthusiasm. I will teach an intensive course in one setting, and I will be the learner in another professional learning community. This day of packing, final preparations and trying to make sure that I’ve taken care of all the details has left me fairly exhausted.
Change to my routine does this to me. When I think about it, I think it’s silly, but when I feel it, I know it’s real in my experience: the stress, the worry, the endless “what if’s.” I also know, from having been through this many times in my life, that once I start the journey, the stresses start to fall away, and I eventually do enjoy what I signed on for.
This might be worth keeping in mind, today, as the every day stressors present themselves to us. In some sense, have I signed on for this? If I work through the difficulties that are right before me, will this turn into something that I enjoy or can be grateful for?
Recently we had a laugh in our house about how difficult it is to take the garbage out of the kitchen garbage can, tie it up and take it outside. We began to remember: we bought this steel, inner lined tight lidded garbage can about 13 years ago when our then puppy was continually getting into the kitchen garbage. We bought a can that he could not turn over or open. Thirteen years later, he has no interest in the kitchen garbage, but we are grumbling about how difficult it is to take the garbage out. In some sense, we signed up for this. Working through it means taking the time to get that double lined garbage can emptied AND it means going to the store and buying an easier garbage can!
What did you sign up for? How are you working through it? What can you do about it, today? Several points of departure.