Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Challenging Morning

My "official" work day is not quite half an hour old, and I'm already having a challenging morning.

I've had a conversation in semi-official capacity, needing to encourage a particular (very new) staff member to stick it out. There was frustration over interaction with another staff member, and I needed to hold my own thoughts about that staff member in check, while communicating to the staff member I was talking to that there are definitely ways to work around the things that were discouraging her and causing her stress.

And then, then I got to deal with a lecture. Somewhat deserved I suppose. The way I responded to a particular question last night (though certainly unintentional) probably didn't present the best image to the person I was responding to, or to the client he was conversing with. So, I apologized, and I'll work on that in the future. But, at the same time, that moment underscored a far larger communication problem which the person lecturing me continually refuses to acknowledge.

So, I'm starting the day off already feeling frustrated. Which is making life more challenging these days, since I'm making a colossal effort to encounter life in a more joyful and positive manner.

It probably doesn't help that after a fantastic weekend, I found yesterday at the office to be particularly challenging in that regard. There are good reasons that my roommate has taken to referring to my place of employment as "The Soap Opera", and to some extent, those reasons were out in full force yesterday. It didn't help that because the staff person who usually covers my lunch breaks is away for a couple of days, there is really no one to replace her, and I essentially ended up working through my lunch hour yesterday as well (and probably will again today). I was definitely less than excited about the prospect of getting out of bed this morning and returning to the tensions of the office.

I went out for a very enjoyable dinner with a long-time friend last night, and ended up arriving home at exactly the same time as my roommate. We sat in the living room talking, and I found myself so exhausted from the day - from the challenges at work, from the various interactions with people, and from the colossal effort to not agree with all of the negative "voices" that habitually stir within me that I was once again in tears. My roommate has, thankfully, been very patient this summer as tears have continually spilled over. At least last night's stemmed mostly from exhaustion, and perhaps, just a little bit of discouragement over how difficult I'm finding this current challenge to make different choices.

So. I just had a telephone conversation that helped. I'm not feeling totally incompetent in my job. I'll watch the way I express myself.

And I'll remember that I had a really lovely and peaceful morning commute, listening to a sermon that eased my heart and reminded me that God is with me and will give strength even for these things that seem so disastrously hard. I'll sip tea. I'll choose to anticipate that my coworker (and friend with whom I vent a little to blow off the frustrations of the office) returns tomorrow. I'll play music that causes my heart to focus on all the beautiful (if challenging and hard) things that Jesus is doing in my heart right now. And I'll plan to play a good, encouraging, we believe in miracles, sort of charismatic sermon driving home again. Because by that time, I'll probably need it.