Friday, October 2, 2009

I Think I Figured It Out (For Now, At Least)

I think I figured out what I want to do.

It dawned on me yesterday, suddenly. I had been thinking about Glen's post at PluginID called Deciding What To Do With Your Life (Without Actually Deciding). He said "Do something (whatever interests you most) and you will end up where you are meant to be." His post gave me permission to decide what interests me most right now. I don't have to decide what I'm going to do for the rest of my life. I just need to decide what I'm interested in most now, in the present. It's liberating!

I am grateful, now, that my job was so slow for a while. It gave me the time to address my own needs and to invest in myself. I might not have been able to turn my attitude and outlook around without that opportunity. Funny how things seem to work out that way.

At work, my responsibilities have been expanded recently to have me working more closely with my boss and his clients. I had initially resisted the change and my recent self-coaching made me do it anyway. It ended up being very interesting and I now have new ways in which to support my boss and the work he does in rehab. I have more insight into the importance of the work we do and I am now convinced that my job is more meaningful than I had given it credit for.

I was very pleased when I received a phone call from a client's caregiver telling me that the help I had facilitated for her had worked and improvements had been made. We figured out the next step so more progress can happen. It felt so good to know that I made a difference and to interact directly with the people we are helping. The main part of my job has me working mostly behind the scenes, so I don't have direct interaction with many people who are impacted by our work. Working with clients and seeing the improvements first hand is so rewarding! I need more of it.

The happiness I felt as the result of a single phone call had me thinking about Glen's post. I pulled out a sheet of scrap paper and started brainstorming. I wrote about helping people and facilitating progress and coordinating efforts and organizing and searching for a better way to do things and efficiency and effectiveness and implementation of positive change.

Many of these key words are not new for me; they are constant themes when I brainstorm about what I want to do. Unfortunately, they are incredibly vague without a specific context. I feel hindered in this area because I assumed that I need specialized/expert knowledge in order to help people.

However, my experience helped me see that I am already doing many of these things in my current job. I don't need to be the expert, I just need access to the people who have the knowledge. My role as a coordinator should be knowing the systems, the contexts, and the opportunities, which is where my interest in operations and my analytical and problem solving skills come in.

I also wrote about my humanitarian interests. I like helping people who are viewed in one way or another as "disadvantaged", like people with disabilities and Veterans. That's when I realized that I am actually DOING much of what I want to be doing.

The main change I seem to need is an increased interaction with people so that I can see the progress and feel happy knowing that improvements have been made. The new responsibilities I just started this week will make that happen, and that change took place before I even knew that it is what I needed.

My new insight comes at a strange time. Donald may be employed in the near future, in a location too far away for a commute to my current job. The most surprising thing to me is that this situation does not give me anxiety. As I put my thoughts into words, I realized that the most important part of what I had just figured out is that I know what I want to do now. While my current job meets those desires, it is not the only one or the only way for me to do this kind of work. What I want to do is not dependent upon my current job.

I plan to explore my options with my current job to see how much flexibility there might be for me to keep it and telecommute. I know, however, that the worst case scenario of leaving this job and having to find another is not nearly so daunting now that I know what I am looking for and what will be fulfilling for me. I will no longer have to get "just a job". I will look for a good job that will help me grow and will give me meaningful work to do.

If it is meant to happen, it will.

Holy crap.... look how far I have come...

I was open to these insights partially because of Dani's post on positively present called "light up your life: 5 days to make your path brighter". Her metaphor of walking a path at night and in daylight and the way our perceptions change what we experience is truly artful and moving. I am bookmarking this post in particular so that when the darkness clouds my senses, I will be reminded that I am responsible for providing the light on my way through life.

Thank you for watching and supporting my journey, dear readers. I will keep you posted!


  1. Good Stuff! Do you like any of the Franklin Covey 7 Habits stuff?

    You know, a lot of what you're describing sounds like a "trainer" or training position. Have you ever thought about that? I ask not know what you're currently doing.

  2. Jenny - Thanks! I have read Stephen R. Covey's The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People and I found it very interesting and useful. I also think that I probably wasn't quite ready to accept everything it was telling me. The same thing happened when I read Fierce Conversations by Susan Scott the first time. I find that it is a process and that our minds comprehend the information differently as our life perspective changes. I certainly recommend both books.

    I'm currently working for a large university in a department that works closely with the medical school doing all types of rehabilitation. I think of trainers as the ones with the knowledge, not me - I would be the person facilitating the training, tracking progress, making orders and appointments, and making sure that the operations function efficiently.

    I'll have to think about that. Thank you for your comment!

  3. Usually when people say they don't know what to do, they do nothing - not exactly helpful is it? I think it's great you are out there - keep on experiementing and trying things. That perfect fit is out there, just need to try on a lot a shoes to find it. And with the blogs you read, there is always support for you here! Love that poem Breathe. Make sure you Do!

  4. suZen - Thanks so much for your comment and encouragement to keep trying. I love the support I have found in the blogs around me and I look forward to seeing what all of us do with our lives. I will keep breathing!

  5. As I read your post, I thought of how liberating it must feel to have put pen to paper and written out what you want to do --- how you want to apply your unique gifts in this world. Good for you! I think if more people could do what you've done, there would be more workplace happiness. (Speaking of, Karl at Work Happy Now started the official Work Happiness Day, which is the first Monday of every October. Check out his blog for more info: www-workhappynow-com)

    I liked Dani's post about the light and dark aspects of the same path, too. Funny how that stood out to so many of us.

    Have a beautiful Monday, Daphne!

  6. Megan - It is liberating, and still a work in progress. Thanks for the heads up about the official Work Happiness Day! I'll do my best.


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