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!