Oh dear, still at the office, haven't packed, and need to be on a shuttle to the airport 12 hours from now for a week in the Northwest. But there were so many things to get done today!
We started a serious recubiclization of the office on Friday. Preparing for it was quite emotional, though not because I had any regrets about moving exactly one foot south (!) - or getting new neighbors... The 'new' space dedicated to the use of the five members of my work team here turned out great. It's just how we like things, and quite harmonious. Do come and visit! But organizing some of the rest of the space came with another round of sorting, filling, and tossing old Caleb Project stuff, and that was painful once again. There's still more to do - we need to be out of the down-the-hall filing cabinets and the storage closet by year's end.
I had been looking at the office-redesign process as just the kind of concrete, creative task around which we could rally, put relationship ahead of task, and practice some of the skills that got forgotten when trust was broken in The Late Unpleasantness: cooperation, sharing, helping each other, servant leadership. Well, good news: I've seen some of that. There have been some bright moments! But some quite dark ones as well. Sigh! Maybe I need some time at home - with other relationships to juggle, and give these ones a bit of a rest again. Could be worse: I could work alone!
Do you see a pattern here? I seem to have little tolerance for broken relationships in situations (like close family, and Christian ministry) where I expect healthy, loving, trusting ones. Then I respond in ways (like anger or bitterness or complaining) that are unlikely to improve the situation. Is there something I need to learn about managing my expectations? Should I just be more tolerant of meanness and selfishness, not let it get to me? Or are there other things I can do to respond constructively, to learn to interact with others in ways that communicate grace but also bring out the best in them? How do you do that, how do you... 'win friends and influence people'? (I do have that book on my shelf... maybe due for a re-read! After Ken Sande's "The Peacemaker" which I've been carrying around.)