It's been some time since I had such an emotional, difficult week. Everything seemed to bring me to tears, and I'm not usually much of a crier. Sometimes I go for months - used to be years. Nor does it really seem like the circumstances really merited such reactions.
Someone I looked to (maybe not very reasonably) for reassurance never said the magic words that I realized, in retrospect, I was counting on hearing. I spent some time with potential coworkers for the future and didn't sparkle or connect as I had hoped. Then, Friday, a couple of guys at the office brought me the 15-20 boxes from the storage unit so I could go through them and decide what we (I) needed to keep. But their light-hearted comments about the contents of those boxes stabbed, and it was as if my life's work was in those filenotes, and training plans, and documentation of various short-term teams - not in the lives of the team members and those they touched.
Miserable, I poured myself into housework yesterday hoping to make the place - my new 'home base' - nicer, and myself feel better. But I offended the roommate by deciding, unilaterally, that it was time all the Christmas stuff got put away. I hinted, I informed, but I didn't =discuss= my desire that this happen. It was getting on my nerves, I reasoned, all that red and green and fuss. When she does the packing up it doesn't happen before Groundhog's Day, I told myself. Look at all I'm accomplishing, I argued. But when she walked in the door, any defenses or accusations melted and I realized I'd wronged her by treating what are mostly her belongings as foolish, not as the treasures they are to her. How could I fail to stop and consider how she might see this?
This week, I guess my spirit was just troubled enough to make life just seem one disappointment or frustration after another, and the one with whom I was frustrated and disappointed more than any other was myself. Why am I acting this way?
Well, doubtless you've had seasons like that too.
I'm afraid, that's what's really behind it: fear. And I'm trying to run from it, or hide from it, or bury it in a landslide of activity. But just like any landslide, it's hard to stop or control. I need to slow down, breathe, and practice living just one day at a time.
I'm afraid of so many things just now, and most of them relate to my career. Over the next few weeks I will be packing up all my stuff in the office; it's been my second home - sometimes more like my first - since 1995. Where do I belong if not at the office, who am I without my job? If I'm around the house too much will it drive me crazy? Or will I drive the roommate crazy? I know there will be plenty of work for me when I return, after sabbatical - regardless of who I'm working with: after all these years I should be able to reach a point of effectiveness without some long delay or learning curve. But just now, it feels like it's all over, and I am so sad and scared.