I did yoga this afternoon at home, thinking it was in the 80s outside because that’s what the forecast said yesterday. I felt like I need to center my mind to make it feel like a Sunday and just stretch my tense muscles out. Turns out it was about 100 F. No wonder I felt like I’d done a hot yoga class instead.
Last week was a lot in all kinds of ways, but I was able to find a way to assert my boundaries and enjoy what I got out of it. I wrote a polite and constructive but firm email stating that work was starting to feel insane to my boss and the CEO of the company on Tuesday. This lead to a good meeting with them and me then creating a spreadsheet with all my major tasks last week (I really took it to the next level of detail, down to calculating an estimate of how many hours I’d spent on emails). Turns out I’d spent 71 hours working last week, and that’s not counting random calls, chats and requests from clients and colleagues, or reading about the industry and our clients. I’m really hoping this leads to better conversations where the executive team actually takes us seriously when we say we’re overwhelmed and don’t have time for any additional low priority ad hoc requests. I hope it leads to thoughtful discussions around where we can improve how we spend our time so our work feels more meaningful and we have the time to actually have a life outside of our jobs. We are not robots, Silicon Valley. This should be particularly obvious with a pandemic raging, climate change turning weather insane, and just the world being in a state of chaos.
Calmly taking charge of expressing myself was a boon. It released a lot of the angst and tension I’d been feeling, and was a gift for that reason. Every source of frustration is also an opportunity to set your boundaries, express your needs, give the other person the chance to help you or meet you half way, and negotiate. All good things, without getting destructive either with your thoughts or in terms of the way you express anger or frustration. Good for me to remember and try to practice when I can.
Another step towards growth last week for me was trying to re-frame things not working out as opportunities for something else. 🙂 This is a fun one, and I’m usually pretty good at it but there’s been too much external pressure and breakage lately for me to manage right away. This has taken a toll on some of my abilities and strategies to stay resilient, and I’ve had to just sit with the negative emotions and accept them. They are also important, and life has ups and downs.
Some friends of mine wanted to catch up yesterday at a restaurant, for example, but bailed as the conditions were bad in the city and they changed their plans. I was definitely sad I wouldn’t see them at first, but also got to cook a delicious dinner with fresh ingredients, finish my errands without rushing, and work on music in the evening. I actually loved having that time to myself after a crazy week at work. We had planned to catch up again today, but the air quality is terrible in the city. We’re doing a video chat instead, and I’m really grateful this is an option with modern technology. I can’t imagine what this kind of a pandemic would have been like 30 years ago without Zoom/Skype/Google. A second example, today, it was really hot, but I got to do a hot yoga class at home without paying for the studio time nor having to deal with bad feet smells. 🙂