Image thanks to @GapingVoid
I took some time off.
Over the weekend, the long Easter weekend and the weekend before, I actually stopped working and thinking about work. Since October, fuchsia blue has been working with Greater Manchester Combined Authority on a piece of culture and OD strategy work. It’s a complex, if rewarding, piece with a lot at stake, a lot to consider and a lot of people and pace in the mix. It matters. It’s taken a lot of thinking through, of working out, of asking and gathering, of showing and telling. Add to that the ever-expanding joy that is the Shindig, and what it needs and deserves from me…. and coaching, facilitating, faculty work…I have felt in demand. Stretched. Not unhappy, but working at capacity….
Some will read that and see humble bragging about busy-ness, others will read other things into it. It’s not intended to be anything more than it is what it is, for me. I make choices and work with them. My 2012 self would marvel at what my 2018 self gets up to – I’m grateful for that. I genuinely love the work I get to do – even when it tests and stretches me… I love the folk I get to work with – and their infinite patience with my frowny face at times. For once, I’ve given myself a little credit for stuff I know, which has kind of felt good…. and still I have felt a loss.
It’s been so subtle, I hardly noticed it – mostly because I’ve hardly stopped. Not properly stopping…. The type of stopping that allows pottering, free-thinking, writing, discovery, possibility. It’s part of What Matters.
I arrive at my desk with a pre-formed to do list, a series of calls to make or things to attend to. I crack through what I can and I prioritise what next or what-not. I’m not bad at it, to be honest… but In this mode, I lose connection – l lose space and being in-touch.. with myself, with others… I sort of fold in for a while and rely on what I know and can access.. it is oddly satisfying – I can click through work at a fair pace. Stuff can get done – but after a while, the “Stuff” loses something important, something that matters – it becomes more transactional, task-based… oddly unsatisfying. And I feel a loss of connection to my creativity and words.
Over the weekend I put work down – the only thing that came close was playing with Storyboard technologies for the sheer hell of drawing stuff – not because I’m designing anything or trying to create something for a client – but because I’m curious.
It felt good.
I feel more restored.
In a month that promises an Edinburgh Shindig, an Unconference, attending the ODN Europe Conference, my first ever trip to Shetland with the glorious Scottish Ballet, ongoing work with GMCA as we begin to look at getting folk involved in stuff in a different way, in a month where I begin a new conversation with a new supervisor – my intention is to enjoy the work as it comes. To put down the to do list and do some being. To focus on What Matters.
Wonder how that will work out?
7 thoughts on “What Matters”
Reblogged this on and commented:
This is a humble, vulnerable blog that links well to the recent Learn, Connect, Do on Self-care
Hi Julie – I was so happy to read your post this morning. I think I’m in an even deeper rut than the one you’re describing, but not so deep I couldn’t see a wee bit of light, reminding me how good it can feel to write and read for the pure pleasure of it, and not only to solve someone else’s problems. Thank you very much for sharing – your timing couldn’t have been better 😊
Hello Sunshine – long time no hear… I think ruts can be handy, at times – it keeps us rolling along a fairly linear path…but the stuck part is not so fun, if that’s where you are.
I kind of figured out I’ve been writing for others – for clients, for situations, for clarity – and to some extent, I’ve been hiding away in organisational work…so time to look up & out a little.
I hope all is well in your world & the rut is escapable x
Well one of these days I still have it in mind to escape to a shindig – I’ll keep you posted!
Ah now there would be a lovely thing… and we are looking at some on-line stuff later in the year, so keep an eye out too… x