The past few months for me have been a sort of hodgepodge of deadlines and projects and weird personal things like realizing that my younger daughter is going to college next year (COLLEGE! My baby!) and that she doesn't need her mother so much anymore. Compounding the situation,we've had lots of rain and cloudy, cool days and my heart is crying out for 85 degrees and sunny so I can sit on my patio and listen to the birds.
I've also had several profound reminders recently that I've been doing what I always do when I start to get overwhelmed, which is is to retreat deep inside myself where I don't have to notice that I'm overwhelmed. I can just slog through things under the premise that I have my act together. Which in many ways I do, but in many more important ways I don't.
The problem with this mode of dealing with things is that I end up feeling really alone and isolated and my feelings of isolation only reinforce the sense that I should stay inside my little hermit cave. I am also less into blogging and commenting and online socializing because of course that means coming out of my cave. And then I miss that sense of community, which further reinforces the cycle. . . well, you can see the problem.
So this morning I have time to breathe a little after weeks of competing deadlines and I come across this post by Havi Brooks who talks about how she's feeling like dirt right now and giving herself permission to do so. And I realize that right now I'm feeling like dirt, but have been trying to talk myself out of that feeling, which honestly only makes things worse. If you're going to feel crappy, at least don't add to it by beating yourself up for feeling crappy.
Why am I writing about this? Because I think a lot of us can get stuck in feeling like dirt and we don't have enough compassion for ourselves to just let those feelings be there for a time. The combination of feeling this way and trying to make yourself NOT feel this way is a powerful recipe for personal and professional dysfunction. I've seen it in action and it's not pretty.
I also know that for myself as a learner, it's just as important for me to acknowledge and explore the emotional undercurrents that pass through me as it is for me to look at using a new tool or developing a new process. I'm reading Brain Rules right now and I can see so clearly how emotions and stress are as important to learning as anything else, but you have to know where you're at in order to move forward. And if I'm going to blog about learning and development, then I need to also blog about when things are NOT working, which right now, they are definitely not.
So suffice it to say that I'm feeling like dirt, but I'm cool with that, because this too shall pass. Plus dirt can be what makes things grow as long as you give it the chance.