Thursday, April 16, 2009

Return to the now

With my impending lay off on June 30, the transition of the LBC to an entity on the other side of the country, and my now 1 month old baby going through the fussiness of a growth spurt, I am reminded of just how much I need reminding that it is only the 'now' that is most important. 

I am terrible at remaining in the moment during times of stress; my mind works overtime and attempts to calculate the odds of every possible scenario for every task that I must complete, that I'm currently working on, and even those not yet (but maybe!) assigned to me. This kind of thinking serves no real purpose as the situation is rarely ever that imagined and often the opposite! 

Even on days like today, when the college's finance office demands a product, my Director demands a product, and the person who the entire operation is transitioning to demands products all by the end of the day, or no later than tomorrow, I have to remember that the most I can do is a deliberate and determined focus on the now; to do my best work this moment, to turn out work that is complete and of high quality.

Frustrations aside, and there are many regarding who sets priorities, knowing who I actually serve, and the complete ignoring of where my own job responsibilities fall into this transition, clinging to my integrity and turning out the best possible work and maintaining a positive attitude is paramount. 

Ecclesiastes 11: 9-10 is a nice place to start a meditation on this lesson:

Rejoice, O young man, while you are young,
and let your heart be glad in the days of your youth.
Follow the ways of your heart, the vision of your eyes;
Yet understand that as regards all this God will bring you to judgment.
Ward off grief from your heart and put away trouble from your presence,
though the dawn of youth is fleeting.

Some might see this passage as a doom and gloom judgment is nigh message, but rather I take it as encouragement to live right now, in the moment, to not lament or worry about that which will come, how it will come, and certainly not to fear that which I don't fully know or understand. Instead, as I put forth my best efforts here in the now, I just have to remember that how I respond in this moment to the stresses and challenges I face will have consequences. 

People may be unfairly criticized, or I may become cynical, surly, and maybe even downright insubordinate, all of which are inappropriate and not consistent with what I believe is good behavior. I want my consequences to be well-intentioned and well-reasoned.