Hello and happy Monday to you all. It is the start of another work week and I don’t know about you but I am really beginning to feel a little burned out. I know it’s only the beginning of the year but I work for a school district so for me this is mid-year. The weather is all over the place, the kids are beginning to get anxious, and the end is visible, but still so very far away.
I am finding myself feeling a little irritable, a little on edge, and wishing for a quiet space away from the world to decompress, reset, and focus.
Unfortunately, I work long hours and have no place to escape to during the day. When I get home in the evening it is really important that I spend time with my lady. We both need the security and comfort of the other after a long day of having to be and talk a certain way and to hide our true feelings and stifling our impulses. She might understand that I would want to run off to another room in the house to find a bit of quiet but I would be giving up one need to satisfy another. I have to find another solution.
I have to find a way to find peace ad quiet even when I am among other people and the hustle and bustle of a workplace. I have to find a way to be still when all about me is in chaos and threatening to carry me along.
“I felt very still and empty, the way the eye of a tornado must feel, moving dully along in the middle of the surrounding hullabaloo.”
// Sylvia Plath, The Bell Jar
I don’t mean I want to feel nothing, or to feel numb, I just wish to skirt along the outside of all the Life happening around me. I just want to go unseen, to blend into the background, for only awhile. Just to gather my thoughts, to focus on my work, and to find a way to start again with a better attitude.
I don’t want to do nothing, or escape the day-to-day entirely, I just want to get rid of the tedious and what feels like pointless bits. The small talk, the long discussion and passing of responsibility before action must be taken, the questions that are asked by those who refuse to find the answer for themselves, all of this I want to eliminate from my day for a short while.
“Being still does not mean don’t move. It means move in peace.”
I feel horrible saying that. I love people and I swear this does not come from anger, only from a place of wanting to focus. I need time to do the things that are important to me so that I can find a way to feel a little more fulfilled in this tiny life of mine. I think people can understand that but people have a hard time leaving someone alone when they need a bit of peace. I have found there are only two ways to make people comply.
#1. Being honest about it. Have you ever been reading a book in public and everyone who passes you by stops to ask you about your book. They can see you are reading and yet they interrupt that activity to ask a question that requires a lengthy explanation. The book and the act of having your face in the book for some reason do not convey the message that you are reading and wish to continue reading.
You have to tell people honestly that you do not want to talk and it helps to add an explanation, but you don’t owe it to them. I told my team, when I am not doing any work pertaining to this job directly, I will be writing and I need things to be quiet for that. Is that ok? They understood and agreed. I will also tell them when I need a bit of quiet time due to illness or irritability, they will do their best when they can and try to get things done with as little demand from me as possible.
#2. Utilize headphones or find another space to be in. I don’t expect everyone to be still or quiet whenever I need them to just because I need them to. Sometimes I have to accept that I am sitting in a public space and if I want things to quiet down I have to do it for myself. I have perfected the art of tuning out the conversations around me but when I really need to get the message across to people that I am here but not here I use my headphones. Besides being a good excuse for not hearing something they also can help you find peace by providing the right music you need to push you along.
I don’t want to escape life or to isolate myself permanently. I love my coworkers and for the most part, we have a lot of fun on the job. It’s just that sometimes we have too much fun, or we talk more than we work and next thing I know the day has passed me by and I haven’t gotten anything done. Time flies by too fast, so I need to make space in it just for me, just to be quiet, just to be still, and to move in peace.
I have to do this so I can live mindfully and do the things I truly enjoy.
The world’s just spinning
A little too fast
If things don’t slow down soon we might not last.
So just for the moment, let’s be still.
// The Head and the Heart – Let’s Be Still