Maddie's not the only one with adjustment issues these days. I'm having issues myself.
I hesitate to blog about work because, well, duh, it's dumb to blog about work. Some of my coworkers occasionally read my blog, what I write is intended for public consumption, and I'm not anonymous, so caution is warranted. But I can say this much about work without it being too much: for the past month or so, work has been totally kicking my ASS. I've made a ton of dumb errors (and been called out on them by people as high up as the president of the college. Niiiiice.) I manage seven people, morale in the office is low, and I have not done a good job of helping to bring morale up. I haven't felt good at what I do in quite a while. I wake up at night and think about work, then when I'm actually at work, I'm distracted and distractable. It's just been hard.
I'm not a person who ties a whole lot up into my professional identity. That is to say, I don't feel like I define my success and worth through my job. That said, I spend 40 hours a week at work and it's wearing to feel like I'm spending that much of my time doing things poorly. Especially when I go home and deal with the fallout of adjustment to kindergarten and such.
Boo hoo blah blah. Instead of whining about it, I should be working on fixing it, right? Alas, my recent work-related mishaps are for the most part not a result of slacking off but rather a result of well, I'm not sure what. I'll think I've done a good job on something only to have mistakes pointed out to me by all kinds of people. I'll think I'm on top of something and then find out that I've overlooked something major.
Where is my brain, then? How can I get my head back in work? How can I do a better job of being empathetic to those I manage to help them to feel better about their work? How can I do all that and have empathy left for my children?
As Maddie and Riley get older (and their lives get more complex) and as my career grows longer in the tooth (and thus also more complex), I feel the squeeze of work/life balance more and more. Some might find that invigorating; I find it stressful, exhausting, and untenable. I think my recent mistakes at work are the result of simply not having the capacity to do all that I'm supposed to do. When forced to choose—work or family?—family wins, and work, which has needed a lot of attention of late, has not gotten all it needs.
There's no easy answer here. I'm doing the best that I can, just feeling frustrated and as though my best is falling short of the mark. We just wrapped up a big event at work, and this week is thus far all about figuring out just how many things got lost in the shuffle of event prep. With any luck, things will even out here on the work front in a couple of weeks, and on the school front, too. I've learned a lot about patience, at least as applies to situations, but patience with myself is a different matter entirely and getting practice in that area is just not very much fun.