Over the past 3 months I have been working at my full capacity, stepping in to a new role that is really stretching and challenging me. I am learning new things, developing new skills, and confronted with the edge of my comfort zone on a daily basis. I love it, and I also come home really tired. For a while I was telling myself the story that this was hard, with a negative frame – that the difficulty meant I was not doing a good enough job. And then I had enough space to do some self-reflection through writing – one of the best ways for me of stepping back, going deeper, and really integrating what I am learning. I realized that I had wanted to be challenged, so I got exactly what I wanted – and that it is uncomfortable to be challenged, and that is what is required to learn, stretch and grow. I have written about this before; I just needed to remind myself. Once I integrated that new perspective, my tiredness at the end of the day became an indicator of a job well done, rather than not done enough. And my energy actually increased.
What has also been true is that it has been difficult to create space and energy to write – including this blog. So the process that works best for me to reflect, learn and increase my capacity has taken a back seat as I give all my attention to the daily challenges I face in my new job. I know I could support myself better by taking the time to write – even when my energy is low. Even if it is only for a short time. Such as right now.
What seems to be true is that it can be very difficult to balance the demands of a challenging, fully engaging occupation with self-care and support. Not a new problem. What I notice in this moment is that it helps to set low expectations and just do a little something. As an investment in myself.