A fleet of trucks required to make my Monday Magic…
There are many ways in which you can feel displaced: at work someone younger and/or more talented comes on board and outshines you. Your boss, and major champion, resigns. A new technology is introduced, changing key aspects of your job. At home: Your last child goes off to college. Your spouse is more distant. Your ex-spouse just remarried. The list goes on…
In all these scenarios, something changes your relationship to your job or your family. Intellectually, we know we can change very little outside ourselves, but when we are hit with the reality of it, we try to change other people or situations to dynamics that make us feel more secure or comfortable. This is human nature – we are wired to protect and seek safety. It’s biological.
Sometimes our environment displaces us such as experiencing a storm or an accident. I woke up last Friday morning with no heat. I live in the Northeastern United States so this was not good news this time of year. I waited four hours for my oil company technician to arrive who told me my boiler was shot. My house was mighty cold. I spent the day getting two more opinions and by the time I landed on a vendor to install a new boiler, it was 4 pm and no boilers were available. So, my displacement was, I spent the weekend a couple miles away at friend’s house.
This meant that I cancelled my weekend house guest and navigated my dog in a new space with my friend’s cat. I was disappointed to not have my houseguest but found the weekend a bit of an adventure getting to know my friend (who I just met a few months ago), better and making myself comfortable at her house.
When it came time for Monday morning, having lost most of my workday Friday, I felt the pressure to get refocused despite my environment: I am spending the day holed up in one bedroom with a space heater while a team of technicians work on installing a new boiler in my basement. The water is turned off with periodic banging and “oh nos…”
All of this was an inconvenience while I work on staying focused and productive – producing client proposals, and keeping my top priority calls and meetings. Fortunately it is temporary and, although a huge expense I’m not thrilled to be paying, I will be on track after today. Fortunately this did not happen a week earlier in sub-zero degree weather.
Being displaced from my home for a few days unexpectedly helped reorient me. There is nothing like getting out of your everyday routine to refocus you on the bare essentials of what is really important.
This week’s reflection questions: If you have to pack yourself up and live or work somewhere else for a few days, what would you take with you? What priorities would you focus on and leave the rest for another day or just take off the list?
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