The Transition

Monday, January 27, 2014

My computer looks different these days.

A tab is almost always open, the shopping cart collecting manilla folders, coffee, and sticky notes. The phone system administrator page lurks on the bottom right corner of my "top sites" window. Various word documents remain open, cluttering the icons at the bottom of my screen.

"What are all those thingies?" my son pointed one day.

"I don't even know," I answered.

I've started a lot of different posts about working. That was just one of them.

Going back has been good. I'm glad I'm doing it. I missed being in an office and having people need me in a way that doesn't involve dinner prep, whose turn it is, or a lost tennis ball. But it's also hard. Being responsible for big people things in an office takes up a lot space on my computer dashboard, in my brain, and during my day. And that's just part time.

I've discovered that, for me, the most difficult part is often the transition:

from school drop off to work,
from work to school pick up,
from office manager to home manager,
from Quickbooks to dinner, laundry, and homework.

The constant changing of hats can be dizzying. The feeling of being pushed and pulled in different directions, the rush to get out of the office so that my kid won't be the last one in the pick up line - that doesn't put me in a good mood. 

But (I'm learning) that when I'm switching hats, that is exactly when I can turn things around. For example, when I'm making that mad dash to pick up my son:
  • Don't make phone calls in the car; just drive and enjoy the silence. 
  • Don't drive like a maniac. One red light isn't going to make that much difference.
  • Smile. "Fake it until you make it" works. 
  • Breathe. It really helps.
  • Write a blog post in your head. There have got to be other people who feel the same way!

As it turns out, I went to church the last two Wednesday nights. While the boys were at choir, I went to Night School and learned a thing or two. Funny how they seem to apply to my exact situation:
  1. Pay Attention - Maybe the transition times are an invitation to look up and pay attention . . . to life, to what God is doing, to the mystery and gifts all around. 
  2. Lighten Up - In the story of Mary and Martha, the Greek word for distracted is "periespato," which means "pulled or dragged in different directions." Jesus does not criticize Martha for being busy. He calls her out for being worried and distracted. Hmmm.
So, what about you? Are the transition times hard? How do you make it work?

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4 Responses to “The Transition”

  1. Well said, Courtney. Sometimes you write just what I'm thinking!

  2. oh my goodness, that is a list of 'changes' to deal with all at the same time. It kind of reminds me of when you have that FIRST baby and your life is forever not the same as before. It sounds like you are learning to handle it beautifully. I will be calling you for advice when it is my turn.

  3. I definitely feel you on this one. I work in an office 9 hours a week, three hours at a time in between dropping my son off at K and then picking him up. If I don't leave right when I am done then I can be one of the last parents to pick up. But I am finding that it is harder to feel "done" with work when I have to rush out the door to get him. I have found that breathing helps too and I am always thankful for the time in the car to settle down. Other than that I haven't found anything else that helps me much. Thanks for sharing this!