Saturday, February 12, 2011

"Available" (Lessons from Week 1)

I can't believe it's already the end of week one!  This week has definately been focused on catching up on a number of outstanding to-dos.  I ran across a note I'd taken from Time Off for Good Behavior about resisting the impulse to use the time off to catch up on chores and errands and I'm going to need to be mindful of this going forward.  One week of catch-up is fine, but I've decided that I will survive if cleaning the garage doesn't make the cut until I'm back at work.

A few weeks ago I'd written down some goals in my journal.  I hadn't shared them, because I'm still not sure they're the goals I want to focus on. But more on this later.  Here were a few:
  • 20 lbs of recomposition (15 lbs fat loss, 5 lbs muscle gain)
  • One year career plan
  • Run a 5K
  • Volunteer
  • Complete my resume and distribute
Today I accomplished completing the Cupid's Chase 5K.  I had a bit of a funny moment on Thursday when I went to pick up my packet.  I gave her my name and she asked "Available" or "Unavailable"?  "I'm sorry?" I replied.  She repeats herself.  "Available for what?" I ask.  Then it hits me.  The tshirts piled behind her are in two distinct piles of red shirts and white shirts.  And emblazened on the back of the shirts are "Available" and "Unavailable".  Right.  Cupid's Chase.  Valentine's Day.  It's all coming together.  I would have previously found this horribly irritating, but after this week's self-discovery, I'm embracing my singledom.  "Available" was my official reply.  And, yes, I did wear the shirt today during the run.  Sadly, no one tried to pick me up.  Probably because they were all in front of me and "Available" was on the back.  Yes, that's definately it.

I'm actually surprised I did the 5K since any training prior to the sabbatical fell off the radar f-a-s-t.  But I was able to jog one pretty much every day this week to prep, so at least I knew I could finish.  All in all I probably ran half and walked half, but I certainly wasn't last, so I'm still proud.  I've also managed to gain 5 lbs of muscle, but my overall weight has stayed the same.  I'm off to a yoga retreat for a week tomorrow, so 6 days of eating retreat food should help kick some fat loss into gear.

Before I talk about the rest of the goals, I'll share a bit about some of my other accomplishments this week.  Since I'm Type A, it's very "me" to document actionable items completed to help ease the panic of "wasting" time while I'm off.  Of course, by now, you should recognize the irnoy of that statement.  Part of the whole point was to take a break, not go Mach 10 for six weeks on non-work stuff.  But, again, I digress.  Here's some accomplishments:
  • Exercised each day (mix of jogging, working with a trainer, and yoga) 
  • Completed ELI assessment and thought through Life Coach key questions about my life
  • Met with Life Coach to debrief assessment and discuss
  • Completed lessons one through five in Keyboard 1 lesson book (yes, I'm re-learning's part of my creative outlet)
  • Massage (yes, I get to count this as an accomplishment)
  • Haircut
  • Tire alignment on car
  • Reviewed current financial situation, found a wealth advisor and had initial in-person meeting
  • Met with a Partner mentor of mine to discuss potential career paths at current company
  • Wrote a short story
  • Went to fiction/memoir writing class (and didn't cry)
  • Met with my therapist (and did cry)
  • Had dinner with a friend on Wed
  • Had drinks with more friends Thurs
  • Had dinner and drinks with even more friends on Fri
Accomplishments aside, what have I discovered this week?  I've discovered that I may have been off a bit with my initial goals.  I came into this first thinking that I just needed a bit of a break to do nothing (who was I kidding?).  Over the holidays and during my planning phase in January I found myself talking more about the career aspects of my life.  Should I stay at my company?  Go elsewhere?  What is it that I'm good at and want to do for a career?  But in every conversation I had in the last week, it hasn't been about that.  It's been about my personal life.  Here's some of what I've discovered:
  • I have a fairly strong desire to have a deep and meaningful romantic connection with someone (I was, in fact, surprised to learn this)
  • There may be some pretty clear reasons I don't have it!
  • I am terrified of being taken advantage of
  • I come off to men as "I'm all set, I don't need you" - which apparently isn't super hot if they're wife shopping
  • I don't really trust men
  • This trust junk is starting to explain my uncanny ability to attract unavailable men (emotionally or otherwise)
  • I use work as a distraction from dealing with my personal life, since there's some emotion there I may have been avoiding
All of this is more or less becoming the focus of my work with my life coach, my therapist, and frankly my writing.  I had an interesting moment with my life coach this week where I said that I'm still quite concerned about locking down this whole career thing.  But that I'm trusting in my discovery process.  I'm driving here, and I seem to be naturally moving towards uncovering some emotional junk I've built up about trusting others.  And I believe (at this point) that if I work through some of that, these questions about my career and my passion will come.

So, there you have it.  A bit of time.  A bit of focus.  And I'm discovering things that apparently I knew.  I just didn't know I knew.  And, just in case anyone asks...yes, I am Available.  And becoming more and more so every day.  Are you?  Hasta, sabbaticaljo

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