I stood in the doorway, surveying the mess: about to sort and pack years of records in 24 hours. My first reaction was shock. Overwhelmed at the task before me, the next reaction was anger. And finally, standing at the crux of the chaos, I felt sadness for what could have been.
Backstory: an employee left so it was my job to sort through the ashes. Literally. Through the piles. The stacks. The dust. The dead flies and the mouse droppings. ** Cough Cough **. Out-dated phone books, notes, scraps of paper, stacks in corners, corners unseen. ** Cough Cough ** A rhythm developed ~ assemble box & lid, open drawer, breathe, lean in and go. ** Cough Cough ** The back of my hair, damp with sweat, black dress slacks brown with dust and debris. Shaking my head at the “no jeans” policy ~ laughing because this was Hazmat worthy.
Sorting, stacking, cleaning, organizing: Nearly 40 boxes to be shred, garbage cans overflowing and 7 – count ’em 7 – boxes to be moved /re-filed. A sore back and stiff neck that linger still.
Asked how this could be done so rapidly my answer: “determination fueled by disbelief.”
I’ve recently made some self- care choices that, on the surface, appear inconsequential: I got a personal cell phone. Next I exported all (18 -ha!) personal contacts from the work phone and moved them to mine. Then I deleted those same numbers and any personal apps, too. Why? This week reinforced something sobering ~ we are all replaceable.
It’s an adjustment to turn off the work phone Friday evening and not look at it again until Monday. I’m working through it. Now, it’s the personal phone that accompanies me to the grocery store or out on a date night with hubbs. And I like that, when checked, there are 2 messages instead of 60. The breathless 60 can wait.
Yes, it’s a small step that’s netting me peace of mind and the separation/boundaries I’ve been craving.
Life does not look back. Life looks ahead ~ and leaps.
“When we least expect it, life sets us a challenge to test our courage and willingness to change; at such a moment, there is no point in pretending that nothing has happened or in saying that we are not yet ready. The challenge will not wait. Life does not look back. A week is more than enough time for us to decide whether or not to accept our destiny.” Paulo Coelho, The Devil and Miss Prym
What self-care steps have you taken lately?