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November 2016

During my second real world job, I had the privilege of working with one of the wisest women I know. This lady is a wealth of knowledge about working relationships, family life, and a master of figuring it out. Thus far, I have yet to find a problem that she can’t calmly and rationally provide some sort of answer to. She has taught me the value of moving forward, working hard, and being confident in your own timing. I say all this not just because she influenced me so much, but to share how she has become a friend whose opinion I really value. So one day when she said to me – “You have to stop expecting everyone to work as hard as you at the office” I was sorta stunned. We had been friends long enough for me to know she isn’t often off the mark when it comes to reading situations and that her observations are to be helpful – but I was also just confused on how to respond. Was that a compliment or something I need to fix?

Since that interaction, I have had a lot of time to reflect on that statement and my response thus far: it still leaves me wondering all the time if I am supposed to slow it down or encourage people to step it up…..admist other musings! But recently it has been on my mind a lot as our household reflects on “what’s next”? We had a bit of a bump in the road with Danny’s health these past two weeks (some reduced lung function and a lot of exhaustion – that after a bronc that looked normal, we have been told just to wait out), but regardless of that – we are still in a huge transition phase. With one of the largest pieces being Dan going back to full time work. What that will look like of him? For us? For our schedule and our lives? Oh and for our little Shiba who normally has a stay at home dad?!?!?! We are constantly talking what ifs and recently throwing around different job scenarios. As Danny explores the possibilities, I can’t help but be human and reflect a little on my own. So between both the recent reflection of my friend’s advice that has a way of resurfacing and the job discussions, I keep coming back to the same question: If my life were a job description, would I be qualified?

Think about it…. life roles would call for an array of interests and hobies, perhaps a focus on health and exercise, the ability to wear a lot of hats- wife, sister, daughter, friend, coworker-at any given time. The importance of staying on top of the mundane: house cleaning, email, bills, errands, while still finding time to live: as simple as go to the movies or read good books, to the big things: to travel the world! Once you had that whole job description outlined and summarized, what would the interview process look like? How would reviews go? What would deem worthy of a bonus or raise? What progress is specifically measurable and what growth is subjective? And my personal favorite – what sorts of excuses are acceptable?

This idea really has got my gears turning. At work I can be a perfectionist, I can excuse dropping the rest of my life to focus there, I can be furious if folks don’t take me seriously or meet the deadlines. Yet in my personal life, I have the things that I feel are most important to me – like prayer and reflection time or running – and I also got a million and one reasons why it could not happen today. If I was to apply for my life – would I be qualified to prove I can do it and maybe even worse – could I keep the job? Sometimes I think I would have to fire myself with the variety of justifying and excusing for why I can’t do all of the things that I know are important.

On a lighter note, its not just about keeping the job – what about excelling at it? What tools am I giving myself to succeed? Lately I have been running pretty regularly and I am really enjoying it. Each week it improves… yet it requires more energy and fuel to accomplish and if I am being honest with myself (like review honest), I am not adding any more hours of sleep to my already barely 6 hours (which is TERRIBLE….) and I have had several fevers related to dehydration. Is that setting myself up for success? If my life were a job with a description and reviews, I would have had to adjust by now. Made new expectations for what tools I need and adjusted my schedule to balance the new responsibilities. How come it makes so much sense at work and yet in my personal life I just refuse to reprioritize my life and instead just keep trying to cram it all in?

Over the last week I have decided to take this idea a step further – if I actually treated my life like a job description, figured out how I would get the job, and then evaluate my ability to meet expectation – would I be able to make the changes that my life should be experiencing at this unique time? I don’t know – but I do know that using my ability to be a little too driven at work might just be the thing I need to determine how to live my full life right now.

Would you be qualified for your own life’s job description?

Thank you so much for reading and remember to make it a great day!
Jackie


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