"Oh what good is it to live
With nothing left to give
Forgive but not forget
Not loving all you see."
I came home, doused in the conversations and obligations that others unintentionally put on me, ready to retreat. I am a cave dwelling human. I am one who draws inspiration from images, music and the lonely moments. Loneliness for me is not lonely. My ideal day would be 8 hours alone, 4 hours with Johnny and 1 hour with people. I put every little ounce of myself into carrying out conversations. I've always been hyper aware of the emotions that float invisibly between people conversing. I see beneath things, above words and around the shields people put up. I am best when I am one on one, or leading a group. Trying to maneuver within a group is when I am most uncomfortable and when I become most exhausted.
This is why I call myself the Queen of Self Care. When I was younger I did this naturally. I poured heavily into myself. I took care of my mental health and later on my physical body. I didn't think much of it, not until recently. I spent the first 6 years of my marriage doing the opposite. Trying to take care of people, be around people and lay down my desires. This created sickness within me, as these things do. This last year I have re-invigorated Bailey.
Write your name down: BAILEY. What does your name evoke in you? Who are you? What do you love? Forget everything you've learned. Forget all the expectations. Who is Bailey? (insert your name)
A lot of this re-emerged after my first 45 hour work week. I took a holiday job so Johnny and I can continue to pay our mortgage without dipping into savings. My winter season is always slow so it seemed like a good idea. As this week came to a close I had a plethora of emotions. I've mentioned how many hours I worked to a lot of people who seemed to think this was normal. I started to think...maybe I'm being weak? I had to remind myself that 45 hours of doing something that I love, something that has meaning to me and invigorates me would be so much different than 45 hours of working for someone else doing things that have no relation to my life besides bringing in a little bit of money.
I know that a lot of us have no choice...or at least it would take us a while to work toward something else, but I can't help but think we've created a culture that sucks the life out of us. This last week I woke and left for work while it was dark. Then there was the 9 hours in a corner with no window starting at a screen. By the time I got home, it was dark again.
This breeds insanity.
I know so many people do it.
I came home exhausted, unable to even do the things I loved in my last hours of the day, unable to cook a great meal, unable to clean. For me this isn't just the "work" it's my introverted nature being bombarded for 9 hours of my day while working. I gave myself some grace instead of feeling like I was weak. I honestly don't think it is good for anyone to work like this. As humans we are meant to have a certain amount of freedom, expression, natural light, movement, fresh air and taking part in things that make us come alive. The common workplace does not breed this.
So how could we support the 40+ hour workers? It got me thinking...what if I worked with corporations and businesses to create better working environments? My Wellness Coaching (as I call it) could be used so well in these situations. I've decided that for the next month I will work this job as an experiment, as a way of understand others, gaining empathy and dreaming up ideas for the common worker. The business I am working for already has a few things in place, like morning and afternoon stretching as a group. I love that!
I'm taking my introverted little self on another adventure into discomfort to discover more, create more, do more. I will post a part two after the month is over. In the meantime, take care of yourselves! It's the best thing you can do.
Bailey Patrice & Jonathan David