Working (or not)

Here I am, on my first it's-official-I'm-not-working-anymore Tuesday.  What am I doing? Working.

I'll qualify that by saying I'm working at home in my yoga pants and a soft tee shirt with the word "Paris" emblazoned on the front. I'll qualify that further by saying all the widows are open, and there's a deliciously cool breeze blowing the stacks of medical records around the room. And my two dogs are asleep at my feet, since they just had a very long walk/sniff around the neighborhood. It's nice.

I've been working about two hours now, and I'll probably be done in another 90 minutes. I took my lunch break outside on the back porch (ever notice how much better a turkey sandwich tastes when you eat outside?) and read a fascinating blog post by one of my favorite, most erudite book bloggers. In it she talks about fears  - of learning new skills, and of answering the big, important questions about ourselves and our lives. It's all too easy to accept our preconceived notions about ourselves, the ones we've been holding onto all of our lives. The kinds of notions that say, "Oh, I could never be a teacher, psychologist, doctor, nurse, missionary...I'm too introverted, too squeamish, too intellectual..."

It's much more difficult to look at our past experiences and see them- and consequently ourselves-in an altogether different light. Lately I've been thinking a lot about what might be next for me.  Because for the longest time I've been tied to a desk, shuffling papers, I've come to think of myself as a "behind the scenes" kind of person, always the "support staff" and never the one on the front line. Once upon a time, when I was in therapy years ago, I told my therapist I was thinking about going back to school to become a legal assistant. "Why?" she said. "Why aren't you thinking about becoming a lawyer?" Because I'm not smart enough, too shy, don't have the time...

In the past year or two at work, I've felt myself drowning under a sea of papers. Perhaps the urgent need I felt to crawl out from under that pile of paperwork was indicative of a need to stop hiding behind papers and do something more meaningful. I really AM too squeamish to be a doctor or a nurse...this I know for sure. But perhaps I can find another way to make a meaningful impact on people rather than just on piles of paper.

Food for thought on this lovely summer afternoon.

But for now, I'm back to the papers...