Collecting my thoughts

It’s overcast and sprinkling here today, but in my head and my little corner of the world feels sunny and bright. A lot of pinging and ponging in my head today on different topics and this post may be all over the place. But oh well. I’m sure you’re not visiting and reading because I’m such an exceptionally gifted writer and make sense of sense. Half the time I don’t even proofread before hitting publish and then cringe when I read later and see all these glaring typos and sentences that could be written more clearly.

But oh well. Flying my human flag for all to see. *smile*

I am again shaving sleep, staying up way later than I should be and as a result not launching out of bed and making it the gym by my preferred arrival time.

This morning’s List of the day was from Monday’s training session – all about shoulders and abs. Because of my later than preferred arrival time, I was only able to complete 2 sets of each of the 4 quads of exercises rather than the 3 I had hoped to fit into my allotted time.

Today’s particular List – I recall now why I studiously avoided giving it too much of my time and attention. It’s hard! In particular, I am renaming the bird dog exercise to “deranged dog having seizure” based exclusively on my inability to raise left leg, right arm, not try to raise left leg and left arm and then topple over sideways. I figure I will learn to say deranged dog having seizure in sanskrit and it will sound elegant and mysterious, rather than just having a difficult time wrapping my head around the opposite limb movement. So while not as hard as it was when we began working at it, still a challenge to get through what seems to me really ambitious rep ranges. At least, for today. Tomorrow, next I go through this List, it may be fine. Because I will be better rested.

Pulling together those 3 thoughts while running through my practice this morning, I was musing about how vastly improved my mindset and outlook. The consequences of my choices and my actions did not cause me to have an anxious, guild-ridden practice experience, and this is still new enough behavior for me to marvel at it. My attitude toward (1) being “late” arriving for practice, (2) completing minimal sets and fewer reps than prescribed, and (3) how challenging this List continues to be for me – oh well. Seriously, oh well. Today is a single practice morning out of many in my lifetime, and I do not sense some dark and sinister emerging pattern meant to derail my progress. September has been a busy month of distractions. The sky is still firmly anchored overhead behind the cloud cover and there is no need for me to panic that that world as I knew it is ending.

I am also quite sure neither J or anyone else going to express deep disappointment in my less than stellar showing, because I am equally certain neither J or anyone else even noticed I was in the gym much less what I might be doing in my own little corner. My own harsh and negative interpretations of my choices and behaviors have altered with the locking away of negative girl, and I am doing a pretty good job of rocking this laissez faire attitude about exercise. At least, this week anyway; I could be back to overthinking it and getting antsy about missing practices once I am fully back on track with normal routines.

And finally, I realize the elasticity of my competence with exercise has expanded throughout this last year. While I have an overall broader range of movement and capabilities and the hows and whys of a lot of different things, not every day is a perfect practice day where everything feels spot-on and I am firing on all cylinders. I am still trying out and learning how this whole “let it be” way of thinking and feeling works for me. Some days are glitter-bombing amazing and others are fabulous just because I choose to have a great day. Or not.

Which brings me to work. Ahhh … work.

Probably 98.5% of the time I love my job. I have developed profound respect and admiration for my bosses and how they have crafted and choose to manage their firm. Being human as well, they are imperfect as well, with their own unique strengths and weaknesses. They are good communicators, with each other as well as their employees. Of the things I like about being part of this firm, of critical importance to me is the sense that I am heard and my experience and expertise is valued. I certainly do not win every single battle nor do I get everything I want from each discussion I’m involved in, but I never feel as if my input is pointless and the decisions already made before I even have an opportunity to make my pitch. I also play by the rules and respect chain of command. The way the administrative responsibilities are divided, it is possible to get a different answer to the same request depending upon how and to whom the request is made. Since I dislike conflict of that nature, my rule it to go to the boss of primary responsibility unless he’s completely unavailable for an approval.

While I am not naive enough to believe others have some sense of propriety when pursuing firm-related goals and objectives or personal agendas, it was still a bit of a shock to return from vacation to find that this multi-point memo was in the boss’ hands and a discussion item for us as a management group. After a quick read of it on Monday, I was equally infuriated with the young upstarts and with my bosses for being nice guys and indulging the young upstarts. I would have been less infuriated with the bosses if they had not had a hash-out session over offices and office spaces when we began the office relocation planning and budgeting. It was a given that I would be upset with the upstart segment of the firm because I had spent plenty of time explaining to the office relocation and individual space requirements as they required. Some of the questions asked were/are none of their business, and as I pointed out before all this came about, unless they were principals assuming some of the burden of financial risk, it really was none of their business.

So Monday when I found out about all this stuff coming up as an issue and it being presented as me not providing reasonable explanations, I was understandably upset and unhappy. My bosses twisted themselves into pretzels assuring me they did not believe that I was not communicating with the staff, yet at the same time there was a statement that “perhaps I was not being clear.”

Red. Fire, breathing RED kind of angry. Yet so coldly angry I had to excuse myself for a moment to collect my thoughts and become able to speak to them in actual words rather than silent, withering glares.

And this is why I do like working here. We can meet behind closed doors and I can have the equivalent of an ice-storm angry vent and they do not see me as less professional or worse, being overly sensitive and emotional. It helps that I could remind them of their intense negotiations over budget and office assignments, furnishings, and equiment decisions. It helps that I could tell remind them of our meetings every week about the status of the build and plethora of details I am coping with to pull the move together. It helps that I had warned them that disclosing the plans to the staff prematurely was going to have this kind of impact on them and on me and I was overruled in favor of satisfying curiosity and letting people know how we were progressing.

It really helped that I was so personally and professionally aghast at their assumptions based on statement from the staff and assurances provided to mollify a small section of the staff in my absence. I could not have hidden my reaction to the list and their actions in my absence even if I were inclined to do so

I am nothing if not honest and genuine in my dealing and interactions, both professionally and personally. If Monday was bad, Tuesday was even worse. But just like in marriage, we (bosses and I) talked about it, hashed it out, aired our grievances, and finally resolved our issues. Apologies were proffered and accepted, although I did warn them that while it may take me a little while to warm back up to the rabble-rousing segment, I would treat them with professional courtesy and respect in the interim. That said, meeting with the staff was ugly, and they all know just how angry I am at their childish behaviors. They were also all reminded that I am not their mom, not their administrative lackey, and not even their peer. In my capacity at the firm, I am their superior; my place on the org chart is well above theirs and they need to treat my position as well as me personally with the same level of respect and courtesy I extended to them. The separations yesterday sent a very clear statement that our firm while relaxed and fairly open in it communications, not all information is open to all for review and comment. Most importantly, while staff input is welcome and encouraged, this is not a democracy where majority rules and everyone gets a vote on every matter under discussion. For that matter, not every matter will even be elevated for discussion.

Suffice to say, it has been a bit of a rocky return from wedding and vacation adventures. I am someone who hates drama, in or outside the workplace. I will also say that dealing with the latest crop of new hires has been a bit of an eye-opener. Every generation is different, but these millennials … their parents need to be criminally prosecuted for poor child rearing.

Today, though, things are pretty much back to normal. Everyone is pleasant and seems happy, the whiners in the peanut gallery looked suitably chastised yet are trying to retain a game face around me that hopefully means they are putting their heads down and working on their billable projects rather than continuing as activists for their personal agendas and trying to change the firm to suit their own visions of becoming passionate about their work.

You’re lawyers. You’re new lawyers. And the firm you are employed by is not trying to save the world or impact the social justice scales.

My prior second choice receptionist is coming in at noon to revisit the job. He (yep, it’s a male) was very excited when I called and asked if he might still be interested, and while I imagine he will have to give 2 weeks notice at his present job, he did say he would be willing to work here on his weekday days off during the transition. So that’s a plus. We shall see how it works out.

This morning another member asked me how long I had been working with a trainer before feeling like I was ready to go it alone. I was honest and said I still work with J twice a week and have for over a year. For a very quick nanosecond I wondered if that was a bad thing – maybe I am the village idiot? But the nanosecond passed, and I realize that training is what it is – a luxury, an indulgence, a shortcut so I do not have to try and figure things out on my own. And anymore, I have made my peace with it and will continue until it gets to some point where transitioning away seems like a next logical step.

Not an outcome I can imagine right now, but 6 months ago I could not foresee doing a lot of what I can comfortably do now either.

For today, my gratitude in the midst of an intense and stress-filled week is toward trainer J teaching me to exercise safely and sanely. Otherwise I would be in a terrible mood all the time or worse, allowing my emotions to impact my exercise and tossing weights about (assuming I ever used them) about willy-nilly and probably repeatedly injuring myself in the process.

Or even worse – I would be a cardio queen breathing fire and having active bitch face so frequently it would evolve into permanent resting bitch face while going nowhere on a treadmill for hours on end.

Yep, even with deranged dog having a seizure issues today, my regular exercise program improves heart and mind as much as it impacts the various muscle groups. Gym time is a protected block on my calendar, no matter what, for very good reasons. Anyone in the world who has to deal with me regularly should be sending monetary tributes directly to trainer J’s account.

The thought makes me smile. And the feeling that wrongs are being righted in my little universe – priceless.

 

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