The week behind me and the return of negative girl

It has been quite a week.

My hour plus at the gym most mornings is my space to think about and process anything and everything. It’s me time at its finest. Unfortunately it is not always pleasant, fun, or positive. The past year I have grown stronger and more resilient in so many positive ways, but still, occasionally my thoughts are heavy and dark and negative. I think about the wrongs I failed to right, the hurts I have inflicted as well as endured, all the “shoulds” in my life. Not frequently anymore, particularly compared to most of the rest of the days of my life thus far but every now and again it sneaks up on me and blooms inside my head.

This weekend will be an all hands type weekend, where everyone is going to be in the office working on a case that has suddenly gone from dormant to white-hot in the span of 24 hours. With the separations and the HR carnage at the firm this week, I cannot seem to stop myself from feeling some guilt that we have fewer hands available to get through this short-fused deadline, one pair of which were both experienced and skillful in such matters. I am trying to utilize the tools I have been taught to shut down that line of thinking, because it only leads me to the edge of the rabbit hole of doubt, uncertainty, anxiety, and depression.

I have come too far to indulge myself with such dark thoughts.

But I acknowledge that it’s hard to push them away, to cease being hypnotized by the familiarity of negative girl’s vibe. Intellectually I completely understand that I am not responsible for the outcome of my coworkers terminations, although I was involved in the final decision-making process and there while their behaviors leading to this consequence were occurring. However, because I was so immersed in the events that crested to this point and emotionally wrung out over it, I am left feeling cracked and fragile. It is events of this sort that make me realize I do not have the stomach for big corporate life, where such skirmishes happen far more frequently and on a grander scale than my little firm. Perhaps we become desensitized to it, forgetting that real people with real careers are impacted by how their behaviors are perceived and received by others. I am not naive enough to believe such consequences only happen to the guilty and deserving, which makes it worse. But there are bullies in all walks and socioeconomic tiers of life and spread throughout the hierarchy of the workplace. My desire to keep the peace and maintain my own dignity and sense of fairness are rarely in conflict; I am predictable in choosing dignity and fairness over keeping the peace. This does not mean I ever like it and wish that peace, dignity, fairness could coexist everywhere 24/7.

Yep, that’s pollyanna spirit talking. I cannot seem to shut her up.

In the little pond that is my firm, I hold a position of authority. I dislike the word power, because it has negative connotations in this context. However, being a manager and a decision-maker, I have mixed feelings about my job and the responsibilities of leadership. Am I setting a good example? Am I abusing those around me for my own comfort and gain? Mostly I don’t think so, but the relief I felt when the terminations were decided by the bosses is impossible to deny. I know the more experienced 5 year associate will land on his feet; he is a perfect candidate for the dog-eat-dog environments of larger firms. The other guy? A near-perfect example of entitled millennial who needs to grow the fuck up in order to achieve his potential. I feel much less guilty about being part of this life lesson for him.

I know managing my mood is critical, because it is something that colors whole days and all swaths of my life. I felt negative girl’s breath on my neck this morning in my List of the day selection, repeating this week’s chest and front ab List because it very familiar and I could be well anchored to a single spot within the club. Neither of those things are bad; I did not feel like I was hiding out so much as not terribly energetic or interested in challenging myself. M used to tell me all the time to just do something, even if it were just a little something, every day. Trainer J offers a similar perspective. In my edgy, darker-tinted thoughts I feel negative girl trying to influence me, to suggest my thinking and my actions are flawed, an assault of the “shoulds” upon my heart and mind. This morning, it was that I “should” choose another workout that is both more challenging and more exhausting. I can feel that judgmental bitch trying to punish me for not getting enough sleep and the sleep I am getting not being restful. It is as if that aspect of my mind sees me as a rebellious, willful child that must be punished for transgressions.

I am battling back. I was at the gym. I successfully completed full sets of my List of the day plus the 8 TRX push-ups I am trying to master. These are an ongoing project, one that should be undertaken more successfully when I am not feeling so down and out and negative girl has been recaptured and contained.

While looking back at September’s distractions, from a purely practice perspective I understand how out of my routines I am and the impact it has on my headspace. Rational mind also knows it will take a couple of weeks for things to settle down and fall back into typical routines. Brain under the influence of negative girl is sure I’m about to quit training, quit going to the gym, be back injecting insulin before the end of the year.

My tools for reclaiming my head and turning off that negative noise is only kinda-sorta working. I was so busy tonight I did not leave work until after 8 p.m. and will be back at it tomorrow after my yoga workshop. Sunday is still kind of up in the air, but I’m pretty sure I will either be at the gym or at the gym and the pilates class. I am clinging to the routines and my Lists with both hands so I do not allow myself to become lost in the dark side of my head.

Mostly, I think a good long hit of sleep will help. I’m not going to work until noon tomorrow and Sunday, and I can sleep until at least 7:30 tomorrow. Many of my friends who have listened to my whining about work this week have suggested time away from the gym, maybe more sleep instead, but I believe the exercise is the only thing keeping me on the positive and flourishing side of the scale right now. If I were ill as in had a cold or something I would take that advice, but I’m fine, just feeling burned out and tired. At my core I am far more a shy introvert, and between the wedding socializing and the vacation socializing I just need a break where I do little other than my day-to-day tasks.

Sleep is the great equalizer, and despite the work schedule and the yoga workshop and getting in a practice on Sunday, I will be able to catch up on my rest.

And my reading as well. I still have a stack of books in my kindle that I’m working on, and I have been neglecting it this week and not shutting off my work thinking and letting it impact my sleep. Back to the books tonight.

I’m really glad it’s Friday and I hope you all enjoy a fabulous weekend, just in case I cannot get back to write this weekend.

2 thoughts on “The week behind me and the return of negative girl

  1. Yes get sleep but don’t stop the gym. You need to get back in your groove after all of this unsettled time. It is restortative for you in its own way.

    Hugs! I am following along – just swamped here and battling my own negative girl. No worries – I am winning. 😉

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