What I’m Watching: No Tomorrow
What I’m Reading: What Color is Your Parachute
What I’m listening to: Kaleo Radio
It’s the Wednesday before Thanksgiving. If you’re in the office, you’re probably the only one there. I love working during holiday weeks. I find I’m rather productive. I catch up on all of the things that I have really been wanting to do, but that aren’t high enough priority for me to have done them already. The pile of things that falls into this list is usually things I find valuable, think would bring a community value, or stoke my inner love that makes me love my job. It becomes rather large, and the stress of that alone reminds me of all the other things that my job and life demand.
Over the years, I’ve definitely learned to develop my own resiliency plan. I love working for our communities. And, that work is not always a walk in the park. It’s hard to narrow down favorite Leslie Knope quotes, but one that continuously comes up for me is this one:
I commend Leslie for her limitless passion, but for me, I have days when the weight of the world’s problems weigh me down. I have moments when it seems like the holiday weekend won’t come around in time to attack my built up pile. And that’s when I turn to a different Leslie Knope gif:
Big lesson: I learned not to let it get there. Most of our organizations aren’t going to be able to set up a system individualized enough to keep each of us from our own burnout level, so we take it upon ourselves to learn to see our own breaking points long before we reach them. This isn’t just self care. I mean if you zoom out, it’s big picture self care. It’s really finding out what makes you tick. What makes you come to work in the morning? Is there a part of your job you only get to spend 5% of your time on? How can you make the 5% larger, or make it more meaningful, or more impactful for the community?
If we are being honest with ourselves, it isn’t always about how we spend our workdays. We happened to be blessed in local government, that so many of us believe deeply in the work that we do. But being able to leave the cubicle behind and be fully engaged in what also brings us joy, outside of work, requires a different type of resiliency that knows our employers see value in us not being available 24/7. Because while we believe that checking emails as soon as they come in will be the only thing that keeps city hall from burning down, that’s pretty likely not true. What is true that is if we try to maintain being always on, we’ll end up looking like this guy:
The reason I always work the Wednesday before Thanksgiving is because I love to travel. I forego most holidays or long weekends in exchange for an intentional trip. It could be to a city I have never seen, camping in the woods, a cabin on a lake or an international trip for two weeks. I know that I have to take time away, preferably where there is no cell service and no wifi so that even in my weakest moments, I’m unable to do anything but be fully present. This is what I have found works for me in order to recharge, and likely that is different for everyone.
Holidays are wonderful, and being around family and friends may be recharging for folks as well. Don’t forget to recharge you the way that you do best. And if that means creating new traditions, finally taking that trip you’ve always talked about, or just finding a cabin in the mountains for a weekend change of scenery, take care of yourselves this winter, when you can make the most of your time and maybe take advantage of some free calendar space.