Friday, February 3, 2012

Contentment Challenge

When I wrote about Sankalpa a couple of weeks ago, I knew that my new-found ability to invite content would eventually be tried.  Somehow I thought I'd have more time to practice before things went awry.  It was a rude awakening when challenges came just days after that post. 

I don't often write about work. I get the feeling my employer would be less than happy with work-related sharing, and if possible I'd prefer to choose when I leave my job. I don't want to be forced out the door as the result of a stray comment here.  Because of this I'm going to be vague with the details, but there was an incident at work. 

It was the kind of incident that involved the police. It involved paperwork. It involved reporting not only to my immediate manager, but to management outside the workplace as well. I'm never confident that I'm acting correctly in these situations. I worried. I second-guessed my actions. I was angry with the people involved in the incident, then I was angry with myself for my lack of compassion.  I worried some more.

The situation left me so rattled that I woke several times that night to worry, rage and beat myself up. I knew it wasn't helpful, but I couldn't work with that knowledge when all I wanted to do was go back to sleep.

The next day should have allowed me to put the incident behind me. My manager had no complaints about my handling of the situation, and there seemed to be no fall-out from the higher-ups. The people involved didn't return.  It should have been a good day, but lack of sleep made even the small things horribly difficult. That night my sleep was interrupted again. This time  petty irritations of the day kept me awake. 

This went on for about a week. Each night my sleep was disturbed, and each day smaller and smaller things bothered me. Thoughts of contentment were lost in the sleep-deprived turmoil of my mind. I need my sleep.

(I'm not alone in recognizing the connection between sleep and contentment. Sleep is the first topic Gretchen Rubin tackles in her book "The Happiness Project".  More about the book another day.) 

My attempts at writing suffered as a result of my lack of sleep. I wrote pieces that were meant to be light and humourous. I knew I fell short of my mark when I got comments back from my most-excellent writing buddy. (Hi E!) She had awesome suggestions on how to further my social commentary.  I was trying to be funny. 

Nothing got posted here as I worked through my sleepless slump. I struggled to get anything down on paper. If it weren't for my regularly scheduled appointments with E, I probably would have given up.  (As I write this I realize that "E" can also mean "Ecstasy". Gives the previous sentence a completely different meaning. I must be recovering my sense of humour.) 

I'm grateful that, because of the commitment to my writing buddy, once a week I had to sit down and write. If nothing else, it made me realize I could write about the incident at work and its impact on my contentment. Hopefully I can now put the whole mess behind me and move on to more fun topics. Like pink pineapple p*nis pops!


  1. Sorry to hear about that shitty work situation.
    When something goes wrong and a bunch of managers (and police!) get involved, it can't be good. When things like that happen I get that terrible dropping feeling in the pit of my stomach that makes me feel terrified and ill and definitely sleep deprived.

    I hope things start to look up for you.

  2. Aww. Thanks Samantha. Things have been a bit easier at work, and I've been taking care of myself. (pedicures, walks, yoga, time with friends, two afternoons of playing with paints, serious down-time with hubby) Sleep hasn't been quite as elusive. Thank goodness for that!


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