Still Learning

This week I had an epiphany about myself.   I'm 40 yrs old.  You would think I would know who I am pretty well.  But I am still learning so much about who I am and why I am who I am. And I'm thankful for that.

It is not uncommon for a co-worker to say that I am "so positive" or such a "morning person" or something similar.     It makes me feel good to know that I am known  for being a positive person at work.  In the moment, I usually make some joke about learning how to "fake being a morning person when I was student teaching". I cannot tell you how many times I have said that over the years.   I always laugh it off and move on.   But it still surprises me that people think I am a bubbly morning person because  I don't think of myself as one.   

Time for the epiphany...it occurred to me this week, during one of these moments when a co-worker was commenting on how positive I am, that at work, I AM an extrovert.  Not quite the same thing as a "positive person" but for me, being extroverted comes off as being positive.    I am an encourager.  I am a take-a-moment-to-vent-then-get-it-done worker.  I am a teacher to my peers.   I am a learner.   I have faught through debilitating depression and have trained myself to look for the good around me.   It's not that I don't get overwhelmed or frustrated.  It's not that I live in a fairy tale and can't handle reality.   It's that I choose to focus on the good and start from there.   

Ok, so that still wasn't the epiphany.   It's coming, I promise.   The thought that stopped me in my tracks was that, yes, I am an extrovert at work.   And I'm thankful for that.   Here it is...that constant energy takes a toll on me each day.   When I leave work each night, I'm fried.   Being outgoing and connecting to people, which I enjoy very much, is exhausting.   When I leave the office, I need to recover.   For so long I've struggled with guilt because although I'm thankful my kiddos are very involved in their sport of choice, I struggle with resenting the running around half the week when all I want to do is go home and "be all done".   Now I realize, it isn't so much I don't want to hang around the barn or freeze at the ice rink, I just need some recovery time from work.  I am an extrovert at work but there is a part of me that is still very introverted.  I need some quiet time.   And the nights we are running off to practice, I don't get that time to be off by myself.  Time to just be.   Be quiet.  Be thoughtful.  Be able to wind down.   

This isn't exactly earth shattering information but for me, it was a significant moment of self discovery.   And now that I recognize all that is at play, I feel a little better equipped to handle the nights of running around.  I can understand that I'm not a bad mom because I want to be home.   I love my children and I will support them in their activities.   And I will still long for the moment I CAN be all done.   I am who I am.   After work I need some down time.  I will try to remember as I'm feeling frazzled that I will still get some quiet and recoup but it will take a little longer.  

Such a simple thing really but this one thought really changed how I see myself.   Have you ever had a "stop in your tracks" moment?   I'd love to hear about yours.  

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