Here I am in week 3 of my current travel contract in Florida. I’m still struggling with getting through the first and second day of the work week. I’ve been stressed out to the point of tears falling from my eyes, hard tears. So I asked God, “what in the world is happening?” The answer? I’m scattered into a bazillion directions, trying to multitask. I keep adding things to my brain, some good, some necessary. But just because they’re good things doesn’t mean I should keep adding things.
I’m no good at multi tasking. Never have been. I’m a ‘do 1 thing at a time” kind of girl. This is particularly challenging at the job. Surgery is a multi tasking kind of job. I’ve been at it for just about 26 years now. It’s been a really challenging road to walk too. But God has helped me to get a rhythm down that works for me. I’ve learned how to use my words to help me sort through the chaos and madness around surgery. This did not happen overnight. I shed a million tears to reach a stable place in my brain, job wise.
Now throw in the whole travel thing. The not knowing people, not knowing where stuff is, not knowing where to live, not knowing where to stay when I’m on call. All these things disrupt the stability. You know how wise people tell you to leave work at work? This week, I discovered that I need to apply this idea to home as well. I need to learn to leave home at home.
For example, it’s tax season. Monday, I decided to do my taxes “quick”. Ha! It didn’t go the way I thought it would. Essentially, I had myself so wound up about taxes that it affected the first half of my work day. And not for the good. It just took over my brain. I brought that anxiety with me. It made doing my job 100x harder. I did it on Tuesday as well, but with a different trivial thing.
That’s when it hit me. I’m scattered in a bazillion pieces. I’m trying to think about too many things. I’m distracted. What’s the opposite of distraction? Focus. I need to be unconditionally focused. How? By deleting things instead of adding things. What to delete? The number one distraction ~ the phone, with it’s 24/7, in your face on ness! What’s the plan to be unconditionally focused? Turn it off! Leave it behind for the 8 hour work day. leave it in the cottage for the 1-2 hour walk in the morning before work. Delete the noise. Restore some peace and quiet into each day, away from the ringing, the social media, the email, the marco polo. Delete. Delete. Delete.
I started yesterday. I left my phone in the locker for the whole shift. And do you know what? I was calm. I was focused on my co-workers, surgeons, anesthetists, and patients. I was present. I was not distracted. At the end of the day, the phone was still there. Nothing earth shattering happened. The sky was still in its usual place. I could breathe. It was good. It was really good.
‘Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. ‘ Matthew 11:28-29
So yeah. Unconditional focus. I’m going to practice this.