Willingness is the Key

Life lessons. Sometimes they bonk us in the head seemingly from left field. But more often than not they’ve been staring us in the face and we have just been unable to see them. Until the bonk. Or at least this is my experience.
Sipping on coffee, under my favorite blanket embracing the ease of Saturday morning. In just a few hours we will hop in the car and “begin” our weekend. I find myself in contemplation mode. It’s been a week of erratic thinking and loss of perspective. I was manic and paranoid at the same time. I awoke on Tuesday at 4 am and was convinced I had betrayed my agency. My mind literally took on a mind of its own. For 2 hours I laid in bed while thoughts raced, confusion stirred and I was paralyzed. I work in social services. The rate we fund various agencies for their various services is set by the state. Very rarely do the rates change, much less rise. But there are always caveats. This time the nonsensical direction we were given is that already existing vendors would receive new rates, and soon to be or potential vendors would get the old rate. A collective HUH? was sighed around those of us dealing with this issue.
Somehow my mind was convinced I sent out the rate scale to all the soon to be vendors. While this is public knowledge, we do not hand out this information. We would share it at the time someone were to get vendorized with us. I had become a CIA operative in the social service world gone rogue. I agonized over this for 2 hours. I was so uncertain and confused of my actions I checked my sent email file to see what damage I had done. Which of course, was absolutely none. But it spawned the paranoia.
In all of this chaos I lost sight of my role. I was wanting to control anything and everything. If I “fixed” issues outside of my job description it was redemption. So in other words crossing work boundaries. Dipping into other departments. My new supervisor is all about the mantra of staying in your own lane. I was having trouble understanding what that meant. I kept on veering. Throw me a curve ball and I’m probably going to chase it.
Last night, well after work hours, I was bonked in the head with a realization. If I solved every problem that even remotely affected me, I would be in charge. In control. But really, I am ultimately wasting energy and causing myself stress. These are not my problems. I sent my supervisor an email asking her for guidance throwing the situation way out of proportion. She had a one line response. It didn’t indulge my drama. The answer she gave reiterated what I had said without trying to fix what I didn’t actually break. I was wanting to fix the ENTIRE situation, when clearly that is not my role here.
The internal chaos was quickly seeping to the outside world and breeding more chaos. I was waiting in the wings with bandages, band aids, and whatever else. My effort to regain control.
I am a social worker at heart. I truly do want to help. But I am starting to see that’s all well and good, but not in my job description. It’s cleaner if I stay on my side of the street until someone actually asks me for assistance. I jump the gun and bum rush a situation that doesn’t need my fingerprints.
A hard won life lesson embedded in a one line response. I had to be willing to read between the line(s). Which, when I think about it, prompted the bonk. Willingness. That’s all 😊

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