Let Go. What (or whom) did you let go of this year? Why?*
Letting go. Why is that always such a hard thing to do? I have friends who can travel the globe with nothing more than a change of clothes in their lightweight backpack. I could never do that for long periods of time. I find myself attached to many things and many people.
When I left for college I had to quit my job at a local day care center. I cried every day when I went to work and a for week straight after I left the job. I couldn’t imagine my life without the little faces that brightened up my weekday afternoons. I was so attached to those children that I just couldn’t bear the thought of not seeing them again.
After college I forced my old roommates to meet up once a year at Christmas time. I’m sure they were so sick of me bugging them about those get-togethers, but I didn’t want to part ways.
And I’m pretty sure that my husband and I stayed together through college and after we graduated because neither one of us could let the other go.
Having said all that I am happy to report that I did let go of something this year. My answer to this question may sound strange, but nevertheless here it goes, I let go of my desire to prove myself at work.
After over a decade with the same company I had a long heart-to-heart talk with my boss and realized that upper management has no intention or ability to see or understand my hard work. Along the way I’ve had good managers and bad, but at the end of the day they all appreciated and acknowledged my work.
This time, as I sat across from my manager I realized that the game had changed. This time, my work would not be rewarded and for the first time EVER I decided that I did not want to spend my energy pointing out all all that I had done.
Now this is both a happy and a sad revelation. I must admit that I felt the weight lift off my shoulders as I realized that I knew what I was capable of, what I had done and what I deserved. I realized that as long as I knew those facts to be true, I no longer yearned to get the approval of my management team.
In that moment, in my boss’s office, I had an epiphany. Why was I struggling to convince others of what I already know about myself? I decided that work was no longer my priority. I had learned this lesson the hard way before, but I guess I didn’t really believe and understand it.
Although my boss was still talking I must admit that for a moment it was quiet in my head. The work I was doing was not crucial to this planet, it won’t save lives, it won’t stop wars, it’s just something I need to do to make a living and if no one is going to notice the hard work I put in, well then, there’s no reason to be up at 2 o’clock in the morning trying to get it all done.
In the past I wanted to prove my hard work and my work ethic. I wanted all of the people around me to recognize my accomplishments and to reward me for staying up until the wee hours of the morning to get work done.
But the truth is that none of that really matters, so I let go of the feeling that I had to do it all and do it right and succumbed to the notion that I am more than what my boss thinks of me or my work.
*Reverb10 – Prompt 5