I used to be smart. Not a genius, by any stretch, but of moderate-to-high intelligence in most* things. And yet…
For the better part of the past three days, I’ve walked around feeling like the village idiot and doing my best to prove the point at every turn. NOT how a healthy gal wants to (or should) spend her weekend.
The biggest problem was with the new job. Not the work itself–I think I’m pretty good at that, if I do say so myself–but the paperwork and reporting for the past few weeks. Being new, I feel like I’m on another planet. I don’t know the lingo, the systems, or even the purpose of most of it, and I don’t think I did a single report correctly. This means someone else is going to have to spend time getting it straightened out, and because of that, I’ve been feeling sad and embarrassed and stressed. Part of me has wanted to send examples of all the systems and processes I managed in my previous job, where I was one of the experts, just to show I do have skills, while part of me wanted to disconnect my phone and internet and go to bed.
Fortunately, a good night’s sleep and a sunny day today brought clarity. Not to mention better nutrition. (Friday was a disaster!) While I was out for my walk this afternoon, I was thinking about my first days on my previous job (25 years ago–yikes!) and remembering something my friend-ever-since, Jim, told me after I created some problems with a then new-to-me system:
Whether it’s a new job, a new hobby, a new way of eating or exercising, we’re all new at something sometime, and we’re going to make mistakes. If we’re lucky, we learn from those mistakes and even grow from them. I eventually mastered the system that defeated me 25 years ago and went on to become manager of the department responsible for it (where one of my proudest accomplishments was getting rid of that beast).
I’m still a little embarrassed by my errors, but I know that I will grow from this experience. I’ve already learned that my fatigue factor goes way up at the end of a full travel workweek, and that I need to wait until I’m rested before doing paperwork. It will help that I’ll be able to do these reports daily and won’t have a backlog pressuring me when I get home.
Another thing I’ve learned is that I need to find a way to get more exercise into my travel schedule. Even though, I’m on my feet all day on full workdays, I need to move. Only two of the seven hotels I’ve stayed in had exercise rooms, and for one of those I was late coming in and early going out. I’m hoping that with the time change next weekend, I’ll be able to squeeze in at least a short walk every day outside.
Now, I only have to hope that I still have a job to grow IN.
If you’re struggling with something new and feeling pressured by mistakes you might be making, I encourage you to remember that at least you’re doing something. Success will either find you, or you’ll decide to try something else. The main thing is to learn and keep trying!
*Discounting spatial intelligence, correct comma usage, and anything science-y