After a month off work to be with Shannon during surgery, recovery, reaction to meds, and then recovery again – I return to work tomorrow. For the past month, I have been blessed to have the opportunity to work from home because of my amazing employer.
Even though I have been staying in contact and continuing to work throughout December, I have dreaded this day. The day before I start back to work full-time in the office and not by Shannon’s side. The day that I prepare my items for the workweek, the day I prepare items for Shannon when he begins this daily journey on his own. I have dreaded this moment – in fact I have had physical reactions to the thought of today! All the prep has been mentally exhausting!
The only thing I can compare it to is how women feel after their time off for maternity leave. HA HA! Many of my friends and family have recently experienced this transition and the way they describe it is how I have been feeling! Maternity leave! HA HA! Shannon will laugh hard at that one.
Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE my work family. They have been beyond supportive and very much by my side each step of the way even before transplant! They knew about Shannon needing a transplant before most of our family and friends even! However, the past month not working in the daily grind and being able to focus on future planning for my programs has been VERY dangerous. Idle time to think about change and if we need to revamp the direction of our programs. Idle time is VERY dangerous for me evidently.
Proverbs 16:27 – Idle hands are the devil’s workshop;
Today I kicked off what I call my ‘transition day’. Usually after a vacation, holiday, or time off schedule a transition day to get me back in the groove where I work while everyone else is off. My transition day consisted of me going to school, stopping by the office, and then this time ended at my office of choice – Starbucks. My ‘transition day’ caused the stress to come back in full force causing such a crazy physical reaction I decided to end my day at Starbucks to try to collect my thoughts and decide what direction to go next with my pile of work. The stress of going back to work and trying to balance work and personal responsibilities.
My desk was clean at the office. At school everything was in order and organized. For the next week my team in the schools have it under control so I can work in one main office instead of driving around Muskingum County in case Shannon needs something. Why all of the stress? Why am I worked up and worried?
Little did I know that God was trying to tell me something. Evidently he has been trying to tell me something all weekend and I have not been listening.
I have my typical seat at Starbucks and today for some reason I sat someplace different. Weird, but something told me to pick a different seat. Once I sat down something caught my eye at the table next to me. It was a Scholarship Central folder and tax paperwork at a table with a mother and daughter. I tried to hold my tongue and not interrupt. When they stood up to leave I could barely contain myself and had to stand up to introduce myself and ask if they received they help they needed while I was off work this past month. They quickly told me about the amazing help they received from my office from my outstanding staff! WOW! Remind me again WHY I was worrying about going back to work?
THEN, one of the regular Starbucks baristas walked in for his shift. And he had a similar conversation! I instantly jumped into work-mode and coached him through his next steps and thought of some ideas to help coach my team and students. DOUBLE WOW!
God was trying to tell me something evidently. For the last week I have been stressing and worried about returning to work. Stressing and worrying about where to start. All of the stressing and worrying went away in those brief moments today at Starbucks. I was right where I need to be today. Right where I needed to be to help me transition back into the work routine and to implement some changes in a positive way!
This faith journey over the last year evidently has not just been Shannon’s. It has been mine as well. His disease, surgery, and recovery has changed me as well. Sometimes it just takes a brief moment to recognize the signs and to help push us forward to the next step in life. Prayers for us both tomorrow as we begin this transition back into what I call our ‘new normal’. Prayers that we both continue to recognize the signs right in front of us to help us push forward.