Life By Kristen

Go, and embrace your liberty. And see what wonderful things come of it. – Little Women

Worrying & Work

I’m getting to the time of year when my real life job starts to get a tad crazy.

I’ve spent endless hours writing and rewriting exhibit copy that has been on my brain since July when the research process began. By the time the proofing and words are on the wall with the exhibit, I’ll be so over them.

There was a day a week or two ago that I spent eight hours staring at the computer screen trying to make heads or tails of images, copyright issues, and license to use forms. I was so brain fried on my way home that I called for takeout and then preceded to drive home and put on my pajamas. It wasn’t until the restaurant called asking where I was that I even realized I hadn’t eaten. That sort of tired is rare for me, but when it happens, I’m really just out of it.

Every year- for the almost 5 years at this job ( as an aside, how is it 5 years!?!?!)- I tend to go into panic/freakout mode around this time. My officemates have pointed out that every year I say “I’m worried about this exhibit” or get a bit frantic about one thing or another. And every year, things work out and the show is a success. This habit I think is something I’ve inherited from being in the museum field, where shows frequently are having the finishing touches done mere hours before the champagne is poured for the opening party (closest call for me was about a 3 hour window before a party). I am ridiculously lucky that I work at a place that has an off season to prepare exhibits- it’s quite a luxury compared to previous positions.

The general “worrying about something even though history shows it all works out” seems to be a tad bit of a pattern for me, not just with work, but often times in life too. I think I’ve finally realized that a tad bit of worrying is part of my process and a coping mechanism for me. That being said, I’d like to worry less about trivial things like finding parking spots at a new restaurant, and a little more time paying attention to living a healthy lifestyle. Today is the start of Lent and I thought briefly about giving up worrying, or at least trying to work on what I worry about, but that seems like an effort deemed to fail considering it is somewhat part of my personality– and if nothing else, is definitely part of my job where I am the one assigned with worrying that things stay on time, budget, and look great. I have met people who are great at compartmentalizing their life so that they don’t worry about life things while at work and vice versa, but I for one have never been able to figure out that dynamic. While it’s easy for me to unwind after a stressful day or forget about work issues on a weekend, there can never be this complete divorce of worry- maybe it’s because I’m passionate about what I do. Maybe it’s because my name is on everything and I take pride in my hard work in a quiet, humble way.

I’ve been so successful with taking action in the various areas of life I want to change lately that it does seem like this is the time now to try to get a handle on this worrying business. I think the best part of DOING has been the getting out of my own head, bringing clarity to everything else. So instead of staring at the calendar freaking out about things, I should just realize that nothing I have ever done has been not finished and just get over myself.

Are you a worry wart? Are there things that you freak out about at work?



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