I knew it would be a challenging day at the office. Laying off staff is uncomfortable and unpleasant and unfortunately sometimes must be done. Even while I knew it could be on the agenda today – there was still some debate raging Tuesday afternoon – by the time I got to the office this morning the decision to make cuts sooner rather than later had been made and it was actually more and therefore worse than I was expecting.
To add another layer to this, my morning at the gym was not especially productive, my mind distracted with the turmoil at the office. I went through my List, but it was a half-hearted effort at best. Yesterday’s minor gym tweak was also still haunting me in the form of a stiffer lat and shoulder on one side that made me think about it all through the practice.
These are things I mostly expect, because I want no one to have the genuinely bad day they had upon learning their job was no longer their job. It makes my poor showing at the gym into a realistic perspective.
I like to think former coworkers released into the wilds of unemployment will find a better job or at least a better fit somewhere else. And quickly, too. But I know it is the hopeful thinker in me trying to find the positive spin on a sad and stressful day.
When I left the office, the remaining staff had gone home for the day at the insistence of the bosses, who were ensconced in a conference room having an adult beverage before their evenings began. Knowing we are doing the right thing for the health of our firm does not make what in the moment feels like despicable actions. We remind ourselves that ours is a for-profit organization, not a charity organization to ensure unemployed lawyers and paralegals have salary and benefits and opportunities to disrupt a smooth-running organization. Somehow it seems so much easier to absorb and ignore a poor fit in a larger corporate environment.
I returned to the gym this evening to productively burn off some steam, and I feel infinitely better about my day and about things having done so. It’s not that I moved weightier weights and tired myself completely out with high reps and greater sets, because I actually went lighter and did normal rep and set ranges. Or less in some instances. Exercise is like my reward system, something good I do for myself, and it tends to blow out the cobwebs and negative impulses floating around in my mind. I don’t want to feel crappy about myself anymore, and the exercise, even the simplest things with the lightest weight, makes me feel so much better. About me, my life, my current circumstances. I can find a happy place where I am successful and conquering something, rather than just doing what has to be done no matter how distasteful I find it.
I marvel at how wonderful it is to have a healthy habit and lifestyle activity that will improve my mood and make my day better. And how new and ridiculously exciting it is for me to be this more empowered and confident version of me.
Maybe today is not so much a worse day or a bad day. It seems I work very hard every day, but sometimes the impacts of the work hits me harder than others. Good I have ways to cope and bounce back now.
And that is some damn fine progress I can quietly celebrate.