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Return to Work (in Progress Part Three of a Trilogy)

Today I am not at work.  Instead, I am catching up on missed television episodes, folding laundry, knitting, writing and resting. 
In the hopscotch of fall colds, everyone in my house has toppled--except me.  I remain one hop ahead and a day on the couch helps me keep my balance.
Tomorrow, it will be one month since I returned to work after an almost two year absence.  So far, the hardest part has been deciding what to wear.  I would like to blame it on the fact that the past two years my choices were limited to a variety of shades of stretchy pants and I am out of practice, but it has always been this way. 

Three days a week--soon to be back to five--I put on something professional looking and venture out into the "big world", drive 15 minutes to my new location of work, wave hello to colleagues, grab a coffee and press the button that brings my computer to life.
It is hard to describe the feeling of being there.  I am there, and yet I am not, as I feel slightly out of time with the energy of the place.  At first I thought it was because I was still on hold....I was still in November of 2012 when I had left and I just needed to catch up to where the organization was now.  
Two years can be a long time for evolution, after all, when I "mind the gap" of how far I have come....
Faces have changed, technology exploded, yet I am struck by how much is much like I left it.  Bitter remarks hang grey and eye watering in the air like scenes from a seventies newsroom.  Cartoon smiling suns are pasted up over the haze of indifference, judgment and criticism.  Everyone is doing the best they can---everyone ELSE is out make their life harder. 
In a professional environment, things seem very personal.
My ego is confused.  It is used to being important at work.  So I struggle with wanting to dive into the flow and being wary of being dragged away by the current.  You can't ignore you ego.  So I take time to listen to it and it settles down to watch the flow with me. 
I had a huge fear when I thought of returning to work.  I was overcome by the thought of giving up my "small world" to step back into this big one. It would be like flipping a switch. On or off.  In or out.  Peace or chaos. There was no middle. 
What I failed to realize was that while in my "small world" of my backyard and my house, I was able to dismantle my perceptions of reality, to get to what was real.  My "small world" was not by back deck or my yard or my house.  My small world was me!  And conveniently, I carry me wherever I go.
I have a fabulous toolbox inside my head---tools like compassion, love, joy, patience, acceptance, feel, brave, trust, flow and receive.  It is like they create some sort of clarity---like polarized sunglasses let's say.  Nothing feels as bright, as hurtful, as frustrating. I am there.  I can see it.  I just AM NOT IT.  
And this is cool.
Soon enough there will be something at work that tempts me into the flow.  But there is no need to jump in eyes closed.  Life has a flow, struggling against it doesn't  hurt anyone but yourself.  With my small world inside, my ego in check, I am sure I will wade in to some project or another but I will do my very best to never, ever, let it sweep me away.
As always, I am a Work in Progress....



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