As I get ready to return to work after vacation, I find myself feeling like I want to fast-forward through the week. Getting through the backlog of emails, phone messages and other work that has piled up is something I usually dread and would rather just be done with. What has my finger poised about the fast-forward button is much more about my desire to avoid feeling like I’m behind and possibly out of control. Feeling that way makes me uncomfortable and who wants to feel that way?
Few of us like to experience emotions that make us uncomfortable and many of us will do whatever we can to avoid people or situations that drum up those kinds of feelings. Wanting to press fast-forward and get beyond the discomfort is a natural reaction, but might not always be the best one. There will always be moments we would rather rush through to avoid painful feelings, but there is value in slowing down and experiencing the situation. When we slow down and stop trying to find a way around something, we often gain the insight we need to help us work through it. And having worked your way through something once gives you confidence and strength for the next time. That’s how we grow and the little lessons of life have a way of popping up when we slow down enough to pay attention to them.
So, I’m going to be okay with the 1500+ emails that I need to go through and trust that I will get through them all in whatever amount of time it takes. I’m pretty sure that the sun will keep on rising and setting whether I’ve returned a phone call tomorrow or it waits till next week. After all, the only person putting pressure on me is me and this week I’m going to be okay with feeling a little uncomfortable with that number. After all, it’s just a number.