Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Sitting Still

Sometimes I think that the reason I work so well is that I am terrible at sitting still. The sitting is not the problem--it's the figurative "still"--not doing anything to move forward--that I can't stand. So, put me in room with things to be done, and I will likely start doing them, whether they are in my jurisdiction or not.

This quirk of mine was useful when I was an AD--it helped me to move the days ("well, if we can't tape Item 46 because we're waiting for a costume change, let's tape Item 64, since we have everyone here for that.") It is useful now, as I'm editing footage for the news ("we don't have the video for the explosion yet, I can do the video for last night's storm.") It's useful for raising children (so far, I've found no age that doesn't require chasing--either the child or the child's schedule). My inability to "sit still" adds value, both to me as a worker and to me as a parent.

You would think that my aversion to  "sitting still" would be a good thing, right? Problem is, when I am left in a "holding pattern," unable to do or move forward, the result is more stress than most people find when they have too much to do. Being out of work certainly caused financial stress, but in some ways, the "sitting still" stress was worse. Even now, when I am faced with a day when I have an unexpected break from work, I have to work hard to accept not doing anything that moves me or something in my world forward.

A few days ago, I visited a household that was beginning the month of Ramadan. I was struck then by the phenomenon of sitting still. It wasn't that the family was doing nothing. Yet, despite their accomplishing the work of their household, there was a calm about them. It was hard for me at first, but I walked away appreciating the moments when I had to be still. It doesn't mean that being stuck won't still bother me. I will still be trying to fill empty spaces with getting things done. It just made me see, if only for a moment, the value in sitting still.

But no more time for that now. There are things to be done.

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