A week ago I attended a workshop about self-awareness and reflection for women in the workplace. In the workshop the leader Aisha Thomas said,
“Some of us operate on autopilot. We get up, work out, go to work, come home, go to sleep and start over. Without any time to reflect, to manage ourselves professionally and personally.”
And that’s when I realized: I do not operate on autopilot. Ever. In fact I operate on the most manual of piloting, the learning-welding-and-engineering-in-order-to-physically-build-the-pieces-that’ll-make-up-the-plane-that-I’ll-manually-pilot type of piloting.
What I mean is everything I do, I analyze. Analyze is a neutral word for ruminating on why something’s dumb, a waste of time, not for me, I don’t have enough energy, I don’t want to, please don’t make me, I’d rather stare at a wall, I can’t handle that, no.
On a typical week day, I work from home. Below is what an average schedule looks like. I think with this schedule you’ll be able to grasp the concept of not operating on autopilot:
7:40 alarm goes off, think about how stupid the day is and how dumb people are going to be and how I’m not going to be able to handle it
8:15 get up, wash face, dress
8:30 make coffee and maybe breakfast
9 think about how much I don’t want to sit down at my desk, really think about
9:30 fart around downstairs with my mom and dog, distract my mom from working
10 get some water
10:15 well, this is about as long as I can hold off the workday without fear of being fired
10:15 trudge upstairs
10:16 boot up computer, open email
10:16 check calendar
10:16-10:25 rant to myself about how I shouldn’t need to be at the meeting that I was scheduled for because it makes no godly sense, literally that’s NOT my job, should I decline the meeting or just not show, should I show so that I’m a team player, no but it’s not my job, I don’t want people thinking I have time to go to these crap meetings
10:25-11 tries to draft an email about why I won’t be attending the meeting
11:05 no problem, molly!
11:05 receives email about a dumb thing
11:06 holy shit that’s the dumbest thing I’ve literally ever encountered. What a dummy. really?????????????? That’s not how things work and it’s not even logical. Please just take yourself somewhere else
11:07-11:45 continues to check email. reads and marks those as unread because I have to do something with them. But not today because that’s too much work and I don’t feel like it.
11:45 – 12: writes fake to-do list of things that I should do but never get around to doing but continue to think about every day when I wake and when I go to bed but I’m not going to do them because I don’t feel like it at all. Plus it’s just the dumbest stuff.
12-2: fart around, have lunch, go on a walk, finish a puzzle, sit downstairs and think of all of the ways I’m so miserable with this work and cannot get my brain activated to do things like other people do. How can other people get up and do things? I used to do that, I think. What happened? I guess this is just how I am and will continue to be because if I never do any important work then I’ll never advance and do work I actually want to do.
2:15 hop on a zoom call late, think about why zoom calls are the worst thing ever invented, how people don’t know how to facilitate meetings, how there are way too many people in this meeting, where is the agenda? oh here is it BUT WHY AREN’T WE FOLLOWING IT i don’t want to talk about that please don’t make me weigh in
4 holy shit why is this zoom call still taking place make it end so i can go do nothing somewhere else. i’m never going to go to another one of these in my whole life. it’s official, i’m booking my calendar every day 8 am to 10 pm so no one can ever possibly schedule me unless it’s at an unreasonable hour in which case i’ll have a wonderfully socially accepted excuse to decline. plus no one would want to meet at that time. haha oh okay the meeting is over bye everyone email me if you need me! i’m here for yoU!
4:27 well that was just way too much but then again i did nothing today. should i get some things done yes i should okay lets do this……………..
6:30 ok cool
6:31 pack up
6:31 – 11:30 go to my bed but try to do something mentally stimulating or occupying but end up worrying about the next day in the back of my mind, how i’m not going to be able to handle anything, how i’ll actually have to do the things i didn’t do and meet with the people i didn’t meet with. i hate this so much please don’t make me do this again zzzzzzzzzz
That’s a day in the life of not repressing my feelings. It’s just an entire day of letting every thought sit in my mind for as long as it possibly wants. Stay a while! I’ll entertain you! Every thought I think is right and worthy!
As soon as I realized, “oh people don’t think about things?” in the workshop, I vowed to myself to start this week on auto-pilot. Really. That’s what I called the name of my alarm.
Auto-pilot to me means not analyzing how bad everything is, not wallowing in my “misery.” Keep. Going. Forward. No matter what the day and dumb people bring. I can’t stop to think. I can’t stop to rant to myself or the online. I have to keep moving without dwelling on anything I would usually dwell on.
After work I felt energized. I felt the time went by quickly. I wanted to do non-work things. The evening felt long. I had so much time and space in the evening.
I’m not going to elaborate further — this isn’t a success story. It’s a story about how TOO MUCH OF A “GOOD” THING, is a bad thing.
IT’S OKAY TO REPRESS YOUR FEELINGS. DON’T LET INSTAGRAM TELL YOU DIFFERENTLY.
So please, repress away. Especially if your day looks like mine.