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  • jane anderson

Still Own-Working, Still Distracted

Updated: Jan 11, 2021

Own-working is just what it says on the tin. Working on your own.

In my case, I write things out of my own head (I hope) on my own.

Lots of work can be done on your own of course but I happen to write. I also mostly write at home; I call this home-alone working. Or if I'm writing somewhere else, it's wild-working.

Strangely perhaps, I enjoy this, both the writing and the working alone. Probably because it suits me, although I am not a hermit and I do like people. I have just been fortunate in discovering what I like to do best and how I like to do it. So I usually write on my own, at home when I can, and when I'm not doing that I'm training, presenting or coaching.

All of this is my choice though.

I opt for it. Many people are in a more difficult position at the moment. They are at home, working, but their home working feels imposed, suffocating even. It may not suit their nature or their circumstances. Alone or with several others in the same space as themselves, some may feel they have lost control over their lives. That their freedom has been curtailed, their safety jeopardised.

Even though this curfew/lockdown/period of rustication/opportunity for reinvention - call it what you will (because what you call it matters; it's your perspective of your current existence after all) - has been called for sound reasons, to protect us, it can still feel chaotic at times.

It's easy to feel lost, discombobulated. Most of us have never been through such strange times and we're ill-prepared. But we do have freedom of choice over how we think and respond to the situation. All of us are managing difficulties that may not be obvious to others but we each retain the right to look on the bright side of life (thank you Monty Python).

Constantly being upbeat can be wearing though, and slipping into a wallow over the fact that someone's eaten the last precious doughnut and there are none left in the shop which you don't want to go to right now anyway, is not failure, it's just human.

It's not how often you trip up on your good intentions that matters, but how quickly you recognise what's happened then own it, learn from it and manage your next steps.

Churchill said 'If you're going through hell, keep going.'

What we're going through isn't hell, not compared to the way so many people on this Earth have to live. It is different, difficult, trying, confusing, restricting and exasperating. But unusual, surprising and fraught with possibility too. How you think about it counts.

Jane Anderson PhD specialises in Sociospacial Reciprocity and Place Therapy. She's been working in wellbeing for nigh on 30 years and is especially interested in the people-place relationship and how it underpins all other aspects of staff engagement and wellbeing. Her Staff Wellbeing Framework Model is now charter-marked for quality assurance.

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