Friday, May 03, 2013

When To Let It Go

I've been back at work over a month now.  Since I work at Mid-Sized Big 12 University, we're coming up on the end of the spring semester.  It's a busier time, but not the busiest.  It's a time of gathering data and doing evaluations, and taking stock.  So that's what we're doing.

You know what I've discovered?  I'm a control freak.

When I was diagnosed last fall, I went from working full time to being incapacitated in about 2 weeks time.  Suddenly, my work place had to handle the things that I normally do.  Unfortunately, while I had been working on training my staff on many of the things I do, I hadn't gotten to things like reconciling accounts, how to run financial/personnel/budget reports or how to just handle everything while I was gone for an extended period of time.

Basically - I threw them into chaos without a rope.  I'm not happy about this.  I spent a lot of time during my recovery worrying about my department.  They did the best they could and found ways to divy up my job duties.  And they figured it out and managed.  Of course.

But now I'm back.  And I'd like to have my job back.

I do in a way.  Some of my job duties I've already taken back over - thinks like reconciling accounts, and procurement cards.  But there are a lot of my duties that other staff members are doing and my natural reaction is to want those duties back.

But is that what is best for my department?

I realized today, when I came across yet another thing I used to do is being handled by one of my staff.  My first reaction was to want that thing back.  Then I stopped and thought about it.  Is it absolutely necessary that I have that particular job duty back?   Am I really the only one who can do it right?  Or is it something that someone else can handle just as well? 

Let's face it - scheduling rooms isn't all that complicated.  There's no reason someone else can't do that.  I just didn't realize she was still doing it.  I just assumed that now that I was back, everyone was sending their requests to me.  Apparently not.  So I'm trying to let go of that task.  I'll have to sit down with her and make sure that she's getting the right information to do it, and sending the correct responses to requests, and that she's sticking to first in first out....but then I'll have to let go.

Boy - that's hard for us control freaks. 

Yet it's what I have to do.  Some things I need to let go of.  Just like letting go of my hair,  cleaning the house, my expectations of what my life was going to be like.  I just have to learn to let go.  To accept that some things can be done just as well by someone else.  That I'm not irreplaceable. 

Hmph.  This is hard!  I want to stomp my feet and do everything I did before.  I don't like giving up control.  And I feel like I have so little control left anymore.  I feel like if I give up too much...I'm giving up all together. That I can't do.  So I have to find a balance between what I can do, what I want to do, and what is best for me to do. 

Task by task, day by day, figuring out what to keep and what to let go of.  Not just at work but at home, in life in general.  It's what I try to do with blog - work through this new normal.  Figure out what is worth hanging on to, and what needs to be let go of. 

Thanks for joining me for the ride.  It won't be the smoothest ride, and my daddy tells me it can be hard to read.  But I'm trying to be transparent - to not gloss everything over.  I'm not just writing for me, but also for you, newly diagnosed ovarian cancer patient.  I want you to know that what you're feeling is normal, and we all go through it.  I also write for you, caretaker of the cancer patient, so that you know what your loved one might be going through, and why they think some of the things they do.  And last but not least - for you, beloved friend, family or aquaintance.  So that you can understand who this person is that you reached out to over last six months and know that your efforts weren't wasted.

Y'all just let me know if I start sounding pretentious, ok?  I don't want to sound pretentious.  Because as we all know - an ounce of pretension is worth a pound of manure.....

(Hey I never promised to be classy!)


  1. I love reading your blog. It really gives me insight into your head. I never realized how "glossed over" Facebook is. It's a place to update people, but not really let them know how you are feeling or what you are thinking. Thanks for taking the time to write this and know that I look forward to each and every post.

  2. As - thanks Gina. Writing this openly is scary, but if it helps anyone understand this stuff, it's worth it. I'm glad you enjoy it!