What keeps you up at night? I know there are plenty of things on my mind. Most recently, this question was asked at a meeting I attended. Sleep and I struggle to be friends sometimes, but I never really thought that this kept me up at night until I heard the question and gave it some thought.
What keeps me up?
Most recently, I’ve been struggling with a relationship with a colleague. We are two very different people existing in a forced space because we work together. I do not like workplace drama, and honestly, it was unnecessary. I am not for everybody, and everybody is not for me. The thing keeping me up, though, was the words she used to describe me. We may say, “Stick and stone may break my bones, but words will never hurt me!” Until the words are so venomous that it’s like a gut punch that knocks the wind out of you. As she and I sat across a table from one another, she commented, “It’s your personality! You think you’re better than the rest of us! You’re uneducated! You’re unprofessional!” She said a whole lot more; these were the highlights. My immediate thought was when they go low, go lower, (Eric Mays). I elected to take Michelle Obama’s advice to go higher or maintain a level of decorum that did not pull me out of pocket (insert RBF here). I was at a table with someone who had ill will towards me, serving me poison. And I was taking it. Until I wasn’t.
What do I know to be true?
I can’t lie to you for a few nights. Her words consumed me, and I tried to prove I could change her mind. As I was lying on my office floor with my thoughts (FYI- laying on the floor with your thoughts is entirely acceptable when you are in deep thought *smile*), I asked myself if what she said was true for me. It was not! I sat up, got my tray table, and began to serve myself my truth. The truth was she and I were incompatible. The reality also we had to work together. What would I do to maintain a relationship that did not tear me down and produced the work we needed to get done?
There will be peace at my table!
What did I do? How did I get back to rest? How did I enjoy my meal? I did my job. Every time we disagreed, I didn’t have to argue. I opened our work manual and pointed to the policy verifying my statement. For times when there was no policy, I did my research, stated my case, and let the chips fall where they may. Ultimately, it was more important to care about my mental health than to try to prove to someone that I was worthy of their good gracious thoughts. What I feed myself about who I am and who I am still becoming will always take precedence over the thoughts of someone who would not openly invite me to their table.
Is there something keeping you from rest? How are you dealing with it?