Monday, July 6, 2009

Good Grief!!

Last week was supposed to be a vacation week but it didn’t turn out much like that. Too many things going on. I got to thinking about over-scheduling, and missing out, and loss.

Trying to have The Perfect Workday means that you’re going to have to let some things go. In fact, The Perfect Workday is less about adding things to your day to try and get EVERYTHING done, than it is about taking some things out so you have time, energy, and focus to do the things you really need to do.

Releasing something from your day could involve changing the way you go to work, or changing a process, or discontinuing contact with a close co-worker so you have time and energy to focus on other priorities. Releasing something that has been important to you may be more than difficult, it can be traumatic. And any important loss brings some type of grief with it.

In 1969, Swiss-born psychiatrist Elisabeth Kubler-Ross revealed her five stages of grief: Denial, Anger, Bargaining, Depression, and Acceptance. While Kubler-Ross’s work focused on terminally ill patients later research has shown that in almost any major life loss (thousands of Americans are knee-deep in the five stages since they’ve lost their jobs) we must move through the stages of grief.

You cannot deny or skip a stage, and they don’t have to happen in a linear fashion. You will experience all the stages for varying amounts of time. Even people who stay angry about a loss do, on some level, finally accept the loss. It just takes time.

To say “change is hard” is, obviously, a cliché. But, as our great American philosopher Jimmy Buffett says, “Clichés say what they mean and mean what they say.”

Which brings to mind the phrase, "Good grief." Usually said as an exclamation, it can also be said as a description. But, it takes time to discover if it's true.

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