Seeing the Good Around Me: Work Pauses

I am thankful to work in a field that has starts and stops. There are 3 starts I get in a year: the start of the calendar year, the start of the school year, and the start of summer. It’s that last one I’m in right now. I work year-round so the summer is part of my work life, but there is definitely a different feel to it. It feels slow.


Slow is a good thing. There are plenty of fast-paced times in the year when my work life is more reactive than proactive. I work best when I can think through each step and not have to tackle too much at once. This time of the year I can be deliberate and productive and I love it. I can work on projects instead of tasks. I can reflect on what didn’t go well last year and make changes for the next year. It’s a hopeful season for me.


I haven’t always been in this role and had a time when work paused. Sure, my shift would end or I would take vacation. But there is always that gnawing feeling that I could have done more than I did, or that someone else was having to cover for me if I wasn’t there. I would pause but the workflow didn’t. It felt like a never-ending cycle and mentally pulled me down. I like new starts and it’s hard to have a new start to an old process.


Now, there is more of a shared break and natural conclusion. Conversations with coworkers are casual and more about life than responsibilities. We can take vacation without the dread of taking that first day back cleaning out email. We can allow our thoughts to wander to “what if…?” and follow those rabbit trails. It’s a more creative work process than at other times.


This current work pause is part of the good around me. There is little tension and a lot of anticipation. Just as one makes new year’s resolutions, we set in place new habits or plans to do better next time. We can acknowledge our missteps and learn from those. I know that the busy season will be here soon enough, but in the meantime, I will enjoy the peace.

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