Dealing with “The Lull”

by on November 8, 2017

Dealing with “The Lull”

October, 2017 was a very stressful month for me. While every month has its different high points or low points, for quite some time the pattern has been my career coaching business drives my weeks and then everything falls into place after that. However, October challenged my training and make-up as a coach to be there as support person, listener and counselor for two people very close and dear to me. One is my wife, whose Mother passed away after a long time of needing care from her children and caretakers. The other is my sister who has seen her husband in and out of the hospital twice, suffer a near death experience, and go through a number of medical changes in his condition throughout the month.

In both instances I do not dare compare the stress I was under to my wife and sister. My stress was made up of making sure I was there for each of them as they needed me, and at the same time be respectful to the appointments and commitments that I had made toward my business commitments throughout the month. For my sister, her trials continue to go on, as her husband is scheduled to have a necessary medical procedure in early November. For my wife, she has gone through feelings of “what is next” for me, after having her schedule dictated by her commitment to be there for her Mother as needed, (a commitment she shared with her siblings). And, I myself, as I sat down to compose this month’s blog had actually hit a few day “lull” in my schedule asking myself, “Of the items that I have put aside, or not paid as much attention to as I normally would, which one(s) should I focus on first?” I could actually feel my body “sigh” as I determined which items to address first as the feeling of being on “constant alert” had momentarily passed.

I expected my wife would go through this type of feeling and period, (and know she will for several months to come). My own experience with death of a close loved one in 2006 left that lasting lesson with me. But, I did not count on me experiencing similar feelings. I actually do see many going through this feeling frequently in my life. Remember, I am a “Job Search Strategy Coach.” Those who come to me may come to me of their own free will, when they may not be happy in the job they are currently performing, or even when they are happy but are preparing for that next career step. But, a number of others often come to me “reluctantly” when referred to me by friends after they have lost a job. For those who do, especially if they have been at that job or company for a large number of years, the loss of that job is “a death like experience” to them. And, knowing what to do next, or even questioning if the step I am taking next is the right one, is one of the biggest challenges they face.

So, how do I deal with this “lull” in my schedule? For me it has given me some quiet time to write my monthly reflections which translate into my monthly blogs and newsletter. I go back to my list of clients and see which ones I have not spoken to for a while, send an email or make a phone call to reconnect and check in. I review the notes I have made from recent or last sessions and identify the follow up items I may have promised to send and send them on. As I drive my weekly life from an electronic calendar that captures my coaching business and major activity items, I’ll review the recent weeks to reestablish when actual meetings took place. (Sometimes it is ironic to find that something that seemed to happen so long ago was not as many days as I felt given all I was balancing).

Most of all, I ask forgiveness from those who may depend on me. I try to be there to meet their needs. And, usually I’m actually quite good at that. But, even I need time to manage the periods that seem out of control and those that are the “down times” that seem to have no direction, and get things back on a track that will become the regular course that helps direct my life.

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