It's been a week of challenging situations. It was the first week in Customer Services after the NEC Trade Show, and I was overseeing the processing of New Customers. Though this was my first time doing this, it was all within my current skills range and competency. If there were areas where I wasn't exactly clear how things were meant to go, it was nothing a question to one of my more experienced colleagues couldn't clarify. So I seemed to keep my head above water on this one. To myself & my team - A First Gold Star !
There have been a couple of communication gaffs and explosions recently in my team, some partly my fault, some not. During this week I had to engage with sorting out the consequences of these. One was a face to face meeting that Saddharaja facilitated. The ensuing discussion was open, exploratory and revealing, for both of us it increased our levels of understanding of each other tendencies and needs. I was quite apprehensive and uptight for most of the weekend before, so it was good once the day came. I've been feeling pressed up against so many things in the months since Richard's suicide, that by the beginning of September I'd pretty much lost touch with the end of my usually long tether, and I have to acknowledge I'd had enough and was angry. I was able to avoid being heavy handed or confrontational in my communication, with one regrettable lapse of self-control, that I had to unreservedly apologise for and resolve this week. To myself & my team - A Second Gold Star !!
All this, plus the final preparation for my Dogen Study Day this last Sunday. The day went extraordinarily well, and I feel quite chuffed about how it turned out. We had a good attendence, with twelve people. I think I'd thought things through sufficiently, and was prepared for the unexpected. I didn't know until the day exactly how many people would turn up. The trouble with a Buddhist Sangha, is no one wants to commit themselves til the last minute, in case something better comes up! I'd only been told by seven folk they were going to come, and one of those dropped out on the day. There were at least four other people who I knew would have liked to come, but were on retreat or holiday. So I need to be prepared, when I hold another day in the future, for a similar number, if not more. The next likely time for another Dogen Study Day is around the anniversary of his birth on the 19th January. It may be I left the study group a bit too open, to men, women, mitras and Order Members. I need to consider if I should set things up a little differently next time, or at least make sure I have a Co-Study Leader so I can sub-divide the group, at least for some of the time. Managing twelve proved to be OK, but I did have the substantial Dharma knowledge of some experienced Order Members present, as back-up, that did help me with this. Smaller groups would have enabled those people who weren't comfortable in such a large group to contribute. That said most of the folk present were lively and engaged with the discussion, which is all I ask of any study group. I had to do some occasional light steering, or clarification, but it largely stayed focused and constructive of its own accord. To myself - A well earned - Third Gold Star !!!
David came along to the day, helped prepare a shared lunch, and generally supported me exceedingly well. He's also been away for all last week, busy visiting a handful of our Evolution shops in the Birmingham area. Before he left, my Norton subscription was about to run out, and we'd got a replacement security programme included with our Broadband. So he spent three fruitless hours trying to un-install Norton from my computer, which prevented the broadband connection from working whilst Norton remained like a smug cat in the background. In the end he had to restore everything to how it was before he'd started. So we decided to just let the Norton expire of its own course, and see what it left. Finally David had to resort to using a special programme that literally wrenches Norton out, because it embeds itself like a particularly pernicious virus everywhere it can in your computer. The new security programme runs a lot smoother, is less aggressively intrusive, doesn't start doing things in the background without telling me,and generally doesn't bugger up the effectiveness and speed of my computer. Go back to Norton - No, Never Ever Again !!!! To David goes - A Fourth Gold Star !!!!!!
In myself I feel better, in a more stable and content state, less internally fractious, frustrated or torn. I know I'm very easily swung about by my emotional mood, it is in some ways very like Norton's Security programme, extremely pernicious and hard to wrench myself free from. The state of my emotional stability, is like an ocean that's so dependent on the external weather conditions. This current lull may signify a more settled period is arriving, or perhaps it is just the calm before yet another storm rips through. Regardless which it is - To myself - A Fifth Gold Star !!!!