Since coming back to Cambridge, it has been far from easy to settle back into my usual routine. I all too easily dropped into 'busy mode' - too much shopping, dashing around, and generally being on the go for too prolonged a period. By the end of that Saturday I was shattered. Whether I objectively had a lot to do is hard to say. The rest of the week continued to be characterised by a sense of being overwhelmed, as if I was asking too much of myself - this may have been so. It was my last week working in Customer Services, which put a real strain on my ability to apply myself to the situation. By Tuesday I found myself exercising so much willpower to get through the day, that I spent all the following evening in an anxious panic, unable stop myself from being busy. Consequently I was spark awake most of the night. This is not how I usually find returning from retreat, I usually manage it much more evenly paced and smoother than this. I've been strained and sleepless for a lot of it.
On reflection perhaps it would have been better if on my return I'd started immediately in a new team, rather than reminding myself how stressed I get by the old one. In future I need to be more conscious that what I think I'll find easy to do, from the perspective of a month ago, I might not actually find that easy to do when the actual moment is upon me. It seems hard for me to imagine with out the immediate context of the present moment being there, how I'm actually going to feel. An classic example emerged this week. A month ago I said I'd be willing to be a back-up person for when Customer Services are severely under resourced. However this week, when I was asked if I'd help them out in a fortnights time, my response was a very alarming feeling of despair at the thought of this, mixed with regret that I'd said this, with a stoical sense of duty, that perhaps I should override my feelings ( yet again ) and honour my initial promise. I have, however, said I can't, at least on this occasion, help. I've made no future promise. I just need to experience myself out of that context for a while, before plunging back into its 'hell realms' like Bodhisattva Kshitigatbha. I think I've given enough of myself to that situation for the time being, I felt no guilt about saying no, only relief.
Thankfully, this week has now come to an end. Normal service has been resumed. I decided in the end that the only thing to do in order to restore correct perspective and a more balanced effort to the situation was - more practice. So that's what I did, and the sense of being psychically disjointed, with neither the retreat or my return coming together into a satisfying integrated whole, did finally calm down. So this has not been one of my best weeks, but by no means one of my worst either.