embrace the achievement

Yesterday, I woke up pretty late, but with an energy that only happens when you wake up knowing every single thing you are going to do today is on your own accord. Ahh, Saturdays. It was sunny, beautiful, and I dove in like I only had one day to get everything done I wanted to do this weekend.

Today, I woke up earlier, and the world was quiet. A light rain has been falling all day and the dullness of the sky seems to have influenced my mood. It smells like rain, the sweet smell that accompanies the cleansing pitter patter on the leaves as they fall. Today, it feels like autumn and I feel the peace that only comes when Nature prepares to go to sleep.

I recently passed my CSP (Certified Safety Professional) exam and earned the official designation in my title. I have been preparing and studying for this achievement for the better part of the last 4 years. My now-husband and I were reminiscing about a time just after I'd started my current job when we hijacked a large whiteboard in the construction trailer and listed out all of the various accomplishments I was hoping to achieve, with this one designation being a sort of culmination at the end. 

And now I've achieved it. The last two weeks have been wildly freeing. While I still have a full time job, a home, four pets, friends, and 7 credits worth of collegiate classes that I'm taking for fun, I've felt a lifted spirit. The “What's next?” question dances in my head and I've had to repeatedly combat its demanding presence with a preference for appreciation and calm. I'm trying to “sit in my sunshine”. 

Despite the desire to sit in this Joy, the anxious voices in the back of my head are pushing me to keep moving, to plow forward, because time is of the essence. I should negotiate for a raise and title change, search for a new job, or to push on into “the next step”, to begin work towards a CHHM or CIH, or to finally make up my mind about a Master's program in Management or EHS… but the Anxiety cannot figure out a good reason to answer a new question that's popped into my head: “Why? Why the hurry?” (Of course, I do think this achievement is worthy of a promotion and raise.) But there's no need to fight for it, or more importantly, there's no need to let it become an obsession and a defining part of my existence and happiness.  I am happy simply because I have worked hard and achieved a huge goal. And I'm going to let myself sit in it. 

The feeling, when I actually find myself truly sitting in it, is remarkable. Maybe this is what most folks who spend a majority of their time doing whatever the hell they want feel like, or people who don't have Anxiety, what their every-day-calm must be. There is no need to hurriedly rush into the next chapter, the next action – whatever that may be. The clenching panic of “what's next?!”, “what's next on the list?” will not grip me today. The to-do list, which I love so dearly, which keeps me organized and gives me direction… does not give me purpose or make decisions on my behalf today. I am in control of it and I get to choose how I want to use it.

This month, I have demonstrated a level of professional excellence; I achieved a goal that I set out for myself , and now is the time to revel in it.

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