Shouldering The Mantle ….?

In relationships, be they professional or personal we tend to fall into roles but sometimes get stuck with them. 

Equally with the squeezing of budgets on the professional front comes a shift in the type and number of responsibilities we might each carry. Because these changes are forced upon us from the outside world, as a condition of keeping our jobs, they are not of our choosing. When our renumeration fails to rise in line with these changes and team dynamics and appraisals fail to acknowledge yet gem too, The resentments can begin to rise.

What I notice also is that I can create these resentment inducing conditions even when it is me who has chosen the change. In choosing a new career path, and there is no doubt about the ‘rightness’ of this choice, I feel the weight of responsibility for choosing to do so and for the impact on those around me ….

Thus my impossibly over-responsible self tries to do both the new things as well as the old tasks to the nth degree….. I will not be seen as a mother remiss in her attentions just because I have a career, nor one of those friends who gets so career-caught that their social life dwindles and dies through neglect……Whilst these concerns are valid and real, the net result of trying to be all things to all people all of the time, is an exhausted, depleted, snappy and resentful individual 

And then with horror I realise I am doing this to myself. The decision to empire build was taken in consultation. This plot began some 5 years ago and I have discussed every step with my husband, and my god have I bored my friends with ‘ins and outs’ of it all….. So why is it then that even if we make the  decisions for a change in consultation, we do not expect others to help us hold the outcomes too?

So it comes to communication, again! Whilst you can make a the contingency plans in re world for your first 100 days, but it is only when you are firefighting and confronted with the unexpected that you have to solve these difficulties on the hoof! And this is where my vulnerability lies. I feel that if I haven’t planned for it, it shouldn’t be happening. I feel that if I haven’t negotiated the space for a disaster then it is my fault for not seeing that its possiblility and thus it is for me to deal with. My strength is that I can think on my feet. My weakness is that I forget to negotiate on the hoof. When I act in isolation and I neglect to ask for help, I will inevitably  fail….. So back to consulting, over and over and being humble? Or is it just vulnerable enough? To admit that like mist humans I cannot do this alone.

So in endeavouring to help others explore their professional strengths and vulnerabilities I get shown a plethora of my own…. However, in my Protestant work ethic over responsibility I suspect I am not alone! Does this ring any bells with you? Shared strategies are always welcomed…………

Fabulous photograph by