Just a Little Off

So lately I have been feeling just…off. I go to work, see patients, talk with colleagues, come home and spend time with my family…yet I still feel like something is off. I just can’t put my finger on why I have this feeling. For the most part I feel a bit overwhelmed at my one job, and completely underwhelmed at my other job. I know it’s not the patients, because I never know from moment to moment what is going to happen with them. Conversations are generally always interesting and fruitful, at least from my perspective.

I think I feel the most “off” when I’m working at the underwhelming job. The other day I sat at my desk for the majority of the day feeling like I should be doing something more, but there was literally nothing more I could be doing. I enjoy the job, and it allows me to put my analytical and technical skills to use, but it’s not very challenging. When in training for this position, my predecessor had led me to believe there was more work than could realistically be completed in the time allowed, which caused her to often “donate” her time. Once I was ensconced in the job, I quickly realized that, while there was a lot of work to do from a certain perspective, the processes in place for completing said work were…antiquated. I quickly adjusted the work flow to be more efficient, and the result was that I now have A LOT more time on my hands. (In other words, I’ve cleaned everything in sight, reorganized drawers, reorganized bulletin boards…you get the picture.)

That said, this job is a much needed break from seeing patients and allows me to decompress a bit. But what is this “off” feeling? Do I have to constantly be challenged, or involved in something complex in order to feel useful and fulfilled? Or is the environment of said underwhelming job the culprit of this feeling? There is definitely office drama (remember the grouchy coworker?), and I tend to be the person everyone comes to with complaints, both about work and coworkers. Some days I feel like I should hang my Psychiatrist placard out like Lucy from the Peanuts cartoon.

As I sit here writing it out, the thought crosses my mind that, because God has shown me what I should be doing with my life and service to Him (chaplain), anything else will continue to be underwhelming. No matter how much I enjoy office stuff – and I have to admit, creating a spreadsheet or PowerPoint is something I find geekishly cool – my true calling is to be a support to patients, families and God’s children in general. Despite this “off” feeling, maybe I need to focus on the good I am doing overall. Maybe the down time I have in this underwhelming job is allowing me to focus more clearly on the overwhelming job, and giving me the rest I need in order to return to it. Maybe it’s not so much an “off” feeling as it is one of I miss what God is asking me to do. So I guess I will say a prayer tonight for wisdom. I know God doesn’t always answer questions clearly in claps of thunder or with neon signs, but if I don’t ask for it, why would I expect to get it? I hope all of you find a way to do the same. Ask big and receive big. Our God can certainly handle it.

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