Week 3 Reflection: So Damn Lucky

I’m lucky. Fortunate. Privileged, also, but I’ll get to that in a future post.

I’m lucky to be a student at 34 years of age and feel as my best future work is ahead of me. That’s in spite of the ups and downs of AC4D’s intensive program, and the nature of working in a new, small team. This past week was challenging in regards to teamwork. I had difficulty communicating with my teammates on a few occasions, as we differed on how to set an agenda, decide how things should get done, and even how much time per day we should be available on Slack, the online chat/email replacement that serves as our main communication method.

When teammates get frustrated with another, and emotions rise, I’ve learned it’s better to ride the waves of emotion rather than jump off the boat, or, spontaneously leave the area to breathe. It’s not comfortable. None of us prefer confrontation. No one wants to hear yelling or see tears, or push someone to that point. But we learned to confront our communication challenges directly (and sometimes the next day) so that problems don’t fester and become worse.

Having a tough conversation had the best result I could have hoped for. There’s always going to be disagreements about how work should be done. Yet, when you can have a direct conversation about what’s working and what’s not for you personally, and leave others that space as well, you grow together as humans. I have a greater appreciation now for Susi and Kelsey as people, (and as teammates) than ever before.

I also reminded myself to look up and appreciate the journey. Whenever the to-do list becomes long, I need to remind myself I live in a free society, I’m a full-time student for the first time in 13 years. I don’t own a home, but I live in a great one. I have a wonderful yard, a lazy cocker spaniel to pet, and friends and family that support me. So far I’ve put myself in a position to make AC4D’s process stick, and put to hard-earned lessons to use. I’m trusting the process, and appreciating how lucky I am.