Beloved Other is doing A Thing for an organisation we are both committed to. It is A Major Thing, involving a lot of numbers and fact-checking and paying attention to detail and understanding process, and generally being very good at the kind of thing he is very good at. It also appears to involve a great deal of paper, and a lot of reading it.
It is taking a lot of his time and his attention, and it is not going well. Or rather, he is finding it concerning.
He is busy a lot of the time on all sorts of stuff. He does a variety of unpaid jobs now, most of which are right in the middle of his skill set, and some of which take a great deal of attention and care.
But he commented today of The Thing “this matters” – and followed it up with the comment “most of the stuff I do doesn’t really matter”.
This is not actually true; much of what he does matters a lot. But the huge difference is that most of what he does is face to face with the people who are involved – and affected – by it, whereas The Thing is being done at one remove. And so he cannot gauge the effect of what he is doing, nor interact with the people involved.
This makes it more – scary is not the right word, but more anxiety-producing.
Because, whatever else he is (and he is much else) Beloved Other is deeply conscientious.
So I find myself thinking immediately of ways in which I might be useful (haven’t come up with any yet, but I will keep thinking; that it is in the centre of his skill set means it is wayyyyy outside mine!….) and more broadly, of how often I might be asking people to do things that make them anxious or uncomfortable without realising I am doing it – and how I might avoid causing distress.
I think I need to pay more attention….