Caution: Brain Storm Warning

Stand back everybody. I am having a brainstorm.  Shelter in place, close friends and family.  We never know what sort of cataclysmic result to expect, but one thing is sure; our world will never be the same. Please, oh please, don’t try to stop me or rain on my parade before you have seen the final result of my intellectual fury. In my mind every delectable thought worthy of my attention that wafts its way into my brain needs a thorough analysis and creative planning session to determine the feasibility.  I get excited about planning and analyzing and dreaming big.

Are you tired of cloudy weather on your horizon?  Ready for a change?  Need a breath of fresh air? Here is a tip on seeding the clouds.  Follow up on every interesting opportunity that crosses your path.  Those opportunities are meant to be whether a particular job opportunity comes to fruition for you or not. What matters is what you learn and think and dream while pursing those opportunities.

Recently, I followed up on a career opportunity that some thought was above me and many others thought was a good fit. I didn’t get the job, but I got plenty of professional respect and experience. Guess what? I get to keep every shred of self-awareness and skill learned in the process. Ruminating on that higher level job has opened new levels of possibility right where I am.  More brainstorms. Not only am I richer after a go at it, but my imagination is expanded, my output for my current employment has increased.  I am a better manager, a more innovative employee for having jumped outside the box and visited other options in my mind.

For Better For Worse, For Your Own Good

I was one of those people who married in haste and had 11 years to repent at leisure.  But, I didn’t repent.  Instead I poured every ounce of emotional and physical energy into keeping that relationship alive.  I flexed, I smiled, I acquiesced, I became every woman in the world he could possibly desire.  It was not enough.  He genuinely needed every woman in the world to thrive. Possibly the only position that would have sated his boundless drive was the Oval Office.

When he left, he said it was for my own good. I cried. I pleaded.  How could abandoning me be for my own good?  All I wanted was for him to love me enough to be loyal.  Is that too much to ask? He assured me to the last I was attractive. It was not about me. It did not mean I was unlovable.  He was leaving for my own good. During the initial years of separation, I sensed this dimly. The tragedy of sexually transmitted diseases – particularly AIDS- became well known.  I escaped.  Yes, but, I argued, that would not have been an issue had he committed to monogamy. Besides, what is the use of living disease-free if you are also living love-free?

It is for your own good.  As a child, I hated that phrase. In retrospect, I see there were times it was for my good – for my safety. But many times it was for the good of the person in authority – a dominant person insisting he or she was doing it for me, but in reality, getting their own adult way.  That’s what I thought my first husband was doing: getting his own adult way.

It has taken me 25 years to understand fully.  Yes.  It was for my own good.

When I thought I had healed enough, when that first husband had joined himself to another marriage, I felt freedom to love again. So I married. Raised a family. Enjoyed poverty-laced tranquility.  Twenty years later, I left. Not because of sexual infidelity. Not due to physical abuse. Because of financial co-dependence and a complete withdrawal of communication and relationship of any sort.

Some will ask, “Where in this scenario is unconditional love? Where the Proverbs 31 concept that a woman will do her husband good all the days of his life?”

Another woman pointedly said, “You need hang in there.  Take control. Just tell him how it has to happen. Save that marriage by taking charge.”

But, I knew my man. I knew that his phrase, “I can’t,” however faintly or despondently uttered, was true. I resisted the urge to force him to change into someone he could not be. Nor could I remain in that situation without my knee-jerk reaction of taking responsibility for issues that were not my own. In my removal of myself, I gave him freedom to step up to the plate and take responsibility.

It was for his own good-and for mine-that I leave.

Only then did I understand my first husband. Yes.  It was for my own good. He knew  himself. He did not have the moral fortitude to change. Rather than make empty promises, he set me free.

I knew myself.  It was impossible for me to stay without continually picking up responsibilities that were not my own. Rather than coerce change from my second husband, I walked out, leaving the gate ajar behind me, hoping, hoping, he would follow.

Love allows choices.  To allow another person to choose and to take responsibility for their own actions -for better or worse – is for their own good.


I’m Not Going to Die on That Hill

I’m not going to die on that hill.  Each day decisions are made in the office, in board meetings, in homes.  Not everyone agrees with the final outcome.  Yet, the team must coalesce – get onboard with the program.   In acquiescing, one or more participants may be heard to say, “I don’t agree, but I am not going to die on that hill.” It is the new way of saying, “Choose your battles.” It is the way of peace – maybe even of happiness. I want to live long enough to be happy.

In my previous post, I penned a long-term goal, “I want to die in a beautiful place.” I also conceded most of us don’t actually choose where and when we die.

And so it is with the hill you die on at work or at home.  You may flex over and over, you may be cautious and thoughtful in choosing your battles, when someone takes your coat you may offer up your cloak also. Perhaps you will be effective in choosing which hill NOT to die on. And yet, can we really choose the hill we DO die on? In the end you may die on the hill you least expected – die innocently -by some minor slip of the hand – of someone else.

Nevertheless, I aim to choose my battles carefully, to live in a beautiful place, to work in a beautiful place and ultimately – to die in a beautiful place. 

I want to die in a beautiful place – The Ghost of Christmas Future

I want to die in a beautiful place.

That’s my long-term goal.

Since most of us do not know where or when we will die, I have to make some short term-goals that insure my long-term goal comes to fruition.  Therefore;

I want to work in a beautiful place.

I want to live in a beautiful place.

I want to travel and see beautiful places.

I want to be happy.

I want to be at peace.

There were times in the not so distant past when I walked along a beach and said, “Now God?  Could I just die now amidst all this beauty?” But that was not to be, so I continue to make sure I frequent beautiful places and take inspiring walks.

Until recently, I was not bold enough to confess that I want to be happy, nor did I  realize how much peace and happiness depend on my own choices or actions.

And always, I continue to explore what is meant by love.

I want to die in a beautiful place.

Until then, I want to live a life of love, happiness and peace.

That is going to take much thinking and a good deal of writing.

Onward!  To 2015!