Is It Too Late to Change My, or Your Direction?

This is such a time of change with addition and subtractions and keeping it between the lines and veering wildly off the road to avoid a big pothole (and falling in potholes I don’t see coming) and putting new tires on the car, (while saving the best of the four as backups) – that I feel compelled to comment on it, as sort of a relief valve but also as the first volley in a bonding exercise.
I am hearing from so many in my Tribe that as we wind out of summer and blow into fall, many of us are apparently going thru a time of dramatic change and shift.
I love the idea of starting the discussion that will allow us all to know each other a little better, a little deeper as the striving, failing, succeeding complex humans we are. Please write me back on Facebook or email with your thoughts, entries, revelations, strivings, that’s where the good stuff is.
For what its worth, here is a little about me and what’s on my mind at this point:
1. Since I turned 40 (a few years back) I am especially prone to queasiness. From having had an early interest in criminal forensics (before CSI and endless iterations made it so very popular) I have never been  skeezed out by blood and gore as the science geek in me is far more interested in the particulars of why and how and how far the blood spatter goes. Not so in the last few years. Now, removing my husband’s band aid after a carving from the dermatologist sends shivers down my forearms and thighs and flips my stomach. How disappointingly….precious and impractical.
2. Regardless of how many times I clean up my bedside table to look orderly and pristine, I can’t keep it from accumulating…2 pairs of old glasses, a coffee cup, a glass of water, a glass of wine or a glass of sweet tea, Sharpie markers, MD name tag, 2 bottles of perfume, a face lotion, a body lotion, cell phone, eye drops for the dog, Juice Plus for a.m. and p.m., pens, post-it notes capturing 3 a.m. revelations of the next great idea, Carmex, and business magazines. It’s a constant battle I tell ya, I like my stuff.
3. You know the old adage that people are in your life for a reason or a season? For years, I would have none of THAT. But, I get it now. It has always been painful, emotionally and even physically, to let someone go – be it family, a colleague, client or long-time friend. I can see a bigger pattern now and that the choices I make that are good for me, my growth and peace of mind are NOT always satisfactory, comfortable or supportable for others who are invested in my being, presenting, living or following in a certain way. As I gain mastery in choosing for myself and stretching out for my greater good, I’ve also gained skills in letting go. Without grief. Without sadness. Without fear. Ummm, for the most part. I thank the teachers who have made that possible for me, without even knowing it.
4. Loud noises over stimulate my nervous system and so I refuse to wake up to an actual alarm clock and haven’t for years. As my natural bio-rhythms are so different than… well, my husband’s, and my early-rising super achiever friends, and I have to be up for 7 a.m. meetings for a variety of networking activities, I concede to setting my phone’s three alarms and having a kinder, gentler peppy little tune awaken me. As I’m pre-verbal for the first 30 minutes, my husband is often kind enough to bring me a cup of coffee and perhaps the paper, which gets my brain in gear. Instead of feeling guilty about this as I have all my life, I see it as honoring my unique body, mind and temperament and a way to be kind to myself. It actually feels like a very adult way to support myself, an allowance I would make for a friend, but until the last few years, not for myself.
5. As much as I enjoy networking, and learning about others and meeting and talking and brainstorming, I am quite happy to be a homebody in my new under-remodeling-perpetually house-on-the-canal all weekend long, never talking to anyone but my husband and our dogs. I need the quiet time, the privacy, the ability to be in jammies and cook for the week and think and sort and ruminate and worry and decide and innovate. I don’t want to answer my phone. I hate unexpected visits (not hating the visitor, just the visit).  I love NOT having to be anywhere any certain time. I LOVE sleeping in and then laying in a meditative state. I love being awake for Saturday Night Live. I love going without makeup, earrings, etc. Sky clad, baby, feeds the illusion I’m freer than I am, (or that I could probably handle). Another small kindness to keep the balance for the me machine.
6. I have become more patient with people’s idiosyncrasies over the years and my capacity for empathy and forbearance surprises me, regularly, as well as my ability to offer unconditional love in difficult circumstances. I am also proud to say I usually respond very well in emergencies and can offer level-headed advice and act quickly and decisively.
HOWEVER, the ugly flip side is that, even small glitches in technology – be it phone, fax, printer or usually, of course, my laptop, send me right over the edge and it’s not pretty. While I would NEVER raise my voice in anger to an intern, my interns have certainly heard my wrath vocalized at this Dell. It’s not pretty and the loss of cool is embarrassing, but other than my mother, Nothing Pushes. My. Buttons. Faster.
As I can identify that this – in no way – serves me well, I am educating myself, getting help I need from my computer whisperer Julie, and have plenty of non-tech related tasks I can do when this goes awry. Other suggestions?
7. I’ve pinpointed in the last 6 months that, specifically, my passion above all else is learning about, motivating, clarifying, assisting, guiding, holding-the-vision-for and empowering people to find their sweet spot and ACT ON IT. Does that look like problem solving? Becoming more whole? Living an authentic expression of who they are? Achieving their work-related sweet spot? Yes and yes. My idea of success is offering one-on-one and group work for those who need it, are ready for it, will take direction and THRIVE. As this is monetized at a greater level, the more I can offer student mentorship time for free as I am fascinated by interacting with our next work force.
Helping people understand and reach their target audience with their marketing is what I do for a living, and additional real value lies beyond the technical pieces that I know well. It’s the knowing, the relating, the experiential support, the faith, the information, the belief, the hand UP, the walking along-side. This is where I’m at a turning point, feeling my way through how to make that happen. Marketing planning, TEN (Tallahassee Entrepreneurs Network), staff training, individual mentoring are all pieces of a big puzzle I’ve not yet completely assembled. And you are all helping me get there. Thoughts from you, as always, are welcome.
8. My favorite guilt awful-for-me junk food is a tie between Cheez Waffles and peanut-butter waffle cookies. About every 6-9 mos., they make an appearance in my shopping cart. And lately, I’m dealing with a serious addiction to orange soda, any brand. Yes, I know better. And amusingly, I am not a huge fan of regular waffles.
9. The realization that asking for help makes you stronger, not weaker, if you learn from the help you get. And that pride – while serving an important role in self-preservation and reputation spin – can eventually be a substitute for true engagement, the kind that keeps your lizard brain reactions and less-than-stellar impulses in check. Surrounding yourself with ‘good’ people who are tasked with calling you on your stuff is the only way I know to continually keep moving forward. As my dear friend Licia says, we are in the process of having our rough edges sanded down. Thank you, my brave sandpaper tribe.
10. The thing I most detest in others is the thing I cannot tolerate in myself. Sloth, dishonesty, hypocrisy, cruelty, close-mindedness, cowardice, unfairness, disrespect? I’m a hater. And as I’ve written before, where is the line between discernment and judgment? And who gets to set that? And when I’m feeling self-satisfied and smugly disapproving – why and what does that do for me but make me smaller? How does it serve the goal of becoming more expansive?
11. Barring catastrophic surprises, 2011 will bring more money, more opportunity, more mastery, more mistakes, greater authenticity, wider exposure and doing more of what brings me joy, fulfillment, excitement, satisfaction. With every thought, I am engineering my work and life that way, to greater or less success, depending on the day. While I am aggravated and impatient moving through the cloudy, hazy part of deciding what MarketDone will look like next year in our exact offerings and those we’ll play with, I will be constructing it as I go along, with your input, your help. It is, of course, the REAL natural order of things and I’ve signed up for the ride. Maybe the GOAL is adjust your direction, in increments, all along.