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Friday, November 9, 2012

On Any Given Day ....

I silently dream of finding a comfy chair with a stream of sunlight pouring in, a cup of tea by my side, and pouring myself deeply into a book.  Sometimes I have a specific book in mind, other times it's just that feeling of doing something I love that pulls me in.

My thoughts then wander to a place where I'm the writer haunted by producing the right words that will jump off the page and enter a person's heart in a way that they crave that time with my work.  I picture my desk by my window stacked with books and articles and inspiration and dirty coffee cups and candles burned to the quick.  And me happily, frantically, desperately torn in the struggle of creating greatness.

These are the dreams that steal a small space in my head and my heart surrounded by the rest of the day and the work.  Hours are spent on client work I love so much where I'm dreaming of transforming the lives of leaders and their companies into the place they've dreamed of.  All the while I'm filling out the boxes with letters and numbers and tracking my progress to the place that looks like work and needs to feel like winning.

Then in comes the fear and frustration.  They come in different shapes and sizes and try to curl up in my chair across from this desk to stare me down with ridicule, doubt and loathing.  The fear of an uncertain future for children I've been given to raise.  The soundbites of evidence that are there to tell me what path they are really on.  Words they use, texts they send, foods they eat. All culminating into the roller coaster of parenting. The big ball of crazy that most of us survive with kids that will grow to stare down their own parenting demons and doubts.  But what if we're the one that missed a cue that led to teen pregnancy or some illness caused by the take out food of a working mom.  What if? What if I miss it?  What if I obsess about it and cause it to be something more than it was meant to be and by my worry, I ultimately feed the beast and it eats us for lunch licking it's chops on my lack of faith in the Holy one that put us here to serve. What if it was my overbearing love and desire and intent to do it well that became their demise? What if? 

What if the clients don't come back and the sales never happen and the paycheck declines and the retirement fund isn't real and the disappointment moves in and takes up the space where hope and love and light used to be.  What if?

Then I speak a small prayer and transfer the worry and the doubt and the fear and the frustration.  I go back to inching along on books that need to be written, schools that need to be started, companies that need to be more effective, and the relationships that need to be fueled.

More bills to pay, forms to sign, calls to make, emails to send, dinner to make, clothes to fold, instructions to give.

On any given day. 

Thursday, November 8, 2012

3 Step Post Election Hangover Remedy

I'm not political.  I don't understand much about the political system.  Sometimes I feel bad that I haven't tried harder to understand electoral votes and why an elephant and a donkey were chosen as mascots. As the serious writer that I am, I did extensive research to write this post (one google search and one click to the link listed above) and learned the donkey elephant business is rooted in a jackass comment and a cartoon.  (Really, that should have us a little ashamed I think.)

We are a country divided.  Those who had any preference in the outcome, woke up with an election hangover. Some from celebratory corks popping and some from drowning their sorrow in cheap beer and bourbon.  Those that didn't have a preference, had a political ad hangover and were glad to get back to Dancing with the Stars without all the negativity breaks.  We all had a throbbing headache and were a little shaky pouring the java on Wednesday morn. 

When people ask me who I voted for, I don't disclose.  That's my business.  My parents didn't tell me when I was growing up, instead telling me to make my own choices. I choose not to tell my children with the same advice.  I do, however, offer this metaphor for how I feel about our political parties.  We've become the "crips" and the "bloods" ready to fight to our death in the streets.  This is a lose-lose proposition.

As I finally crept back into the interwebz after the election, hoping the level of judgement and nastiness had started to subside, I found some lingering bitterness in a few blog comments, one read; "I hope you all are happy, we'll be in the worst depression ever now."  blah blah blah 

Everyone complained about the opponent bashing ads, yet were perfectly fine going on Facebook and doing their own candidate bash.  We've grown to accept this as normal. Ick. Nastiness. Blech. 

Here's what I do know, now that the election is over and you've casted your vote. Unless you are going to choose to join the political system and really go to work and impact change to that system, you really only have control of you.  You and your choices.  That's it. Period.  You can use that control to build influence outside of yourself but it starts with you.

So here's my 3 step Election Hangover Cure.

1. Stop - Stop bitching and moaning and whining and calling people names and walking around like a complete pain in the ass.  Stop bad mouthing people and parties and news coverage. Stop throwing your bitterness and frustration into everybody's lunch break, coffee break, cubicle and John Deere tractor shop.  It's exhausting.

2. Start - Walk to the nearest reflective surface and take a long hard look at what looks back at you.  Ask yourself this question, "What good can I do today with this day I've been given." You can be part of the problem for our economy, family, community or you can be a part of the solution.  Complaining isn't solving. Any moron can complain and most of them do. Anyone can also choose to start solving. If you need some help, here is a list you might use to get you started.
  • Be a kinder parent
  • Listen more
  • Pray More
  • Stop Smoking
  • Stop stress eating and figure out what's missing in your life
  • Exercise, take a walk, move around more
  • Visit your child at school, your mom in the nursing home,  your grandpa's grave, your friend in the hospital
  • Write down what you're grateful for and mean it, ponder it, let it seep into your being.
  • Be a better employee - decide to invest in your job with all you've got even if you're the guy that sweeps the floor and your boss is a complete ass, do it because you have control and can whistle while you work and sweep better and go home feeling better. 
  • Go to the AA meeting
  • Call a friend to have coffee or just stop by and say hi and choose not to complain during the whole visit.             
  • Start the business you've been dreaming of
  • Share the ideas you have with your company about how to sell more or save some money
  • Sit down and ask your child how school was today and then look them in the eye with love and interest and really listen to their answer
  • forgive someone 
  • If you decide to be in politics, do it to be a part of the solution, not because you want to wear a donkey/elephant jersey or fight like gangs in the street.  Do it because you care about our country and want to listen and hear different perspectives, so together we can come up with better answers. 
  • Clean up your yard
  • Clean up your language
  • Thank your child's teacher for doing the best they can in a really tough job
  • Donate all the stuff you don't need to Goodwill, or your favorite local charity
  • Throw the ball for your dog and laugh at how much joy he gets from your attention
  • Eat real food, not the kind with dictionary ingredients
  • Tip better
  • Compliment your spouse.
  • Compliment your kids.
  • Smile at the person that bagged your groceries. 
  • Write to the manager when you get great service 
  • Write a recommendation for someone on LinkedIn 
  • Apologize
  • Take responsibility for your choices
3. Continue -  Repeat again tomorrow. Repeat the next day and the day after that. Teach your kids, grandkids, and nieces and nephews to do the same.

If you've been the cranky complaining pain in the ass recently or your whole life, it's going to take awhile before people get used to the new you.  Stick with it.  We'll all be better for it.

This message has been paid for by a turkey and a lama because all of the elephants and donkeys were exhausted and unavailable for comment.

This is RandomThoughtsbyRebecca and I approve this message.