I learned a valuable technique for writing quite by accident. I invite you to try it. It will take your novel writing to a whole new level.
I am a project manager by day and my first PM job was to work with our IT department to transfer our data over to a new platform. This was my first experience as a PM and I worked under a senior project manager that was very difficult to work with. She would make grown men cry. I kid you not.
I’ll call her Sybil and yes, I am referring to the movie about a woman with multiple personalities. I wasn’t sure if this PM was bi-polar or if she suffered from insecurities or mood swings but she would run hot and cold in the same meeting. She could start off attacking and then switch to supportive or start off supportive and switch to attacking. Every session was like walking on eggshells.
The example I am going to give is the event that set me off on my Netflix binge of watching documentaries of people with mental illness. I needed to understand her and was hoping to glean insights as to how not to take it personally and learn how to communicate with her in a way that wouldn’t trigger an attack. I was operating on the “look what you made me do” principal that I had to have done something to trigger the change.
Establishing goals is all right if you don’t let them deprive you of interesting detours.-Doug Larson-
I think we have all heard the saying “when one door closes, another one opens.” It might feel like that door is more like a small window you have to maneuver through or sometimes it might feel like beautiful French doors that pop wide open. Whatever the case it’s important to see the blessings in life’s little detours.
A few years ago I worked for a company that moved me into a position that was “best for the needs of the company.” My title remained the same, I was just working in a different business unit. I was transferred from the IT area to another business area in operations. I tried to fight it. I was unsuccessful. The move shifted the trajectory I thought I was on. It was hard not to feel like a marionette puppet. Even harder not to be bitter. I had a choice; I could leave. I decided to stay and change my perception and see it as one of life’s detours.
Instead of taking it personally, I thought of the monthly emails announcing position changes and the emails announcing as of today x is no longer working here. It was common practice to move people around the company chess board. I will admit, in the past when I read those emails I felt they were playing Russian roulette with the employees. We were the “bullets” in the chamber and with an almost quarterly spin, you could be shot out like a cannon or hang back in the chamber waiting for the next spin. Recognizing it was a business and of course, the needs of the company was a factor in each of our career paths, I took a tuck and roll approach. I adjusted with each change and over the years, I had several more in “the best interest of the company” moves.
For the moment the dust has settled. Things have stabilized. I work with a great team. They are both collaborative and supportive of each other. My position allows me to use all of my strengths and I’m able to learn new things, which is important to me. I’m in a good place while I wait for the next spin.
Embrace the detours. Thinking back they seemed to arrive around the time I was getting comfortable and nestled in, and quite possibly limiting my opportunity for growth. I was given the chance to make delicious lemonade from a basket of perceived Lemons. Maybe it wasn’t the company making the changes, but the universe setting things in motion for my highest good. Sure feels like that now.
I’ve been knee-deep in finals and school ends this weekend. I lost my writing momentum but am getting back on track.
I’m still working on a well-lived life. I walked the trail at lunch today. It was a slow peaceful walk with lots of insights.
How am I doing with my goal to live a well-lived life? I booked a trip to Ireland in February and London in April. I’m not the best traveler so it is really pulling me out of my comfort zone but I am really looking forward to new experiences.
Each today, well-lived makes yesterday a dream of happiness and each tomorrow a vision of hope. Look, therefore, to this one day, for it and it alone is life. – Sanskrit Poem-
I glance at the calendar and remember that it is my one year anniversary. It is a good one. October 20, 2016, I joined the Second Chance club. I suffered a brain bleed and was hospitalized for eight days.
On my second or third day in the hospital, my doctor makes his morning rounds. “You are lucky to be alive,” he tells me as thoughts of I’d rather be dead than feel this level of pain race through my head. As if he can read my mind, he assures me the pain will go away. Thank God. I am relieved. I choose to believe him. I can expect this pain to go away.
I can relate to the daily prompt topic of release. It was one of my hardest lessons to learn. Not saying I’m a control freak (okay, maybe) but letting others step in and help changed my stress level immensely.
My dog Max and Cooper take turns being Alpha. Sometimes Max calls the shots and sometimes it is Cooper. When it switches, they seem to accept the new role with grace. So how does that translate as a lesson?
Working on my next chapter for Restlessness, Your Soul’s Cry for Change. I would love to hear your experience or thoughts on the impact of how changing your perception of an event, changes how you react or respond.
Can your perception of an event contribute to feeling unhappy? How easy is it to shift? For example, You think someone at work is out to get you or make you look bad or your boss doesn’t appreciate you and you feel miserable.
What if you shifted your thoughts? Jane isn’t out to get me, she is just being Jane. Is she coming from a place of fear? Does she think I’m going to take her job?
Have you noticed there are times when you have a heavy workload and tight deadlines that you feel charged by it? You hear people say things like “I work better under pressure.” Then there are times with the same workload and deadlines that you feel you are going to snap if one more thing is added to your plate. Why the difference? Could it be the perception of being valued or not? We have an innate need to feel appreciated and to know that our contributions matter. We will dive in and give a task everything we have if we believe we are making a difference. If we feel, we are part of a team. Looking outside of ourselves for that validation can leave us feeling slighted if we don’t speak up and express our needs.
Loving unconditionally isn’t an impossible task. In relationships, we start off loving unconditionally, and have every intention of loving until “death do us part”. In the beginning, it’s easy to love everything about your mate, especially when you have love-endorphins coursing through your body. You want to do anything to please each other. But once the love endorphins simmer down, which is usually at the two-year mark and then life happens, you get busy, you get distracted, and distance starts to build. The “until death do us part” starts to feel far off.
I was reminded recently about gratitude and how it can help during times of Restlessness.
That’s Summer and Monty in the picture; I love Monty’s face and overwhelming gratitude that he is going to share in our Thanksgiving feast.
My pups get a treat every night at 8:00. They expect it and my pup Cooper knows how to tell time. At 7:59, you get the stare. If you haven’t moved to pick up his Kong by 8:00, he will take his paw and tap your leg, just in case you didn’t know what time it was. He expects it but is still grateful. When you hand him his treat, he bounces to the den like he has just won the Lotto. Every time. Okay, I’m projecting, he probably doesn’t have gratitude but you know what I mean.