Tag: thoughtful

So for this year …

Long time, no post! Life has been hectic since … well, Christmas? Witness the Christmas cards still sitting on my desk, waiting to be mailed.Oh yes, really. I’ll get to that later though …

I spent a lot of time thinking after I wrote my post about being youer than you. I’ve felt for a few years – mainly at work, somewhat at home – that I’m not really being me. It’s not an uncommon thing, I think, for newer wives and mothers to feel that way. I mean, it feels like every few years you go through an adjustment and maturity process that makes you do that questioning of self anyway. That’s why we have so many great coming-of-age and finding-yourself novels, movies, etc. I went from established single woman to fiancee, wife, and mother in two years. Then we added two more kids, I changed jobs in the middle of that, and I work in an area where some forms of blazing personal expression that makes you stand out (purple hair, nose ring, visible tattoos) isn’t totally cool on the job. (My perception, anyway.) So somewhere along the way I felt like a lot of “me” got shackled, forgotten, grown out of, or otherwise left along the roadside because there wasn’t time, energy, or benefit to my career.

It just ended up making me sad. Sad and frustrated. And kind of angry. I’m done with that. I’m done with forgetting who I am at heart in favor of meeting someone else’s expectations that I haven’t totally bought into.

That doesn’t mean that I’m rejecting these wonderful roles and jobs that I have now — on the contrary! I want to go back to being the Me who got into them in the first place.

Be Me

Be Me

I want to have fun.

I want to be creative. I want to knit and scrapbook and write and make things with my kids. (And try to not freak at the mess.)

I want to laugh at things that I like, even if they’re silly and frivolous. I like Disney princesses, and I like young adult fiction, and I like cartoon movies.

I want to wear my Tinkerbell or Christmas socks any time of year, any day of the week, and not worry about someone thinking they’re not “executive” enough.

I want to keep my focus and priority on my family and friends, not on my job. If that means I never go beyond where I am now, so be it.

I want to help more. There are so many people I know who are going through tough things, and I want to help however I can. I’ll start running with Charity Miles, look for ways to support friends, and keep buying one extra bag of groceries for the food pantry whenever I can.  I’m trying to figure out how to host a virtual 5K/10K for a friend’s infant son who needs a kidney transplant.

I want to be more of the me that God intended me to be, and less of the me that I was letting my circumstances make me. I think I’ll need to start small because my brain can’t handle much more than that. 🙂

Colossians 3:17

Be Youer Than You

Today you are You, that is truer than true. There is no one alive who is Youer than You

I think I have a little mini-series of posts in my head … a lot of processing and thinking to do, in a good way! Here’s the first part … 

I spend a good chunk of time at work helping people – employees, managers, organizations, whatever – crystallize their goals and plans. Maybe it’s goals for their career, maybe it’s goals for the organization to reach within the year or five years, maybe it’s goals for a specific project. We plan full day workshops to work on organizational strategic planning. I’ll spend an hour or two with an employee, talking about their motivators and demotivators (is too a word), their interests and goals, and what they can do to take steps in that direction.

What’s the old saying? “The cobbler’s wife has no shoes, the doctor’s wife is always sick”… something like that. What I mean by that is that I rarely remember to turn the attention to myself – where do I want to be in five years? Where do I want to grow, try new things, or stop old habits?

Most of the time, there’s work to do before we can even get to that conversation. It’s the “Who am I?” conversation. As a professional, I counsel people that it’s one of the best and most important conversations they can have, whether as an individual or a team. “Who am I? What’s my identity? What’s my purpose?”

A lot of the time that can get too overwhelming. We think we have to have a big huge answer, complete with world-changing personal impact. Then we get caught in a trap of “What if I’m not special? What if I can’t change the world? What if who I am isn’t good enough?”

So let’s get that out of the way: you are special. You are unique. As Dr. Seuss says:

Today you are You, that is truer than true. There is no one alive who is Youer than You

 

“Today you are You, that is truer than true. There is no one alive who is Youer than You.”   (Dr. Seuss, Happy Birthday to You)

I love that quote because every person has something about them that sets them apart from the body on the other side of them. One of the biggest problems I see is that people don’t appreciate themselves enough.  Or they appreciate themselves too much, but then they don’t come talk to me because they already have it all figured out. Ahem.

These are the questions I ask them, and that I want to ask myself:

  • What do you love to do, even if you’re not the best at it?
  • What would you spend your day doing if money, time, and other commitments weren’t a factor?
  • What, when you finish it, gives you an enormous sense of satisfaction?
  • What are you also good at?
  • What do other people always come to you for?
  • What would make you miserable if you had to stop doing it?

Even when I’m talking with people about their professional careers, I ask them to think about the full spectrum of their lives – personal and professional. Sometimes we think that our personal inclinations and preferences have to stay out of our professional lives (and sometimes we’re right!). Sometimes, though, we can find hidden things in our personal life preferences that would add a lot more joy to our professional life.

So that’s my assignment for today: What makes Erin me-er than me?

What about you? What’s youer than you?

Inspiration

Day 10: Someone who inspires you

There are lots of people who inspire me, so I’m going to do a bulleted list. That way I won’t get overly mawkish (vocabulary word!), maudlin (seriously, vocabulary word from the 8th grade), or rambly.

  • My husband – he has dreams and plans, and he puts his family before everything else. I may not always see it, but I know it’s true and that reminds me to re-think my perceptions of a situation.
  • My parents – they’ve both done things that may have seemed impossible at one point or another in their lives. They both love their families and do whatever they can for them. I love the examples they’ve set for me (and each of my siblings).
  • Stay at home moms – ladies, it’s hard to do. As much as I wish I could do it, I don’t know how good I would actually be at staying home.
  • Moms who work outside the home – ladies, it’s hard out there. Having sisters in the trenches keeps me working and (mostly) from going insane.
  • Corrie Ten Boom, Tina Fey, Ellen Ochoa – women who’ve done awesome things and share wisdom, vision, and humor. (Varying degrees thereof.)
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