Happy Anniversary

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This morning this little icon appeared in WordPress, along with a quick note:

“Happy Anniversary with WordPress.com!
You registered on WordPress.com 5 years ago.
Thanks for flying with us. Keep up the good blogging.”

Wow, it has been 5 years.

Where did the time go?

268 posts.

53.6 posts per year, right on target.

So many words.

Too many to count.

So many ideas.

Fun to wander back through. Did I really write that?

So many thoughts.

Will this continue? Will these thoughts still find their way into the world?

Thank you for reading.

There are so many other things you could do with your time and energy, thanks for making the choice.

Thank you for sharing.

Both for your ideas/lives/experiences with me, and for sending this out to those around you.

Thank you for coming along for this journey.

This little experiment only works when we take the journey together.

I wonder what the next 5 years will bring?

Stories, progress, setbacks, wins, losses, fears, edges, goals and life lived and observed.

Unleashed

Unleashed

Unleashed.

No longer held back.

No internal barriers stopping you.

No external barriers getting in your way.

Unlike an untethered state, Unleashed is when you are completely free to pursue your biggest dreams.

Unleashed means to set in motion.

What does that motion mean for you?

Starting that business?

Selling, merging, or changing the operation?

Pursuing that certification?

Taking that trip?

Quitting that job?

Finding that new career path?

Taking that risk?

Writing?

Creating?

Don’t mistake an anchor for a leash.

Anchors ground you.

Leashes hold you back and restrain you.

Go. Dream. Move.

Go. Be. Unleashed.

Guess…with positive intent

Yesterday we had one of those conversations.

The kind of conversation that matters.

The kind of conversation that means something.

We talked about marriage and when you just take the leap.

We talked about kids and parenting.

We talked about struggling when you are young, in the middle, and when you are older.

We talked about roles in life.

We talked about jobs and insurance.

We talked about finances and trying to create and stick to a direction.

We talked about good advice we get from others.

We talked about bad advice we get from others.

We talked about making plans.

We talked about trying to make everything perfect.

We talked about waiting to act.

Road Map

We talked about how in life there isn’t some clearly defined road map. And depending on your circumstances or life story it is easy to feel completely lost without a good example of how to move forward.

We don’t have all the answers.

We are not always sure which way to go.

We are not given a map in life.

We have to guess.

We decided that the best advice is guess with positive intent.

We decided to define a “guess with positive intent” as evaluating options, and taking your best shot at the time, but with the intention of doing something good, positive, and meaningful. This doesn’t mean that we will always get it right, but this option moves us forward without having to be perfect, but our desire is to do something well and meaningful. If it was not the “perfect” choice, you make the next guess with positive intent, and keep trying.

How do you become a good parent? No idea. Try stuff. Guess. But guess with positive intent.

How do you know when to get married? No idea. Guess. But guess with positive intent.

How do you know which career path to take? No idea. Guess. But guess with positive intent.

How do you make a relationship last? No idea. Guess. But guess with positive intent.

How do you decide when to switch careers, or try something new? No idea. Guess. But guess with positive intent.

How do you [insert your question or dilemma here].

Our advice. Guess. But guess with positive intent.

 

Mourning the loss of who you thought you would be

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(Image Courtesy of the Great Robin Lake)

We start out in life thinking we are going to be a certain thing.

We make plans. We make choices. We move in a direction. We become invested in who we are going to be.

Sometimes dreams don’t work out. Plans change. Choices are made. Sometimes we fail. Maybe we succeed at different things. Our journey took us in interesting directions, and the people we met and experiences we had created forks in the road. We took some of those forks.

We are “here” today, right where we ended up. Not to say that “here” is a bad place.

In some ways “here” is better than we expected, in other ways maybe not as good.

However, there was a lot of us in the original plan. It was part of our story. Part of our narrative about who we were, and how we described ourselves.

And if, as I recently realized about my own original plan, it was wrapped up in a healthy (or unhealthy) dose of ego and pride, part of it remains with us years or decades later.

A few recent events triggered some interesting emotions surrounding an old plan. What I thought was long gone, had just been lying dormant. The freshness of the ego and pride associated with these events caught me a little off guard.

But I had to ask,

“Why are these emotions still here years later?”

“These plans, or goals are long dead, how did they return?”

It was in asking the questions that the answer came into focus.

Long dead.

What do we do when someone or something dies? We mourn.

Mourn:to feel regret or sadness about (the loss or disappearance of something).

When we don’t mourn, losses remain.

Even when we move forward, un-mourned losses lay dormant.

I never took the time to mourn the loss of who I thought I would be. Life moved forward, the plans changed. Life turned out better than the original plan.

But the un-mourned losses remained.

Where has your life taken you? Where have your plans changed, and your dreams shifted?

Where should you be mourning the loss of who you thought you would be?

Mourn. And may mourning help you move forward in your journey.

The Hard Work of Dreams

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(Image courtesy of the One of My Dreams, and the road trip)

Sometimes our dreams don’t work out.

But dreams (goals, aspirations, how we want things to be) can fool us into thinking that the road will be easy.

We have this idea, so it should just happen right?

I want this or that, therefore it should become a reality.

Yes it may be a little work, but hey “I have been working on this dream for over two weeks.”

During a recent discussion with a close friend, we talked about how dreams are the result of hard work. The result (that dream state) is typically achieved after years of sacrifice and working a plan that made that dream a reality.

We laughed at how much we dream without counting the cost. Big dreams without counting the hard work it will take to make them happen.

The “overnight success” band dream. Fifteen years of crossing the country to work every small bar, festival, or venue.

The “retirement traveler” dream. Thirty-three years of saving, investing, and saying no to the daily temptations of purchases.

The “dream job” dream. Ten years of attending school part-time while working, raising kids, and unpaid internships to gain experience.

The “business start-up” dream. Thirteen years of finding a market, staying up late working on proposals, being rejected, making mistakes, borrowing money, trying to keep records, making a product or service, building relationships, inspiring trust, learning to ship, and trying to convince others that you bring value.

The “perfect parent” dream. A lifetime of relationships, negotiations, cleaning up, providing for, apologizing, correction and guidance, time, energy, and intention.

The “great relationship” dream. Seasons of distance, making time, grief, disappointment, non-response, frustration, misunderstanding, forgiveness, and rejection.

Dream away.

But know that dreams require something in return.

The hard work of dreams is what takes a concept or idea and makes it real.

It will cost you, but the reward is worth the hard work.

 

P.S. A few days ago marked four years for this writing dream. Just a few more decades to go…

Dancers Dance

Dancers Dance

I am surrounded by dance.

Strange rhythmic sounds echo from the upstairs of our house.

Spins occur in our kitchen.

Spontaneous taps break out during random lulls.

Terms foreign to me are thrown around during cookouts.

Pottaburray? Pleeaaayyy? Kickball steps? Kickball chains?

For two decades this foreign culture has invaded my land.

Different language.

Different rituals.

But I am learning.

I learned about the teacher who drives three hours each night after work just to be part of a tribe.

I learned about the young person who was shy and now beams with confidence.

I learned about the mom who started again despite injury and now spins with ease.

(I just learned that the term is turn, not spin!)

I learned about the owner, the instructor, the master-stylist, the sibling, the financial analyst, the consultant, the student, the teacher, the bartender, the business owner, and the parent (and soon to be parent).

I learned about the struggle, the pain, the work, the practice, the goals, the frustration, the ambition, the need, the sorrow, and the joy.

I learned that dancers have different stories.

I learned that dancers have different backgrounds.

I learned that dancers have different reasons.

Most of all I learned that Dancers Dance.

 

 

 

 

 

Recalibrating the GPS

It started as a simple conversation about running, pace, and times. We both opened up the app on our phones and talked about some of the struggles, successes, and challenges ahead while scrolling through the history.

Then it came out.

“I must need to recalibrate the GPS, I am not that fast.”

As I heard those words, I couldn’t help myself.

“Really? You have been training hard, staying on schedule, and when you make progress, why does your first thought assume something is wrong with the GPS? Why do you discount your achievements?”

Pause.

Another Pause.

“Well historically…”

“In the past…”

“I used to not…”

All of next few statements were not about the present reality, or celebrating the accomplishment. All were focused on the past.

Past limits. Past thoughts. Past obstacles.

I listened for a few minutes.

“Sounds like is not your GPS that needs recalibrating.”

When do you discount your achievements? When does your past invade the present to take away the things you accomplish? When does your first thought assume that it must be the equipment or a false reading because it cannot be you that reached the goal?

Maybe we could all use a recalibration.