Tag Archives: want

The Other Side of the Pancake

Integrity is an important value to me: being true to my work, following through and honoring commitments and being consistent with my beliefs and actions. It’s not always easy, especially that last part, but I continue to try. 

One thing that recently showed up for me to work on is my need to be right. Ironically, I’ve had this conversation with people, that goes something like this, “Do you want to be right, or do you want to get what you want/need?”

It’s so much easier when I’m not the actor in this play. 

I’ve mentioned before that I wanted to be the female personification of Perry Mason when I was a child. I dreamed of being a lawyer, walking into a courtroom with a commanding presence, all confident, poised and prepared to make my case that will prove my point. I practiced over and over doing just that. Here’s my belief/thought/feeling and here are the reasons for it. This is why I am right and you are wrong.

Bam! Gavel down on the bench.

I recently had an issue with someone and as I was silently building my case, I realized what I was doing. This is someone I enjoy, and while I am hurt and angry and do believe I should express my feelings, I don’t need to go so far as to build a case as to why she sucks. I was so busy doing it that I felt my heart harden and I was working myself to the point of demanding an apology for the perceived infraction or else.

OR ELSE.

Yeah, I was going there, and what a crappy place to be.

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 Do I want to be right, or do I want to get what I need? Maybe there is a middle ground, however, as while I do want to communicate to get what I need, I don’t need her to throw herself on the sword to do it. Because I have a fairly good idea that she’s also considering her beliefs and feelings and they aren’t showing me in such a favorable light as my thoughts are.

I recently read an article by Dr. Phil in Oprah magazine (yep, I sure did!) where he talked about a pancake, and no matter how flat you make that pancake, there is always another side. It’s not easy to see that when you’re the female personification of Perry Mason building your case, but it’s still there.

I took a step back. I put aside all of my (superb) reasons why I was right, and why I had been so cruelly wronged that I simply had to have an apology, and tried to see the other side of the pancake.

And you know what I learned? I’d rather get what I need/want than be right. It felt so much better.

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Midlife Awakening

I woke up one day and realized that, while I have a great life, it’s not the life I want.

Ok, so it didn’t quite happen that way, but it sure feels like it! I was spending a lot of time ‘self-medicating;’ I was doing things that felt good and would relieve the stress of the work I was doing. I didn’t enjoy my job, but I tried to convince myself that it gave me a lot of financial freedom, and that I could do work that I enjoyed outside of work. And I did, but it was never enough.

When I received the gift of freedom, I decided to take advantage of it and to explore me. I never really gave myself the opportunity to consider what I wanted to do with my life, but did what I thought I was supposed to do. And I did enjoy it—for a while. But when it no longer worked for me, I kept at it because, silly as it may sound, I didn’t realize I had options. And because I was scared. I’ve learned that I was getting further and further from me, while making excuses that it was the right thing to do. Here’s some of what I’ve learned over the last couple of months.

 Success is in the eye of the beholder

What most people consider traditional success feels toxic to me: the 9-5 grind in a large corporation to get the generous paycheck. Over the last couple of months, I have the as if I’ve been through a detox program to wring out every last bit of corporate ‘ick’ from my system. Oh, I’m sure there are great companies to work for, however, my last few selections are not among the greats. Maybe this is the Universe’s way of making sure I truly know that I need a change. Ok, Universe, I get it! :o)

I love my freedom

I want to be filled with passion and do things that I love with people that I truly enjoy. I want to be as passionate about the work I do as I am about my volunteering. I’m still working through how that happens. Does it mean starting my own company? I am in the process of doing that, so be on the lookout for a shameless plug! Does it mean taking a job at a nonprofit, or maybe working short-term contracts and taking blocks of time off after the contract is over to re-energize and do things I love? I’m still working through this, but will be sure to explore different options and I learn and grow into the me I want to be.

 Happiness is underrated

I stayed in corporate because I felt I should. Yep, there’s that word again: should. My definition of success was a 9-5 job heading into a large office building. Certainly, that’s one definition, but not the only one. I’m really enjoying all of the volunteer work that I’m doing. I’m spending my time helping people and animals, and while it doesn’t always include a ‘thank you,’ I’m feeling happier and more energized than I have in years. My entire day circles around ‘what can I do today to help others?’ And I dedicate time to this, ever single day. It just feels good and I’m happy.

I’m listening more to my body as well. I am hiking several times a week and it feels so good. It’s what I need for my body and my spirit. When I am tired, I nap. When I’m hungry, I eat. When I feel like being alone, I do that and when I feel like socializing, I pick up the phone and call a friend. I am no longer living as I feel I should, but as I want, and it’s made such a huge difference. I’m happy. And that, to me, is success.

Onward

My future is uncertain right now, and I’m learning to be ok with that. What I do know is that I don’t want to map out the next twenty years right now. I’m learning to live in the moment, listen to my heart and my body, and consider my wants instead of my shoulds. It’s a great lesson that I never learned until now, and I’m so grateful for this time!

So, today I will go and hike with a rescue dog. Then I’ll work on some of my ‘to do’ list for the business and do some writing.

I’m so very grateful for my life.

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Tug is available for adoption through Lost Paws in Phoenix, AZ.