Let’s say you’re about to make a major presentation at work. The room is packed. Attendees have traveled from far and near to be there. Your boss is seated so close, with one her closest confidantes at her side, you could easily reach out and touch them. The moment you inhale to begin, the boss’ buddy whispers in her ear and she replies, in a loud stage whisper that sounds like a bad imitation of Daffy Duck, “of course she’s a professional!” It happened. During my short-lived, less-than-stellar career as a church organist, at the funeral of my sister-in-law’s father, in the church where her mom was the regular organist. The whisperer: my SIL’s uncle, the one who hadn’t seen me since I was an vapid tween with a mad crush on his son. I got through the service by biting the inside of both cheeks to keep from cracking up.. . . .Read more . . .
Choose wisely. Make up your mind. Make a good decision. Easier said than done. Because there are so many options. Which sometimes makes it feel like there aren’t any. Besides, who has time to research all, or even a few of those options, to the point that a decision feels good? When every single decision has consequences. So we get stuck. In creativity-stifling jobs. In energy-sapping routines. In soul-sucking lives. All because making good decisions feels so damn hard. It doesn’t have to be that way. Knowing when to say yes and when to say no with confidence and ease is as simple as knowing your strengths, values and priorities. Strengths If your strengths lean toward making things happen and you flourish amid structure and routine, saying “no” to the job with that startup where the organizational structure is more fluid than your morning smoothie becomes easy. If you crave the. . . .Read more . . .
There was no pre-dawn excursion to watch the sun rise over the ocean this Labor Day. No drive past the middle school on Tuesday to rejoice that my work schedule isn’t set by the school board. No walk on the beach to mark the first day of Locals’ Summer. Thanks, Cone of Uncertainty. I’m a planner. My plan for Labor Day weekend was perfection. Until it started to unravel when the weekend tourists were still at home anticipating one more sleep until summer’s last hurrah. All because of hurricane Hermine’s Cone of Uncertainty. Storm surge, tidal flooding, beach erosion. Familiar, if disliked, facts of life at the coast. The Cone of Uncertainty, though, was a new one to me. And what a metaphor! After all, we live so much of our lives in a giant cone of uncertainty – even when we think we have everything figured out. You might get the job.. . . .Read more . . .
It’s only the first week of December, but I’m already feeling anxious that I haven’t finished my Make 2014 the Most Awesome Year Ever Plan. In truth, it’s barely started, which has me mildly freaked out, since it seems everyone I know finished theirs while I was still stuffing my face with Thanksgiving leftovers. It’s almost as if, since I haven’t discerned my three words for 2014, let alone mapped out detailed intentions, goals and plans, complete with quarterly and monthly benchmarks, I might as well chuck it all and accept that I’ll be lucky to spend next year living in a van down by the river. Thank goodness I realized that I was using everyone as code for a few Facebook posts (very few, as in four, maybe five) from people who were starting to craft their 2014 plans. One of my favorite Christmas week activities is spending a. . . .Read more . . .
Sometimes getting clear about what you absolutely want to keep can help you let go of the things you need to release that will help you move forward. Imagine a burned-out teacher. He knows it’s time to retire, but the thought of filling out the paperwork to make it real leaves feeling overwhelmed. Once he articulates that the thing he wants to bring with him into retirement is the opportunity to keep working with kids, it’s easier for him to start taking steps toward his future. Consider the rising executive who just completed her MBA. She knows it’s time to seek the next level in her profession, but the thought of revising her resume saps her energy like back-to-back hot yoga classes. Once she realizes that she wants to be able to continue to mentor new grads, the task of updating her credentials begins to feel more doable. An heirloom. . . .Read more . . .