What’s Up With Me, Really.
I intentionally chose this photo because it's not typical of the images I generally include when I talk about my life. But the few times I've gone skeet shooting, I've been good at it. And I need to summon the spirit that makes me lean into a shot gun, fiercely determined to blow something to bits.
A little honesty goes a long way. Most of us avoid anything that comes close to true self revelation in the world of social media. Blogs are generally used to convey evidence that we are subject matter experts, or the kind of all around good folk others might want to hire.
But what if we all just laid bare the way life really is for us? I shower you with my accounts of my abundant blessings. I am known to be perpetually perky. But, those who have witnessed the unraveling of the last three years of our lives would say I am simply resilient.
Here's the real scoop.
- July 2008--working as a professional speaker. Love the flexibility it allows us to travel to our cabin in Montana. We have an above average income and a great life.
- August 2008--Greg (the great spousal unit) leaves his position as General Counsel for a company that did not match his definition of ethical or prudent business behavior. That company went out of business shortly thereafter.
- September 2008--Healthcare reform led the insurance company that was writing my services into its 2010 budget to withdraw. The economy makes it a bit challenging for Greg to find a general counsel position.
- March 2009--I continue to have some work, but nothing consistent. Greg starts a business with a former colleague and two others.
- July 2010--Greg and his partner are sued by the other two partners.
- October 2010--Lawsuit is summarily dismissed. My father dubs the former partner who filed the suit, "Old Knucklehead."
- November 2010--Greg and his partner start a new business.
- January 2011--The speaking profession does not satisfy me. I yearn to develop communication strategy that creates successful businesses and cultures where people thrive. So I invest big bucks in overhauling my website and resolve to focus on consulting.
- April 2011--A friend mentions his business could use some management help. I miss the collegial environment of "real" employment and love to manage projects and people, so I throw my hat in for consideration.
- May 2011--I accept the position with my friend's company. It will begin in Jan. 2012 contingent upon my getting 90 days experience in a car dealership. (My friend's business serves the automotive industry.) This gives me time to finish up my consulting work scheduled through end of August. I shut down my consulting practice and stop marketing efforts.
- July 17, 2011--Greg's business partner quits. After 14 years of friendship and support, the relationship ended with no explanation.
- August 29, 2011--I start selling cars. Greg prepares to head to Kansas to resume the private practice of law he left 12 years earlier.
- September 2011--My friend tells me a revenue issue will prevent his company from making the position available in January. I begin considering other options.
- December 2011--I am a candidate for a job with a local advertising agency. The same friend (and he is, by the way, still a dear friend) calls and offers me a chance to be the southwest regional training facilitator for one of their automotive clients. He needs a commitment by the end of the month. Four days later, another friend shares a unique consulting opportunity that has me written all over it. (And it still does...more on that later!) I decide to withdraw as a candidate for the advertising position to chase the income potential of the facilitator job, and the less tangible but more intriguing work of the consulting position.
- January 2012--I learn that the automotive client preferred to use its own facilitators. I may be used as a backup, but the need for a substitute facilitator is not likely.
- January 2012--I spend 12 days working with my sisters to move our amazing father from Miles City, MT where he's lived for more than 60 years, to a great retirement community in Fargo, ND, where one of my sisters lives. It's more of an emotionally and physically exhausting process than I anticipated.
- Today--my Dad has been struggling with agonizing back pain. We hope he proves to be a candidate for a vertebroplasty today. It is heartbreaking to know how much he is suffering. Meanwhile, I'm writing a business plan for the other consulting project (with the intensity and focus pictured above.)
So, that's the real raw side of my existence. The cabin is for sale. The debt load is nearly suffocating and still we lead the most incredibly blessed existence of any family we know.
I am still perky. I still see goodness in most circumstances, though not always while I'm in the midst of them. And, I do feel like we're on the brink of something really great. But then, I usually do, because we usually are. We're all on the edge of greatness. You just have to be willing to step out. Again and again.
Each of us carries burdens, many of them secretly tucked away under the other layers of our existence we're willing to reveal. But when we share our burdens...when we get them out of our overstuffed backpacks of worry and sort them all out...they just aren't that bad. It all just is what it is. Sometimes, we learn others have been just where we are. We lean on one another and find a new foothold to keep moving onward and upward.
Lean into life. Take aim. Be fierce. Goodness will grow.