Day 29: Don’t underestimate the middle.

Everything is in the middle.

The first week I spent slowly withdrawing. This last week I spent scrambling to stay. When I look at it that way, that makes the time in between sadly emptier or less full–to put a wee more positive spin on it.

We spend a lot of our lives in the middle, don’t we? The in-between. That space before a decision. The time looking. The time adjusting. The time getting to and fro or just circling. Like Pema Chodron said, “we are always in process.”

Though we move from moment to moment, I find it hard not to bookend time. To mark the beginnings and endings. To snag momentos and mental snapshots of what will never be again. I feel a little somber wrapping up my time here. Maybe because this me time was really about putting on training wheels. The middle ground before the change I seek that’s altogether new.

The middle is where momentum builds. Where the pendulum dips before the next rise. The valley between peaks where all points of view hold promise. Where potential pools… Who knows where I’m going next. I’m happy to be in motion. Re-fueled and in a higher gear.

Day 20: Do you like the sound of your sounding board?

My older sister was in town visiting me this weekend and apart from driving endlessly around windy back roads, we filled the miles with chit chat about anything and everything.

Screen shot 2015-03-23 at 12.59.06 AMShe and I couldn’t be more different. She married her high school sweetheart (the last of the dying breed she used to say.) Had two kids. And recently got divorced. She’s had three or four jobs in her life to my ten or eleven. She’s four years older. She’d be the first to say she’s risk averse. But, like me, she’s a do-it-yourselfer, independent and holds her own in anything she does.

I, on the other hand, am still single at 41. No kids. Decompressing from my date-a-thon gone wrong. And taking my third career break. I’ll take as many risks as I can that won’t require me to talk to a lawyer. I’ll go for broke in the name of love, passion or a really good chocolate chip cookie. We’re both strong, confident and a wee bit feisty, but she is definitely ruled by reason where I follow all those sticky, gooey feelings.

So I appreciate her different perspective, I do. I also find myself defensive and unable to answer her questions without a rise in my you-don’t-get-me tone. As emotional as I can be when it comes to decision making, I also have a fairly decent head on my shoulders. I consider the pitfalls, the worse case scenarios and practical things like how long my savings will support my me-time time out. I’m both thinking and feeling. Take that, Myers-Briggs.

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Day 14: Deciding to decide.

We have only two choices, and each one ends in yes or no.

That’s it. Sounds awfully simplistic, I know. But all of that back and forth reasoning, listing pros and cons, polling all your friends–in the end, amounts to a yes or no. Like Yoda said, “Do or do not. There is no try.” You go for it. Or you don’t. All that gray in between is a dance, a flirtation with the yes or no. I’m not saying it’s easy to think in black and white space. But cutting to the chase moves you to new and better places faster. And if it’s not the right place; you simply move again.

Because think about it. Isn’t it equally difficult to spin in circles as you carefully think through every possible outcome? What is all that thinking for? I’ve read business articles on decision making, like how top CEOs at the world’s largest companies call the shots. Believe it or not–they go with their gut…then reverse engineer the support for this direction. The sign of a good leader is not one who is always right. It’s one who can swiftly and adamantly decide. Continue reading