Seven in '17
Although we haven’t even arrived at Christmas yet, I’ve given a great deal of thought to all the lessons that 2017 held for me. Some new. Others reminders because I needed them once again. So here goes...
I learned to hug people. Two arms, wide open, wrapped around members of my tribe. Anne, Meg, Chantal, Jamie, Sue, Carol, Tanya, and Hillary – thank you. Thank you for pressing me to relax that boundary and allow you into my fortress. It was never about you guys – I love you big. I’m grateful to you all for helping me grow in that way.
Looking back, I know without a doubt that I invested too much time in some people who didn’t deserve it. People who didn’t feel like sunshine (photo cred to my sole sister, Jen K). People who are not a part of my tribe. People who take and take and take and aren’t willing or able to give. Maybe because they never had to. Maybe because they’re a hollow bunny who doesn’t have the capacity to give. Maybe because their insecurities prevent them from giving – only taking to feed their starving ego. Maybe all of the above? Whatever the reason, I won’t continue to create space for these people in my world.
In changing jobs, I realized that friends are how we survive at work. This Quartz article confirmed my suspicions through research. I suck at change. It takes me a long while to settle in and while I was doing so I was silently comparing my new colleagues to my old colleagues who, after 9 years, had become family to me. Comparison is the thief of joy. I wasn’t sure I liked my new job or if these were my people. What I am certain of at this point is that it isn’t the job. It’s the feeling. And you have to lean in to feel the sunshine. You have to relax the boundary of that tightly guarded fortress. You have to open both hands.
In 2017, I allowed my deep disappointment and sadness over the state of the world to lead me to a bit of a nihilistic view. This world outlook didn’t serve me well. I still feel a sense of disappointment and sadness (see 2 & 3 above). Disappointed in incapable people – incapable of running the government, incapable of giving. Sadness around missing my old work family. When you’re sad and disappointed, I think you’re giving up too much power so I’ll be taking that back, thankyouverymuch.
One of my favorite television shows of all times is Six Feet Under which aired on HBO. In the show, the Fisher family owns and operates a funeral home in LA. One customer of the home, Tracy Montrose Blair, asks, “Why do people have to die?” Nate Fisher replies, “To make life important. None of us knows how long we’ve got. Which is why we have to make each day matter.” The year ended with more than one reminder of just how important (and fragile and difficult) life is. I’m grateful for my health and renewing my commitment to it (it got lost in the nihilistic haze).
Travel when you can. See the big world and recognize your small part in it. Appreciate the wonders of the outdoors. I am so grateful that Andrea had the opportunity to do this in 2017.
I love my life, home, pets, wife and tribe. And, as I enter 2018, I will be editing. You should too.
Note: I began this particular blog in July of 2017 and as a result, wrote more consistently. I’m grateful to anyone who’s taken the time to read any of what I wrote this past year. Thank you. Thank you for your encouragement. Thank you for your compliments. They are among the highest that I could receive.