4!

We went to the driving range today and after a quick review of how to stand, swing, follow through, etc. I was on my way with my own set of balls. The last thing I remember my husband saying was “Whatever you do, keep your eye on the ball.” With that in mind, I proceeded to hit some pretty impressive shots if I do say so myself. I was kind of laughing about it, and of course I was totally proud of myself. Husband’s running commentary was, “Nice!…Very good…that was solid…” as he went through his own bucket of golf balls. After some period of time that I would recall when I was having legitimate fun, the fun quickly ran out.Β  I started thinking too much about it. My competitive, have-to-be-good-at-everything, perfectionist self was now present, along with my ego, and it resulted in several whiffs, a few shanks, and a couple of just driving the club straight into the earth with no ball in sight. Could this be a metaphor for how I seem to be approaching my life goals? πŸ™‚ Husband’s running commentary was now, “You took your eye off the ball…your hips are swaying too much….remember how nice of a day it is….feel the breeze….relax.” So before defeat could take over and the f-bomb could escape from my lips, I took a break. I ate some granola, drank some water, and sat on the bench to watch husband swing a few. It was amazing to see when he hit a perfectly good shot how effortless it was, and when he lollipopped a shot straight into the air about 7 feet in front of him, I saw exactly the moment when he took his eye off the ball. We started laughing and he said, “I was still thinking about the shot I made before.” huh.

When it came down to the last three balls, he challenged me to hit the closest shot to the checkered flag. I said sure why not and hit that ball within 5 feet of the flag. He followed with a severe left hook, and then another….

It’s okay to be competitive. And it’s certainly even better to have fun while being competitive.

In the spirit of the Lenten season

I have not written in a while I know. I have been in a self-reflective mode and while at times painful, it is also freeing as it leads to the realization of choices and options that you didn’t know existed before. My sister, the faithfully-practicing Catholic in the family, likes to send me the Sunday reading reflections she still gets from her alma mater where she used to be lector. A few weeks ago this is what it read:

From today’s Exodus Reading:
The Lord said to Moses…”Strike the rock and the water will flow from it for the people to drink.”

Reflection:
The Jews have a legend that says the rock Moses struck, that yielded water, traveled with them through the desert and provided water for their needs. True story? No, not likely. True story? Yes — Β for those whose thirst has been quenched from the most unlikely sources during a hard time in their lives. They have personal experience that the rock follows them in their desert and quenches their thirst.

So we ask ourselves:
Name the hard place in your life at this time?
Where in that rocky, desert place is God providing water for you?

This spoke to me so much that I almost didn’t know how to answer it. And that’s where self-reflection started in. Instead of trying to write right away, I kept a list going and anytime I experienced something or someone that “provided water for me” I wrote it down. Here is what I found…

The hard place(s) in my life at this time include: 1. redefining my own self-worth without the connection to a job or other stated “role”; 2. supporting and loving my husband with patience and kindness as he works through his anxieties about starting a family. In the middle of this rocky, desert place, God continues to provide water for me through my relationships with my sister, my family, Cindy, Sister Linda, my volunteering at Cristo Rey, the support from friends, meditation, exercise, my sleepy time tea, the friends I have made at my part time job, funny pictures of my nieces and nephew, unsolicited job referrals from Jake at JCCC, closer connections with the new friends we have met here in Kansas City, laughing with Adam at work, the last fires in the fireplace before spring weather sets in, and finally the unconditional love from my cats Adam and Simon.

An Inquiry

So it’s been some days now since learning about the job and in an attempt to make peace with the outcome, I have tried to search within myself to discover how this experience was still significant and positive to my overall journey. I have breezed past all cliches (better luck next time, there will be other jobs, get ’em next time) and have landed somewhere between needing confirmation that I can complete the actual act itself--the act being applying and interviewing for a new job–and remembering to celebrate the victories–the victory being applying and interviewing for a new job. πŸ™‚ Perhaps it was just practice for something better that is waiting around the corner. I also have to acknowledge that the search committee is completing a business process and I am in the midst of my innovative journey. Two completely different intentions if you ask me. Being a total visual learner, I see myself in one of those garden mazes and getting super close to the solution, but just missing it by a turn. That doesn’t mean all of the work leading up to this point was in vain. Absolutely not. It only means that I need to regroup, stay focused, and stay open to new signs that may point me in the right direction.

Image

 

Wasn’t Meant To Be

So, talk about anti-climactic. Had the interview last week and have been attempting to patiently wait for feedback. Found out today through my online application that my status went from In Progress to Position Filled. Cue sad trombone. 😦 How I even got there was by chance. I had e-mailed the hiring manager for the salary range and he replied that he was out of town, but that HR would have that information. Didn’t mention one thing about already offering the job to someone else! While speaking with the super nice HR representative, she let me know that she had passed my question on to the compensation manager. At about that time in the conversation is when I saw the status change to Position Filled. Sweet. All I wanted to do was get off the phone at that point, but the HR lady started giving me a pep talk. She said not to give up, and that something else will come along. Wow. She doesn’t even know me except from my profile. I said thanks and then hung up the phone.

When I was talking to a good friend last weekend she asked me if I was prepared if I did not get the job. I said yes, but also had high hopes because that’s what you do when you see something, and feel something, that you really want. Now that I know the outcome, and I have sat with my feelings, I can say with all honesty that what I want is a job. That I love. That I won’t have to leave in 2-3 years. That’s all. So this job wasn’t meant to be, but me finding my happiness is truly what’s meant to be…

 

 

 

 

Scream Yes

The other night while mindlessly surfing the television I caught one of Oprah’s Life Lessons episodes and this particular show featured her day spent with Tony Robbins. Now this guy is ridiculous. From prompting the audience to yell their battle cry of intensity, to chanting “yes” over and over, I can only compare his method of motivation to that of an Olympic coach gone wild. In this episode Oprah spends literally 12+ hours at one of his conferences in L.A. and the day ends with her walking across hot coals. I had seen the commercials and I kept thinking, no way. No way is she going to do this!

I love the change in the expression in her face as she goes from thinking “this is crazy” to “I’m going to fucking do this!” At first you can tell she’s just clapping and going along because she doesn’t have a choice. When 1000’s of others are chanting yes you don’t want to be the oddball. Then suddenly there is a transformation and she believes that she can and will walk on hot coals. It’s priceless, and one that I think we can all appreciate in some part of our lives, whether it’s while playing a sport, overcoming a broken heart, or making whatever decision that leaves you a different person immediately afterwards.

In my life I can recall many walking on hot coal moments: trying out for the volleyball team in high school; riding in a helicopter in the front seat for the first time; going ziplining; moving and leaving friends and family behind (several times); confronting a crazy boss; forgiving a person who really caused me great anger. While each situation is unique in itself, they all call upon the same inner strength and trust that you will be okay. No matter what. And that on the other side of the hot coals when your feet are indeed burning, they will heal and you are stronger.

I feel like the hot coals here in Kansas City are prepped and ready and I have been saying yes for a while. Just need to believe it.
CORRECTION: I am actually standing on the hot coals. Just need to keep moving!!! πŸ™‚