challenges

Decisions, Decisions

This year end has me faced with many decisions. Many things I really don’t want to deal with but have to because I’m a responsible adult.

Decision one involves updating the will and other legal documents for the family. I’m pretty sure this was on a to-do list before the pandemic so scratching it off the list is a good accomplishment. However the process of it is still a bit morbid as you are planning for what happens after you are gone and I’m not really ready to go anywhere so to speak. Just all around blah but a necessary step.

Round two gets more complicated. Of course anything involving people can be messy. Add negative environmental conditions and the plot thickens. I need to define my parameters for supporting a person rebuilding their life. I know what I should do but then emotions come in to play. I also can’t ignore the background noise of those who cast opinions on me.  It’s almost seems like I’m doomed no matter which path or decision I make on this one which is probably why I don’t want to deal with it! I also want to not look like an ATM machine while feeling like a doormat.

Next up is the birthday bash plan. Do I stay local? Do go regionally? Do I head off into the sunset for a grand adventure? I’ve been on the road a lot making travel seem meh at best but it’s a milestone birthday which has me leaning towards go big. Decisions. Decisions. I have just a short window to decide and I don’t want to rush my thoughts on this one. 

I also have many little decisions to make as well. Each decision is small in size yet intertwined with other little tidbits of life magnifying the complexity of the choice. My head is like a flowchart, decision tree, or maze thinking about the impact of each decision. I know I’m not alone in this arena but decisions are on my mind thus I wrote about the topic.

Hoping you had a great holiday season no matter how you chose to celebrate. Keeping it real in 2022 on this blog.

challenges, change

Letting Go

It’s hard to let go of something or someone you have invested so much time, money, mental energy on. A job. A significant other. A sport. A car. A pet. A treasured keepsake.

Unfortunately we all have to let go of people, things or even places for one reason or another. It can be hard. It will be hard. It is hard. Time doesn’t stop but healing of sorts begins. When you let go, there is a release. A release of pain, tears, anger amongst other emotions or feelings.

I am in a letting go phase of sorts. Letting go of things I don’t control. Letting go of things that consume my mental energy. Letting go of stress. Letting go of people who suck the joy out of me. Letting go of places with not so good memories.

Letting go is part of life. Writing for me helps with the letting go process. Sometimes it’s a journal entry. Sometimes it’s a calendar note. It could even be a blog post or a book chapter. As 2022 approaches I am focusing on mindset challenges in blocks of time in which I measure my progress. Some examples are below:

100 days of fitness

50 days of meditation 

25 days of travel

25 days of positive praise

22 days of generosity 

Now I haven’t decided if I am taking up all 365 days or if I’m putting a 2022 spin on my number or if I’m choosing the number 50 as that’s how old I will be in 2022. Or maybe I will do some combination thereof.

Either way I am focusing on me. My progress. My ability to tune out the people, the places, the obstacles of life that are weighing me down or stealing my joy. I’m letting go or cleansing in 2022.

challenges

Problem Solving

Scenario 1: it’s 7am. You have an hour drive. You need to be on time for practice. You realize your bag is in your friend’s car. No time to retrieve it. Nobody is awake. Your team is expecting you.

Do you panic?

Do you curl up in a ball and cry?

Do you go back to sleep and say fuck it?

Do you expect somebody to resolve the conflict for you?

None of these options actually solve the problem. They just allow for self pity and postponement of the let down.

Scenario 2: It’s Sunday. You have the house to yourself. Football is on the TV. You have a chores list to do. You need to meal prep for the week and do the laundry.  You might even need to pay some bills or do some paperwork.

Do you lounge around all day?

Do you try to manage a little fun with your chores?

Do you do anything or just let the TV suck you in?

Do you expect others to pick up your slack when they return? What would you expect if your responsibility was to do the above? In today’s world many expect others to do for them. An entitlement of sorts.

What these folks don’t see is their inability to self motivate. The personal drive or push it takes when things are hard. Only a strong mind is capable of such. The weaker crumble. 

Do you see yourself as capable of self motivation? How do you manage your mind?

Scenario 3: You have a softball game midweek (Wednesday).

You have a work product due Thursday.

You have a formal event Friday and a party Saturday. A full schedule except Monday and Tuesday. A busy week. No time for error.

Do you screw around Monday and Tuesday because nothing is on your schedule?

Do you not turn in work project because you stayed out too late at softball?

Do you lack the foresight to plan ahead?

Can you see consequences down the road for poor planning?

I can see all of the bad that can happen in the scenarios above. I can see the shit storm ahead of time. Some can’t. Some live for today and seriously lack foresight. Those same people tend to lack problem solving skills which create an irony. 

I can avoid issues because I have foresight. I can also problem solve in a pinch. This seems to be both a blessing and a curse as some days I wish I had no accountability.
Those who struggle with foresight normally end up in sticky situations. A need for problem solving is right in front of them. It’s almost like a mountain of poop. A mountain one just stares at. Should I start scooping the poop? Can I even get to the end of the pile? Should I even try? If one can’t see the finish line it’s hard to muster up the courage and strength to push forward. The finish line is the reward. The triumph.

I just spring into action to resolve conflicts in my path. Those who struggle in this area hide or hit pause. They can’t leap forward without guidance or if they do move it’s normally in the wrong direction.

Is this genetics?

Is it laziness?

Is it the person has been spoiled and lacks independence?

I see the lack of foresight on the home front, the work front, the consulting front. It’s never ending. I often think of the root issues but in the end I just move on because one can never change another but one can lead by example. 

I always hope my lead inspires others. Maybe not everyone but some. For today I end this thought post with one word: goals.

I’ve never met a person with a goal of being lazy.

I’ve never met a person who who had a goal to intentionally let others down.

For those reasons I say some may need help with problem solving. If you have the skill set to help others see the finish line, show them the way. They might need to feel that success to move past the fear of rejection, failure, disappointment or whatever is stopping one from seeing the bright light of the finish line.

Remember a goal for this post is to help others get to their finish line. Help another solve their insoluble problem.

3Splitz Farm, author moments

Moments of Vacation

We’ve talked about life being lifey lately. In addition it’s just been a busy, hectic time. Sports leagues, long days at work, volunteer commitments, owning businesses and all that goes with it…it’s just kinda out of control these days.

My county had a true fall break this year for the first time. A glorious five-day weekend in the middle of my favorite time of year, the fall. When I saw this coming on the calendar, I imagined a quick trip to the coast for some salt and sand therapy. Or maybe a drive on the Blue Ridge Parkway to see the leaves change. A long hike in the great outdoors or laughs at Dollywood. I dreamed of a getaway.

Life being what it is, enough little commitments popped up that a getaway wasn’t in the cards this year. Just too much going on and the lure of catching up mixed in with a few poorly-timed “have tos” would keep me at home.

As I scrolled through the posts of colleagues and local friends who had hightailed it out of town to Disney or even Napa Valley, I had to reframe my mindset. Instead of being stuck at home pouting, how could I find those moments of vacation in my days?

Coffee Break: I love my coffee in the morning, but it’s generally on a timer. I have my two cups then I’m out the door. I decided to reframe my mind to think of an extra cup of coffee at a leisurely pace as a morning getaway. Even just a slower pace can be a helpful break.

Day trip: I went to a town I had never been to for a few hours to hang out / support / cheer on friends. I ate at a local bagel shop. I saw some new places and things to wonder about. It was less than two hours from home, but just taking that little trip made me feel refreshed from my day-to-day.

Appreciate nature: I had some things to take care of at the farm this weekend. Although I had work to do, I tried to remind myself to stop and appreciate the beauty of the dahlias and fresh fall air. I ate lunch outside on the porch. I took a few extra moments to breathe it all in and notice it.

Maybe noticing is the secret to finding those moments of vacation in daily life. Slower coffee, looking around a new place, taking a moment to observe and appreciate the nature that I often speed by on my way from task to task.

I do still feel that pull to take a trip, but for now these little vacation moments will tide me over. They are always there if I take the time to slow down for a minute and notice them. Yet another instance of how we can choose daily.

challenges

Solo Episode 2

Going solo isn’t so bad. On a recent drive I enjoyed my solo time. My time to think without interruption. The party of one time was valued. I don’t always like being solo but I’m ever so capable of standing firm solo. To me there is a subtle difference.

I also caught up with a another person who took a bold solo step in life to see how things were going. A fresh outlook. A newer view on the same horizon. Opportunities were starting to open up that were out of reach while lumped in a crowd. Going solo was a bold move for this girl. She took a chance. She is seeing how a chance can pay off. Going solo wasn’t an easy choice but the choice itself is showing her strength as one.

I then read a post online about a young man. His journey is one of health and fitness. One that requires him to overcome many individual obstacles. He is persevering but can never compare himself to similar athletes as his path is far more complex. He wrote something that stuck with me. Progress not perfection. His solo moves are bold. There is no comparison. He too shows his power and strength as one. Going solo was the right move for this young man.

Now I flip to going solo when it’s not a choice. The one left behind. The kid nobody wants on the kickball team. Chosen last. Feared as the weak link. The isolation of just one left waiting to be swooped up on the team. How can that person show his power as one when already defeated?

Losing your soulmate. Losing you a loved one without notice. So many scenarios of going solo but not by choice. How does one overcome the fear of going solo when it’s not a choice? How does one see their purpose as an individual vs a team or duo? How does one prepare for taking the unplanned solo route. There is no easy answer. Practice would be my best advice.

Go to the store alone. Assert your independence. See how you soar. You may not like going to the store alone but you need to know you can do it. Practice will build confidence.

Take a trip. Plan it alone. Pack for it yourself. Take your path whether it’s the long route or short route. Make the choices. Be okay with whatever comes your way. Being content with what you choose is an important part living solo. Practice will make you stronger. No two scenarios are the same. This experience over time will solidify your party of one strength. 

Practice being solo. The only way to be ready to take on the solo route with confidence is to practice. You are the only one who controls you. The power is all you. Don’t wait for others to include you in the big trip. Don’t wait to be picked last at kickball, show your solo strength. 

Independence can be powerful. If others around you struggle with their independence you might have to model for them. You might have to go solo more to show them it’s possible. Don’t let fear keep you from trying to go solo.

You might even surprise yourself with the benefits of going solo. The path may be just what you were waiting for.

This message can apply to many people in many scenarios. I may write as if it’s about me and my life. It may be or it may be about others. That’s the beauty of this blog. It’s meant to inspire others. If you read this and it seems like it’s for you, it is. 

I see many people in my life. I see many who triumph. I see many who struggle. Some situations are temporary while others seems so permanent. Only you control where you go now and in the future.

Enjoy your next milestone solo. Inspire another to go solo. Make this post infectious.