Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Goodbyes bring change, change brings goodbye- part deux!

Almost a year ago I began this journey of the epistolary kind... For years, I didn't know what to do with all the thoughts in my head, all the experienced lived, all the perspective gained. Now, I write it out and am blessed that so many can either relate or learn from what I whole-heartedly share.

One of my most popular posts was "Goodbyes bring change, change brings goodbyes." Almost a year later, I come full circle..

Maybe we don't realize this, but as time passes us by, each minute, each moment, "things" end. When we get up in the morning, our rest time ends and we must face a new day. When we get ready, our prep time ends, then when we go to work, our commute ends. Events, experiences happen to us and they end. All things, like life, I guess, have an ending of some sort. Now, before you think I am taking a tone much contradictory to my usual positive one focused on the ending of all basic life experiences in our days, bare with me and think again.

Meetings end (thank goodness!;)), projects end, relationships and responsibilities (unless you are a parent, like some of us) end. However, what I have appreciated the most is not the terminal notion of all things ending, wait for it... Actually, nor the fact that pain, too, ends- (thank goodness, again!) and at a given time, that is the best thing to happen. The best part of the ending is in my opinion the processing, the whys, the hows, the whens... the understanding of that very ending as part of life's journey. Why did that relationship end? When did I realize that I was done with carrying that grudge? How did I not see the signs pointing to the forthcoming end of this project and what would that "end" bring? Food for thought, right?

So, now what? What do you do with these questions? What do you do with these endings? I hope you can do what I have done... After the mourning of the loss of "whatever"---OK, so I don't necessarily mourn the daily loss of my daily commute, but I sure don't like pulling into the parking lot and have to turn off my music--- I pause and take a deep breath and accept. I accept, albeit not voluntarily at times, that things are different; the very ending ended. That's it. Deal with it. Suck it up.

Aha! But wait, something new will come next. After years of wondering what changed in the friendship with one of my gal pals, I realized that because I had gone through a divorce, an ending of my own, she too struggled with "what to do with me" and how to deal with that ending. Ha! Funny, how we go through something like that, a big break-up, a move, and don't even think twice how it could affect some people. Not that other people should influence your decisions. That is not my point, but the consequences of our decisions do indeed affect others, at different levels, but they do.

When a co-worker and I had a misunderstanding our relationship was affected. Something did end, but we were able to learn from it. While things are not the same, the newness of how to handle whatever comes next, we are ready. That process of "ending" and accepting, has helped move us forward.

In a nutshell, endings or "goodbyes" do bring change and change does indeed bring goodbyes. A change in jobs means the daily routine is different, so goodbye daily trips to the coffee machine at 3 p.m. Goodbye to my favorite group of people, retreat planners and youth ministers, so change came in my weekly email exchanges and focus on time zones. It's OK. It's part of life.

With each ending, comes a new beginning. With a goodbye, a new hello. With a heart-break, newly found strength  you didn't know you had. With the end of loneliness, a new heart full of love and hope.

May each of you find the newness and the fresh start of everything that ENDS in your life. I just did.

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Tell me what you want, exactly what you want!

Some of us operate in "big picture" mode. We are macro, we think out of the box while connecting the dots. We sometimes do pay attention to detail, but it's because it is clearly defined and part of a set process and procedure. It supports the big picture. The details are part of the journey in order to reach the bigger goal...

We are global minded and focus on how what we are doing affects and impacts the goals, mission and vision of whatever.  We have faith. We believe that a conversation is an investment and the fruits of that investment take time to grow and be nourished. We are team players. We need to be, if not we fail.

We are leaders and empower others to lead with us. Why? Because we collectively believe in the task at hand. The task, you may ask, can be daunting. Indeed. Why take it on with a pessimistic outlook and pretend one person can take it on by themselves and then put others down when the task proves to be challenging?

In attempting to make sense at how some of us, individuals who thrive in a structured environment, may seem to contradict the very essence of what being "big picture" means, I will keep it very simple.


I work with volunteers. I recruit, train and manage them. I am Ms. Big Picture. Our goal is XXX and I have had to learn, in various, different adorations of my career development to be as detailed as possible. Oh, not for my sake, but for them. When you manage a group of people, be it a retreat team, a planning committee, a fundraising group, may I offer a word of advice: be as clear and specific as possible. If you need X, then make sure those who you expect X to come from, know that if you add A and B you'll get C and that will lead to X, eventually. Give deadlines, set expectations.
                                                  Sigh.......  PAUSE for exhaustion.

Yes, it's exhausting! Why? Because it is not in my nature to create all things detailed. I am a creative extrovert, that while flirting with the introvert in me, often desperately miss the back to back appointments, classes (taken and taught) and structured daily schedule. Don't get me wrong, I would die without variety and the occasional change in routine. What I am saying is that our fantastic, creative mind needs to be anchored in structured. The structure is the anchor, the stability.

So, in conclusion, and as my friends have learned sometimes in very comical ways as one that is thinking big and planning ahead, when you need me, tell me what you want, exactly what you want. I promise to drop what I am doing to focus on that. Give me a deadline. I need it! I love to work under pressure... hahaha... I know, I know. Go ahead and roll your eyes. I tell you what, if you sell me your proyect and need something specific from me and I am on board, we both win! Give me a project with a vision and a structure I will run with it. But please, as I have to learn to do with working with others, be specific and tell me what you want. My colleagues, friends and team members I have worked with, appreciate it from me... and I NEED it from you all. :)