Archive for June, 2014|Monthly archive page

A Lament (because venting prevents violence)

Gut-boiling, teeth-grinding, head-pounding anger is something I try to avoid at all costs.  It is impotent to resolve its cause and damaging on so many levels.  Ordinarily, I much prefer reasoned argument, persuasion, logic, compassion and active listening.  These things present better opportunities for peaceful, equitable resolution.  They are tools with purpose and utility, where blind rage and seething indignation is useless.

However, there are those times, thankfully rare in my life, when my sensibilities are so outraged, my logic and intelligence so affronted and my sense of justice so injured that such anger is the only response available to me.  Active, purposeful efforts to control emotion, maintain objectivity and professional decorum are unavailing against an avalanche of injustice.

This week has been full to bursting with professional injustices that have me overwrought.  I am so disappointed in the lack of leadership and support from my boss, a colleague I’ve so long respected and admired. This, I think, is the greatest blow of all that have fallen this week, that his heretofore unassailable logic, intelligence, professionalism, fairness and personal integrity are utterly absent. I expected to rely on him to provide guidance and a calming influence in this struggle, while supporting me and the decisions I have to make to manage my team. That is the role and duty of a senior executive. I have never before doubted his leadership and it is a bitter, burning disappointment to find cause to doubt in the midst of a storm.  I am angry…and sad…and frustrated that the vacuum of personal integrity of certain business leaders is condemning me and my team to a Sisyphean labor of futility.

Positivity and hopefulness have never felt so out of reach.

Happy Monday!

I know: ugh.  But bear with me a second.  I know you probably just read that title with a snarky ring in your internal voice—nobody likes a Monday, right? Truthfully, I don’t usually like or dislike any given Monday, just the events that happen during their 24-hour borders.  But I just had a train of thought that took me down the Happy Monday path, an epiphany of sorts. It fits right in with my renewed commitment to positivity, too. And despite any mawkishness or tendency to sentiment this post may contain, I think the fundamental point is applicable to just about anyone.  I hope that you’ll stick with me through this chain of thoughts and apply it to your life and find something to be happy about on this Monday, too.

— — — — —

Long periods of waiting and hoping…that’s what my life has consisted of for as long as I have been aware enough to examine my life.  Waiting to know. Waiting to feel. Waiting to see a beginning or an end.  Hoping for completion. Hoping and longing for success. Hoping and dreaming of happiness, of contented, replete, satisfied arrival.

I suppose that’s what everyone wants, on some level and in some context or other.

For me, my ideas of what would meet the demands of these dreams started off quite simple, nothing unachievably grandiose. And though the context has shifted a bit over time, my dreams and deepest desires have remained simple.  Ultimately, as trite and corny as it may seem to say so, everything I’ve ever waited, hoped, dreamed, longed for boils down to this one base human need: love.

As a child and youth, I longed to be a joy and source of pride for my parents and family, to be well-thought-of by teachers, to be popular among my peers.  I wanted to succeed at school and in activities, to look well turned-out, to sound smart and confident, all so that I could gain the approval, acceptance, validation of those whom I esteemed.  But really, isn’t that the same as wanting to be loved by everyone in my life?

In later years, as an adult new to the adult world, my focus shifted much more to achievement and professional success.  Yet even here, I wanted professors, employers and peers to admire and approve of me, as much as my work product.  I wanted to be loved as a person, as well as admired as a professional.

When, after years of hard work and achieving some success and independence my focus turned inward, I longed for clarity, transparency, authenticity of self. And I hoped and dreamed of love from without, as well as from within. I wanted to love myself–my true self–and I wanted to be loved for my true self by someone who could see that me.

Love.  That’s my deepest need and the consistent goal of my life. What’s more, I have it.

I am blessed to have the love of a wonderful woman who does see me. She looks at me with love and admiration, despite my many flaws, and sees me on a level wholly separate from my physical appearance.  This gift is indescribably precious.  ‘Thankful’ hardly captures the up-welling gratitude that fills me when I think of how blessed I am in having her as my life’s partner.

It’s Monday.  Always a challenge to shift gears from weekend fun back to work-day mind-set. Also, with news of business challenges on the horizon and the clamor of the quarter-end push beginning to rise, today has already hit a peak of stress and ‘ugh-it’s-Monday’-ishness. But as I sit for a quiet moment taking a bite to eat at my desk, my gaze turns to the bright blue sky full of fluffy white clouds outside my office window and I smile, thinking how wonderful it would be to share this simple meal and lovely view with my lovely Lulu.  Then it hit me—what a miracle it is that she is “my” Lulu and that she loves me and sees me and accepts me.  I am one very lucky butch. And that makes this Monday very happy indeed.

I hope you see the simple lesson here:  see the miracles that make the mundane bearable and, most of all, be thankful for what’s truly valuable. You are loved.  Love yourself and be joyful .

Enjoy your Monday!

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