Home is Where the Heart Is: A Musing on Work as Calling

A few months ago I left self-employment and the business world to become the communications coordinator at an independent, college prep school. The move was quite intentional. Business was fine. I was making a decent living. The proverbial phone was ringing. The work just wasn't making my heart go pitter patter anymore, and it hadn't for a long time. I was tweaking a model for which I'd long since lost my zeal. Something had to change.

Earlier in 2016 I spent some time in classes that were teaching me how to think about "calling" and how to make a new "container" for my life. Those were some damned powerful classes and months of intense exploration. At the time it felt like so much of the seeking and exploring I've done for decades.

Going into that exploration, I thought I was going to focus my business in certain markets with specific products. I was working toward coaching certification and had earned certifications in personal branding, social media, etc. I built a website (this site is its stripped-down version). I printed new cards. I though I got my shit together.

I was also aware that the model I was building was a good enough placeholder until I figured out what I wanted to do when I grew up.

Then I had one of those time-standing-still, life-flashing-before my eyes experiences. A friend had called, and something he said triggered that blinding flash of thoughts and images that led to one of the most significant moves of my life. I won't go into details about that call. It matters not. What does matter is within 20 minutes of hanging up, I sent an email telling the person who is now the best colleague I've ever had (Steve doesn't count) that I wanted to work with her.

I'm not sure I had ever been so focused on something as I was making my way into this organization. I think it may have been the best sales process I ever completed in spite that in the panel interview, I was a freaking mess. My social anxiety went into overdrive. I couldn't feel my body except for the sweat pouring off of my head, and I couldn't get my mouth to work right. I admitted to my interviewers that I was extraordinarily nervous.

I did the most honest version of myself I could do under the circumstances. And I said something like, "even though I don't know a thing about the other candidates, I know no one wants this job more than I do. And no one is more qualified." It was the one time my mouth worked perfectly. I love a good transcendent moment.

My days are filled with joy. I adore my colleagues and the students (especially those who randomly inhabit my office). Being around the process of teaching and learning makes my soul light up. I could gush on. I'll save some of it for other posts. Oh yes, I have been feeling the writing itch. Perhaps I'll scratch it here from time to time.

The best I can describe it, I am now home. The path was certainly not something I would have mapped out. I've always said I'm more of a compass kind of girl. That big goals just aren't my thing. That the destination is just a way to experience the journey. Now I'm having this remarkable simultaneous experience of both the journey and the destination.

Be still my beating heart.

Bringing Sedona Home

I spent a couple of nights in Sedona over a year ago. I was attending a conference in Scottsdale and thought a little R&R was called for as well. So I tagged on a few days for a journey north on I-17. Without an agenda, I wandered through the small Arizona town, following my curiosity to beautiful hikes, art and conversations. My experiences among nature, the red rocks, the artists and the kind souls I met left quite the positive impression on me.

When I returned home I was both energized and at peace. But as I faced the demands of work and family, I wondered how long the healthy Sedona glow would last. I began a secret internal campaign to spend more time in that special place. I even dreamed of moving there. As soon as possible.

Read More

MBTI™ Types Are Not Rare. But You Are Unique.

The web is riddled with personality “tests” of some form. What Star Trek Crew Member Are You? or What Color Best Represents You? quizzes are regulars in my Facebook feed. (I'm still working on quitting that distraction.)

The Myers-Briggs Type Indicator™ (MBTI™) seems to be the basis for many of these quick quizzes. As an MBTI™ Certified Practitioner, I find myself restraining my fingers from the keyboard when see someone spreading misinformation about Myers-Briggs psychological type.

Read More

Irrational Distraction

I need some courage. Not to face down a bear or even an angry toddler. No, I need courage to say no to social media. I realize the oddness of this given I am writing this in a blog, blogs being part of social media and all.

Here's the thing. I spend way too much of this precious life surfing through Facebook for what my friends (and my "friends") are up to. I have a hard time passing up quizzes that will tell me which president I am or which city I should live in. As if knowing my preference of condiment really gets to the answer to anything like that. Or that it even matters. I read scads of stuff I could not care less about. I post lots of stuff for other people to not care about. Why?

Read More

Restrictor's Plate

Those of you who know me in real life and maybe even some of you who know me via social media probably also know this: I have a food issue.

Today my inbox presented the gift of a Geneen Roth post titled Good Girls and Rebels that speaks to me in a special way. Please go read the whole thing. It deserves that full read. For the foundation of my post explaining its specialness to me, I'll quote just this part:

"...I’d done a lot of research and discovered that most women who are concerned about their weight fall into one of two eating types: Permitters and Restrictors...
Read More

The One Where I Tell Something Weird About Myself

Think Kit Day 8 prompt:

Share a Creation
What did you make this year? Whether something personal, like a song or some art, or a work project, share your process and the end result of your creation.

Yes, I have a degree in fine arts. No, I do not create art. (I reserve the right to start.) Long ago I stopped designing things for commerce. I do a little sketching now and then. But – and if you've been following my posts, you know what I'm going to say – I'm not going to share those. They're weird. Trust me.

Read More