You let go. You let go not because you want to but because there is nothing left to do that won’t bring more destruction. As I made the decision to leave NRRM, my friend Joe was a sounding board and kept reminding me that sometimes you have to leave even if you aren’t able to tie it all into a nice neat package, and take your leave at the pinnacle of your success. You make an inventory of what you did accomplish and you are equally honest about the rest. And then, one day you get in your car with your dog and your cat and quite a lot of other stuff and you leave. You just leave.
I’ve been gone from Florida since June and I come across the markers of how my life is better in small ways that probably only matter to me. But they deserve to be recognized. On Friday my work partner and I had a tough go of it during a major presentation we had to make. He and I, and the other members of our team had almost totally misread our audience and their expectations. We are also building a plane as we fly it so there’s some chaos and some missteps and all those other human things that happen when people work together. It all meant that on Friday, the result was not pretty. A follow up email from our boss yesterday was disquieting, to put it mildly.
Today he convened the team and we had a long video conference call that dealt with the issues head on. It was marked by transparency and very direct feedback, but also a spirit of collaboration and a commitment to learn rather than play games. We have figured out some important things and I believe none of us came out of the experience feeling diminished or disrespected. We spent over an hour debriefing about the meeting Friday and then went right into doing the other work we had to do. I am so thankful for people who act like adults, who own their stuff and lay it out in ways that don’t escalate the drama or indulge in bullying and a determination to set things up for there to be winners and losers. My life is better because that’s some of what has changed for me.
But even more is internal. I was delayed getting started with painting, as I had planned earlier in the week, but yesterday I got going on it and the physicality of the work was a powerful antidote to the stress and anxiety the email had caused. In the evening I peeled and cored apples and left another batch of apple butter cooking overnight. Before the call this morning (which, quite honestly, I was dreading), I finished my canning and now have 14 jars of apple butter that will be part of my Christmas gift to quite a few people this year.
I worked a while longer after our team call, had lunch with my spouseman and then finished putting on the first coat of paint in my office. I have some aches and pains I wish I didn’t have this evening, but the room is ready for a second coat and then Sherod can put in the worktable he is making for me, with drawers and a fold-down extension for when I want to cut sewing patterns, and some drawers, cabinets and bookshelves. I am going to have this amazing workspace to call my own.
I work hard for my job and I have still been able to reach out by phone or email or snail mail to a bunch of people that matter to me. I am doing these small household projects and tomorrow will plan for the ECW advent program with two members of St Paul’s. I preach and celebrate on Sunday and then swing into higher gear to be ready for Thanksgiving and a houseful of family. It is really cold outside; my dog and two cats are safe, warm and well taken care of and my toes are toasty. My life is better…