February 3, 2021
If I typed the word ‘um’ a thousand times, would that help my writer’s mind? Would it be any improvement at all to fill a page with my uncertainty rather than to have, at least, the excuse that a blank is a void to which nothing may fill it?
I really considered it. Never even once crossed my mind that I was plagiarizing philosophic tenets with mention of the void. Maybe that is the way I need to start every posting? With the threat to my own intelligence and any remnants of supposed integrity, I should type “um” a thousand times. Well, maybe Hemingway had his whiskey, maybe I have my ‘um’.
Oh, to be a flower.
I had applied for and was rather sought for a new position. It was to be a promotion on top of the promotion I had just received. This morning I found that I did not get chosen. Fortunately, I do have feedback! It both confirms (1) a natural tendency of mine to not answer questions with short answers and (2) that I pause when answering questions and even when I ask questions.
Uncertainty. Lack of bold confidence? Hm. I try to choose words carefully. I needed details regarding the new position but hesitated when the interviewer and I only had five minutes remaining in our appointment. I thought it showed discretion, reasoning and etiquette.
Nope. I was wrong. But it is valid criticism. And it is not as though I have not heard the criticism before. There are tendencies for which I can compensate and even overcome. There are others that I could not change even if I tried. Or is that an excuse?
My current boss, when I attempt to explain a situation, will remind me ‘twenty words or less’. My own self-justification is that I hardly ever ask for help. When I worked in customer service for a health insurance company military contract, I was prided with the feedback that I was extremely independent. I solved problems. No one really heard from me. I handled.
Now I think of this latest lesson which I must master. The confidence of brevity. Brevity, Steph, is elegance. But again I reason with myself that I have earned, periodically, a lengthy stay on the stage when I get it because I never take the stage. You know? I do not ask for the audience or attention, but when I get it, I make it a lengthy experience.
A painful, lengthy experience. Ugh. When I do run into a situation in which I need assistance, I always have questions and need the full picture. I need to feel certain, relatively correct. I am always open to others’ interpretations. Is that not the correct way to be?
As management, in the last two days I have had to perform the worst action on associates that management can do. Termination. I am getting caught up on terminating employees. Ten times over, with an eleventh in tow. While hardly any of it is truly contested or even cared about on the part of the employee, the actions are solely mine to decide and to take. The process of documented communication, lack of communication and a multitude of automated system steps guides me. These are chores I could delegate but choose not to, in this quantity. There will be time for those lessons, for my managers. There will be time. There will be their time.
Out of these days comes a necessary solitude.
The Repeated Lesson.
I come to the necessity of brevity as a repeated lesson from the past. My tendency for lengthy drawn out discussions has been my reward for brevity. A reward for experience. A reward….a reward… a reward..
As I drove my commute, I wondered at the topic of reward. What is reward? And why would I keep living my life as a series of ‘get throughs’ and ‘reward’. And what has the repetition of my own way of living done to me? Is that what I want?
I had always been cautioned to not be too weird and not be too alone, but what if that is where life is pointing me? Why would that be a reward? Why would it not just be the way it should be? For once in my life, I want to follow my heart. I want to follow my head. I do not want to base my life on a series of ‘get throughs’ when my life is really a miracle. Why have I been treating myself as a ‘get through’ rather than a miracle? What more reward is there? And why would I treat part of my life as ‘get through’ and part of my life otherwise?
(Now true enough, I still believe in the reward of saving money for purchases and so forth….just saying.)
Roads and Orchids. Finances and Hard Stuff.
With all my mumbo jumbo, I realize my life has been a total road of mastering calculus, property ownership, and finances. But I may have totally mismanaged myself. Can you imagine? As I drove back and forth during these past few days, terminations and year end finances dancing in my head, I thought of how I missed myself.
The road I live on? Turns out I do not own my driveway, but thanks to the legal work of a Quit Claim Deed, I will own the part of the road which is mine to own. And the promotion? Well, the universe granted me a promotion three months ago. I think I am good for now. Never hurts to try. And try I did. I was bold.
I was newly bold. Turns out, not bold enough, but bolder than I ever have been. And I remembered the “Cost of Goods Sold”.
And I am learning of the cost of the faulty reward system I engrained into my everyday life. I learned and am learning. And maybe I had to double stamp the lesson of brevity which led me to my next lesson.
At twenty, at thirty-five, at fifty-five and I hope, forever, the lessons we choose to accept from life are incredible rewards.
Oh – and I can grow orchids. I can grow orchids like the mad, mad woman I am becoming. (snicker…)
Lots of love and a kiss to boot. (Double stamp that, please.)