Archives for posts with tag: the Big 5 goes to work

I’m nearing a year on a very important journey; I find it easier to measure the distance in life’s journey using units of time, rather than distance.  It has been a most singularly choice-driven year of growth for me. It is no surprise to me, considering the matter, looking ahead to future years, looking back on years past, this year is defined by my choices.  It hasn’t always been so obvious to me.

Going the distance isn't about someone else's destination.

Going the distance isn’t about someone else’s destination.

My difficult day at work, at the start of the week, culminated in a profound moment of self-respect, consideration of my own needs over time, self-compassion, and real regard for the work I’m putting into myself to heal and be whole. I’ve invested a lot in my own experience this year. Rather than have any piece of that derailed now, seemingly so close to… something… I made a choice, and after so many opportunities in life to choose the needs of others over my own, to support something outside what I, myself, truly value and support, the choice I made this time is for me.  I resigned from my current employment, and only a few days remain to rise before the dawn and walk in to this office each morning.

I don’t write much about work, in part because I don’t define myself by how I am employed – nor do I define others by what they do to earn a living. I look for something beyond that in the people who are my friends and associates. There was a strange disconnect in my values there, that finally became a challenge. A new bit of life’s curriculum appeared on my lesson plan, because although I don’t define myself by how I am employed, I had been – for many years – allowing employer after employer to have an effect on my sense of self-worth.  The thing is  – it’s not real, any more than any other label we choose to wear.  I am at a place in my life where my needs are vastly more important – and more worthy of my attention and my time – than the needs of any one employer.  The time I spend investing in my health and wellness right now is significant, and worthwhile.  With the encouragement of my partners, I’m taking an opportunity to stop for a moment, on another level, and find stillness – and maybe clarity around my desire to find purpose, and meaning in what I do; something that has value beyond a paycheck.

I didn’t know in February that I would be capable of making a choice like this. I didn’t know I might want to. Hell, in February, I just wanted a reason to go on living. What a very long way I have come this year. What I choose to do to earn a paycheck does matter.

I’m looking forward to the holidays. I’m eager to take a break from the work routine and breathe. It’s premature to retire altogether, but I’m overdue for a break, and an opportunity to reconsider the future, my needs over time, and ‘what I might like to be when I grow up’.  There’s more to life – and success – than a paycheck.  We each define who we ourselves are – and this year, I have changed the way I define myself.

Today I am content, and I am optimistic. Today I am compassionate, and responsive to my own needs. Today… I will change the world.


My day started wonderfully well yesterday. Calm, strong, confidant, I enjoyed the walk to the office. Along the way, I passed the spot where someone else, on their own journey, regularly stacks a number of rocks. They are often tumbled down by someone else, on a very different trajectory in life, and that was the case yesterday morning. It touched me and being moved I stood motionless in consideration.

I really find value and a moment of stillness and calm in that stack of rocks, so carefully balanced. I didn’t question that feeling, simply stood and experienced the moment. Then…

I stacked the rocks.

I stacked the rocks.

A humble offering, a moment of gratitude for the serenity that short pillar of balanced stones has offered me so many mornings. As I walked away, I wondered how long it would remain.

On the other side of an extraordinarily unpleasant stressful day at work, during which I had many opportunities to deploy new tools, practice new skills, and discover depths of strength and character I did not know I had within myself, I walked home. I felt aggravated. I felt disrespected. I felt unappreciated.  My walk was aggressive, fast paced, and my heels struck the ground on every step, rather than seeming to move softly over the surface of my experience. I felt angry to the point of wanting very much to define myself as anger.

Then I got to the pillar of stones I had stacked in the morning, still standing there so still and strong. Hot angry tears held back with such discipline during the day spilled out and coursed down my cheeks. I stood, still. I felt my feelings and really gave them the room they need, instead of trying to steady myself and gently hush my spirit. I’d done what I had to, it was finally time for me. I stood and I wept and I felt the strength of my breath, and the simple power of acknowledging choice and will.

I walked on feeling calmed. I got home and my loving family was there to greet me and the evening was gentle and nurturing. Other challenges were set aside for the moment, and we built instead of destroying. No railing against the unfairness of it all, no hours of dissecting the who and the why of every painful moment. I was content to be home, to be safe, to be valued.  As I drifted off to sleep – which surprisingly enough came with relative ease – I heard the voice of a favorite cartoon character in my head “I learned something today…”

Today, I am strong. I am compassionate. I am open to change. Reason? Purpose? Value? I have them in good quantity, and they are my own to make use of as I will.  Today, I will change the world.