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Stolen Summer

Ok, so summer just started and may not be stolen, but about two weeks ago it felt like it might be. For many reasons, the usual excitement felt in anticipation for summer felt absent and distant. You heard people cancelling vacations, modifying plans to something more low-key, and apologizing of sorts while telling you they were moving forward with plans. After years of society being very accepting and accommodating of seemingly everything, that mood took a sharp turn. You don't have to spend much time on social media, T.V. or radio, to sense, hear and read the judgement we're throwing at each other for what's said, not said, worn or not worn. For what we think and how we feel, and that's sad.

That is all, one paragraph of gloomy thoughtfulness. We all know what's going on, and there are a myriad of avenues where you're getting information in that vein. Let's shift topics, not to escape, but simply to avoid duplication. Let's face it, you could use a minute or two to attention to other matters in life, because remember no matter who hard things get, life moves forward.

Speaking of moving forward, have you had to make any big decisions in the midst of all the change around you? Recently I faced a decision and I may have acted a little impulsively. In the days that followed I sat down and wrote myself a list of things to consider. It's all common sense, but seeing it on paper might help.

Don't be afraid of change, but don't be afraid to question why you're looking for change.

  1. Don't be afraid of asking more questions, and tying to find out more about what it you'll be doing. For example, if you're considering a new job or role, what will you be doing day to day, and why is the opportunity available, did someone vacate the role? Watch or listen to the responder's reaction or perspective.

  2. Ask yourself, "What do I know, what or who do I have going into this?" This is your toolkit.

  3. Ask yourself what you're really hoping for with this change, and if what you want doesn't manifest how will you feel.

  4. Ask if this is something you want today or if you're making a decision based on a goal you had 1-5 years ago.

  5. Remember that when you start over you have little flexibility and you have to re-establish your credibility.

  6. Ask: Will it make my life instantly better or will it be a slow process or journey to realize benefits?

  7. Ask what attracts you to the opportunity. Do you really find it exciting? Do you think you would like it? Are you running away from something, or trying to prove something to yourself because it was an old goal or dream? Are you doing it because your friends think it would be good for you? Are you doing it because you're scared, or because you hate what you're doing right now? Are you doing it for prestige?

  8. Are you proud to tell people about it? If not, is it because you're ashamed or unsure about it?

  9. Ask how it will impact your family and how you feel about that.

How do you ensure that you're making decisions using both your intuition and careful analysis? Do you lean more towards one than the other? You might hear people say they choose with their head or heart. It's the same principle. A blend of both will bring you the greatest peace of mind.

Note: For more on intuition, I recommend the book Blink by Malcom Gladwell. I read it many years ago, but certain concepts stayed with me.

I leave you with pictures of a pair of orioles who visited my house in late spring. The yellow feathered bird is female and the black and orange is the male. In turbulent times let nature and all the beautiful things that keep growing and thriving ground you and inspire you.


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