I’m a perfectionist, a high-achiever, a professional, a mom. I have to perform. I don’t get hurt or fooled or betrayed.   And I sure as hell don’t fail….until I do.

For awhile, I can hide it. I can still hear the old commercial, “Never let them see you sweat.” Or, as many of us can relate to, never let them see you cry. Hiding the hurt or disappointment works…until it doesn’t.

Many of us will create distractions or make ourselves incredibly busy when we’re struggling emotionally so that there’s no time or capacity to deal with ‘our issues.’ In some cases, we’ll create new problems because the new don’t seem as bad as the existing. Unfortunately though, the first problem never goes away and now we have two or three or four and…… a mammoth bar tab and three day hangover.

Oftentimes, the old problems, hurts, disappointments, keep showing up in our lives and sometimes in places we would never expect. Never dealt well with ending toxic relationships and now have a staff of underperformers that you just can’t fire? Hmmm…could there be a connection? Something underlying there that hasn’t been settled?

We’ll replay memories over and over. We’ll succumb to exhaustion and compromise our values. We’ll try to make it okay when in fact, it isn’t. It was a shithole of an experience that haunts us. It ripped out our heart, stomped on it, and walked away. Be pissed off, be hurt, scream, punch the stuffing out of your pillow, do what you have to do, but be with it. Be with it for as long as it takes to let it go.

Because not letting it go, is holding you back.

Looking that pain straight in the eye and letting the hurt wash over you and still breathing when it’s over is a testament that there is another day, a new start, lessons learned. You have survived. You are strong.


Follow Your Conscience And Success Will Follow

I have read and re-read Viktor Frankl’s books.   While one could focus on the pain and horror of his experiences in Auschwitz, what I see in Frankl’s work is a lesson in simplicity, in developing the inner self, finding and holding on to love even in the worst of times.  His quote above, from Man’s Search for Meaning, is particularly helpful for me as mother trying to do it all – and sometimes – aiming at the wrong things. 

So often, without realizing it, I have looked to the world to define my success as a working mother, wife, community member, etc.  I have done and pursued opportunities for the ‘success’ defined by numbers and things.  

I’ve traded hours for dollars but then realized that I traded those hours away at a cheaper rate every passing day because while the outside demand was increasing, the inventory was not.  I essentially put my most precious stock (my time) on ‘sale’ – and I wasn’t just ‘selling out,’ I put it on clearance! 

Time is quickly dissipating.  Too soon, my children will no longer be children but adults.   

I encourage you to take the time to evaluate success and determine – is it in line with your conscience and what you love or is it in line with standards defined by materialism and culture?  Have you aimed at a target that in reality, has nothing to do with your happiness but a fallacy in competitiveness and superiority?  I hope you find answers that you like but if not…..make a change today.

The Kindness of a Cabby

My car was impounded in DC the other day for a parking violation – I’ll get into the validity of the ‘violation’ in another post… anyway…after a meeting, I went to my parking space to leave and the car was gone.  I called the police who informed me that I had to go to the impound lot a few miles away to get my car.  Grrrrrr….not happy….I parked in this spot a few weeks ago and had no issues but there was apparently a new sign I missed…again…another post….

I hailed a cab and silently stewed as I sat in the back seat.  The driver was really kind and tried to start a conversation but for the most part I wasn’t in the mood to talk – I wasn’t rude, I was just quiet. 

Traffic was horrible along New York Ave (as always) but after nearly 30 minutes we got there.  It wasn’t a terrible neighborhood – actually, it wasn’t even a neighborhood, it was a filthy little lot tucked away behind the main street with a little man collecting money in the most run down trailer-home kind of thing (it looked like it had been recycled from a trailer park hit by a tornado).  The driver looked around and said, “I’m not leaving you here until you’re done – once I know you have your car I’ll leave, you don’t have to pay me to stay.”  Really?  Wow!  I told him he could go, that it was no problem, but he stayed. 

I went to pay the $205 fee with a check and the guy said, ‘Cash only.’  Ugh – my thought was – you’ve got to be kidding me, can this be any more ridiculous?? 

Good thing the cabby stayed – now I needed him to take me to an ATM and bring me back.  I asked him to take me to the nearest ATM and to my surprise he asked, “How much do you need?”  I told him and he said, “Just write me the check and I’ll give you the cash.”  What??  This may seem like a small gesture but actually, this was an incredibly nice thing to do.  This guy could have driven me to Timbuktu and back looking for an ATM and with the traffic, I can only imagine how long it would have taken and cost!  Another woman who was in front of me had just gone through that very experience.  In addition, had he left – I would have been stuck in that dirt pit and would have been trekking in my pumps several blocks out to New York Ave to get another cab.  

Having lived in New York City and Northern Virginia, I’ve had my fair share of cab drivers giving me tours of areas I never needed to see and racking up the fare.  This guy was doing all he could to help me in a bad situation and his kindness changed my day and my entire attitude.  What started out as a really crappy situation turned into something beautifully positive.   No, I’m not happy about paying $205 to get my car back but I am grateful to have a little more faith in humanity than I did the day before – all thanks to the kindness of a cabby.  :-)