now in the market for a digital camera: an old school blog

maybe it is because i am thoroughly immersed in season 7 of gilmore girls, which i am watching through for the first time. maybe the security of good love. maybe the winds of change, the adventure in the air, the travel plans. sigh.

but regardless of anything else, here i am at the laptop hoping to stick to what is true enough and real enough and fluid enough for me not to question it. just type. preview. post.

sure, i may question it later, maybe after – when somebody comments or texts or calls – or when i experience life and what i thought i knew evolves. but when i am typing in all lowercase, holding on tight to a thought – it’s this that i really remember my earliest days having a blog. that true blog feeling…

there was this sweet little time in my life where i wrote out of my kitchen while i cooked. i didn’t dream of being full on mommy blog or spiritual blog or perspective blog. i didn’t plan on documenting every iris, every year. i didn’t think through certain types of poetry or lyric i shared. i just did it, whatever came and felt good. frozen spaghetti.

david just left the house in a fizz as a reaction to my reaction to our busyness – me preparing us for life, him preparing life for us. in these moments where we are both slam packed – thinking every minute through, paying attention to the clock – we can in our newness forget how perfect the other is in their humanity, their warmth, the fact they are there.

i said to david a few months back, “to even have each other, is a gift. to have you to get frustrated with, is a blessing.”

and it is true. what i have learned in the realist parts of relationship is how true my love is, how deep my gratitude, how excited my heart…

i hear the dogs chewing up cardboard in the laundry room and i need to clean up, finish up and get ready.

the day’s logisitics are as daunting as they are unplanned, unhinged, unanchored. It’s a busy day of “at some point” with the perfect balance of doing because you need to and because you want to; even in that what you need to do is necessary because of what you want tomorrow – next week, in a year.

thank you, as always, to my long time readers and friends who still sit here for a minute.

accidentally washed my iPhone with the towels so I’m operating off a vintage Samsung, laptop and iPad. (making handwritten letters obviously best.) – erin

Out from a Whole Layer of Saran Wrap

When I decided to retire from corporate life back last fall 2020, there were so many obvious factors (COVID, New Marriage, Blended Family, 5 Kids, Virtual School, etc) that I didn’t ever really get pushed on the personal.

For a couple of mentors and close colleagues, I would offer “I need to peel the saran wrap off of my brain” and they got it, cheered me on.

But what did that really mean? Why did people seem to understand exactly what I meant?

It’s August 2021 and I have been out of the practice of being somewhere at or by a certain time and to others’ expectations for just over half of a year. Even my once weekly yoga class at a local studio is out of the mix as I’m off the regular schedule for a bit. It’s in this sea of clarity (nobody needing me outside of those destined to me (my husband, my kids)) that I can really see my own ideas versus my old ideas.

I do not think it is entirely fair to say that a particular group, organization, school, community traps you or makes you think a certain way if the dynamic started with a personal choice to be a part of it.

I do think it is fair to say that a group, org, school, or community brings to your life expectations. Your personal choice to be a part of and adhere to those expectations seals a little bit of your deal… drives your actions and interactions… and ultimately does or does not align with your values.

One of the hardest parts of my decision to retire from corporate life was that I value teamwork, hard work, being a part of something and helping others. But these things didn’t plug and play at home. I felt this distinct pull to value my time differently, understand my skills differently, see myself interact with life differently.

Who was I without my role at Enterprise? What do I do that is impressive outside of what I was known for? How will my creativity play out?

Would my migraines go away? How would I take better care of myself?

What would my brain be thinking about in the background of my life if I wasn’t trying to understand other people’s motivations… why they did that thing… why they didn’t… can you believe this… but I thought we had decided… there is a meeting tomorrow… I need to talk to… Remind me…

Respond to email… I’ll get up early to…

At first that mental train filled with ingredients needed for Thanksgiving dinner, herb gardens and soy sauce… sprinkled in there was teenage mental health… an obsession with Scottish accents and how to make bread… use salt… use acid… use heat.

In the spring? It became puppy training, essentials to raising baby dogs, rain-scaping… and now?

When not managing details at home or relaxing with husband or working on book, the engine is less thinking and more entertained by:

<drumroll>

My purpose.

Yes, my purpose.

My who I am when I feel that lighting up a room feeling. My confidence in specific talents I recognize from my childhood self.

The purpose that when lived out comes with a beloved intrinsic quality of freedom in everything I do.

The purpose that paints… creativity that shows up in the kitchen… on my walls…

via Apple Pen and Sharpies…

I get an occasional migraine still from the sun. And I take better care of myself via walking every day. Questions are answered. I have grown.

The tickle of expectation and butterflies of performance reviews, now a speck back behind me when before they towered ahead of me like a mountain range. More like driving east out of Denver, less like driving west.

The past couple of days / weeks, I have resurrected my LinkedIn. I like the freedom I feel to share my perspectives and random posts without my role as somebody’s subordinate, as somebody’s resource, as a company’s representation.

I get the tickle and butterflies but get to completely ignore it, as my own CEO.

I have always tried for this level of authenticity in the past but am just now getting to where the beauty of TRUST and the smile of KNOWING that even if a person you respect calls you up and says “you have to think about how this looks to other people” or “you should keep yourself squeaky clean” or “I just wouldn’t do that knowing that some day I might want to…” that you would still love what you wrote, how you wrote it because it’s YOU.

It’s your intention.

The underlying motivation of purpose that drives your actions and interactions is yours.

Nobody else’s. Just yours…

In a Pear Tree

When I stop and let myself think about it, life is going really fast. A lot has changed, I have learned a lot and there is plenty to do – every day – from dawn to dusk.

I stopped my posting streak to contemplate the art of the quick publish blog vs. the complete thought. I wondered if a happy stream of consciousness where the writing stopped when the scene changed could be considered “complete” and I felt the angst of having to pull for meaning in order to sum things up, tie them together and otherwise leave things resolved.

In a lot of ways, not only is that impossible to do when you are in such a wide turn of change such as the one in which I find myself but it also brings the personal challenge I have always had writing on the internet: how to skillfully tell a story without revealing too much, how to be vulnerable and private, how to offer insight but not seem too much a wanderer / wonderer.

Life is happening so fast. And yet despite its rapid growth, there are crazy delays and drags which cause me to question if I am trying as hard as I should be, putting in the time I need to… am I meeting my goals?

In my 4 decades of living, times I start to analyze, strategize and organize to reach a particular aim, seem to create this little pocket of opportunity for uncertainty and friction. My controlling nature creeps in these pockets. Right behind it, is my emotional nature that sobs and cries; never really fully satisfied with herself and so she over compensates… over protects… over thinks….

AND TALK ABOUT A DRAG AND A TIME KILLER.

And I can’t do that anymore. I am retired from that type of achiever type of thinking.

My solution this time around is to just keep going, keep living. Keep doing what feels right. Keep trusting myself. Keep trusting my intentions.

Be kind. Be kind. Be kind.

To myself. To others. To the dogs.

And just like that, the crazy delays and drags that come up are seen just as they are: as realities against expectations. They morph from obstacles into opportunities to be a little more Buddha like in dropping ideals. When all the ways I think things should go are gone, things are simply going – available for attention and progress… and I find myself writing a flow out in a blog post. Confident to publish and get up. Sure I won’t re read and save draft.

When I sat down to explore this morning in writing, I was prompted for a Title by WordPress and after a couple of ideas, I heard, “and a partridge in a pear tree”.

Why the redundant lyric came to mind is beyond me but I recognize the comfort of always coming back to it, where it all begins, with one.

One life. One heart. One mind. One step. One day. One year. One moment at a time.

And so with all the dogs and cats, the publishing project and the marriage, the houses and the dishes, the teen girls and the boy. With all the laundry and the cleaning, the networking and the living, the gardening and the coffee and the music.

With all the all the all the all, there is just one of me. A partridge.