Wonder and Grace

“Are you ready for your big day?” asked my husband this morning.  It was 7 am. Chaos was percolating in every corner of our house.  One child was rejecting some admittedly overdone toast as a ploy to escape a final review of test material.  Someone else was searching frantically for a misplaced item.  “Time to go?”  “Where’s my lunch?”  “Who is picking me up after school?”  My big day?  

The ordinary-ness of that moment instantly transported me to 5 years ago when I actually used that word – ordinary –  in conversation.  I rarely do.  Maybe that’s why it stuck with me.

Published 11/3/2015 by Palgrave Macmillan

Published 11/3/2015 by Palgrave Macmillan

We were standing on the deck of the Intrepid in New York City, an open air museum that showcases U.S. Air and Space achievements.  My cell phone buzzed.  It was a text from my former boss who’d just been let go as ceo of Iron Mountain.  He had a question for me.  In the exchange he asked what I was up to.  Giggling a bit –  I responded that I was enjoying the ordinary-ness of our lives.

What I didn’t share with him via text was the backdrop that I was living at that moment.  Truth be told I clung to the ordinariness of our lives as a ballast.   It was the beginning of my transition.  A point in time.   I was in unfamiliar territory.

Long time readers may recall my description of how I felt then.  Awful is a valid summary.  I often describe that moment as being Scrooge-esque, visited by all manner of feelings.  I was angry at myself because I hit the pause button on a twenty-year high-achieving career.  I convinced myself that I had failed.  I was ashamed that I didn’t know the answer to what was next for me.  I was guilty, exhausted and alone.  Uncertainty was everywhere.

Why would I choose to put myself in such a place?  I’ve met many people would do anything to avoid what I was feeling.

The honest answer as to why I chose this gloom was that I was convinced that there was something more for me.  More?   The corporate upper echelons that I had achieved seemed flat.  I had two children who were then entering elementary school.   Heading to Logan Airport had long since lost its luster.  I needed to engage more of who I was.  But how?

Today – 5 years later – amidst the ordinary-ness of our routine I celebrate a huge personal milestone.  My first book, Women & Transition: Reinventing Work and Life, was released by Palgrave Macmillan today.   I am smiling.  Can you hear it in my words?

This moment is joyful and exiting and enlivening.  It’s humbling.  It is full of uncertainty.  But it differs markedly from the uncertain moment I lived five years ago.

The difference?

Today I am anchored by a solid understanding of transition.  With it I interpret uncertainty differently.  I am not fearful in its presence nor can I eliminate  it.   My understanding of it gives me a powerful gift.  Grace.

My achievement today is a testament to the wonder that is possible when we dream.  I encourage everyone who reads this blog or my book to envision that moment or set of circumstances that can engage fully who you are.    That moment will never be instantly attainable nor fully visible.  That said its pursuit is invaluable.

Today I am enjoying a moment where there is alignment between that which is important to me and that which I choose to do.   I am incredibly grateful in this moment and for your willingness to walk next to me in the face of uncertainty.

To giving voice to dreams and to having the courage to explore them.

A million thanks.

 

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3 responses to “Wonder and Grace

  1. congratulations!

  2. Wonderful post Linda. It is inspiring to me to read your words. Congratulations on your book! I can’t wait to see where it takes you.

  3. Congratulations Linda! A great book at a great time with a great message!!
    Thanks for taking me on the journey with you!
    Phyllis

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