Friday, July 15, 2011

A Year of Gratitude - Day Thirty-three

Day 33 - Mellowing With Age
I have found, as the years have passed, that I am slowly mellowing a little.  I figured it was just because I have learned - albeit imperfectly - how to let go of things I cannot control, especially as my children were growing up.  I had few opportunities to control or even influence their upbringing, and I had to accept things as they were despite the frustrations, injustices and all my efforts to right the mistakes on my own part.  “It is what it is.”
I’m not suggesting that I live in a Zen state, or that I never lose my temper.  Just ride along with me in heavy traffic - you’ll see.  But it seems my cumulative experience surrounding coping with what I cannot control has helped me lessen the need to control it.
I had an experience yesterday where my own reaction surprised me a little.
I had received word that I had been chosen for a six-week contract as a task force director of sales for a local limited-service hotel.  I was delighted - I could now expect an income that would help me move forward in my life.  It didn’t matter that it was only six weeks - I could start making plans.  As I was on my way to my home office to fill out and return the paperwork, I got the news that the client had made a last minute decision to go with an internal candidate instead.  Because this was all going through a consultancy, I wasn’t part of the negotiations and was not privy to details.  All I knew was that the opportunity had evaporated as quickly as it had materialized.
But I wasn’t upset.  It isn’t the first time this sort of thing has happened, and I’m sure it won’t be the last.  I found that regardless of my disappointment that I wouldn’t be getting this income, I could still view this as an opportunity to continue focusing on what I really want - to continue doing HR work, especially consulting and coaching.  I didn’t panic.  I didn’t become despondent.  I somehow maintained the attitude that the revenue will come.
Thank goodness I have a safety net that means I won’t go hungry or live out of my car.  (Can you imagine me living out of my Miata?)  I also know that I want to eventually make my living exclusively from consulting, and I know I’m on that road.  These things do a lot to keep me focused.  So does the fact that my social life has been slightly more active lately (and I don’t mean business networking - I don’t know how much more of that I can do) which makes me feel better about myself.  I feel like I’m not sweating some of the small stuff anymore, and the only reasons I can think of are practice and maturity.
I found an article that talks about it.  In NewScientist Magazine (June 2006), Roxanne Khamsi wrote a piece on what brain scans were showing about older people’s behaviors.  (Rather than quote her, the URL is:  I wonder if that may be part of my surprising sense of calm at the moment.

It’s an interesting idea, but ultimately it doesn’t matter.  My take-away from this is knowing that I am able to take a positive view even when things don’t go the way I wanted.  I’m glad I can say I’m mellowing with age.  Maybe I’ll really get the hang of it over the next thirty years....    

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