This I Believe

I wrote this for a leadership offsite in the style and manner of Jay Allison and Dan Gediman’s popular book….

This, or something better, for all involved.

My mantra, my daily walking meditation, my north star, my saving grace, my morning prayer ….

I must say this to myself a hundred times a day. As context, I start each morning with an intentional introspective walk with my dog. By myself, without earbuds or friends and before the sun rises. I use this time to hold the light for people in my life that are going through or have gone through a hard time.  Death of a child, major health challenges, anorexia, divorce, homelessness, job loss, death of a parent, challenges with aging, family estrangement, anxiety, …. The list goes on and on.  I visualize and say this mantra for each and every person. Every day.  It’s my reminder to myself that we can’t know what’s best but we can hope for it, believe in it, trust in it and recognize it when it presents itself.

This believe was born gradually over my life but really solidified in 3 significant moments in time.  These are the moments that I hold up when I need a reminder that everything will work out and that every situation happens for a reason, even if that reason is blind to us in the moment.

When Tom and I were excited and anxious to start a family, we ran into major fertility issues.  Not only was it physically exhausting, it was emotionally and mentally draining. We were one of the 5% where they don’t have a diagnosis or any “reason” for the infertility.  We did everything. I did everything.  I took medicine, shots, changed my diet, changed my routines, changed my activities … Not having answers to our questions, not being in control of my own body and not knowing “why or when” took a huge toll on my psyche.  It wasn’t until I realized that let it all go when I finally realized – do I want to be pregnant or do I want to parent? – that it all fell away.  We gave it one last try (invitro) but filled out our adoption application at the same time.  Jimmy came home 9 months later.

During the height of my “upwardly mobile” portion of my career at Target, my mentor and friend tapped me on the shoulder to come work for her. I was thrilled! She was well respected, and I was being asked to start up a new team that would help set the direction for Target.  I eagerly joined her team and immediately hated it. I hated the work. I hated my job. I was miserable, and I was only 30 days into the job. At Target, you were expected to stay in a job for at least 18 months and I had no idea how I was going to live through that.  About 3 months into my 18 month “sentence”, she came back from a trip to India raving about the team, the potential, the need for leadership and retail expertise.  I literally felt called and was immediately supported by my leader.  We moved to Bangalore 60 days later, sight unseen.  It changed the course of my marriage, my parenting, my career and my life.

In 2015 Target went through major restructuring. They laid off 2,000+ people and as a leader I personally had to deliver 4 different rounds of lay off/restructuring messages. This included being part of the decision-making cycle of who stays/who goes and what new roles would be. I don’t think I slept at all in 2015 and had a constant stomach ache. It sucked to see smart, capable, valuable people (that I had been close friends with) walk out the door on almost a weekly basis. It also caused me to dive deep into – what’s after Target?  I explored my passions, my hobbies, my skills and created a plan for my “next” career. Then, I went after it. 2 years and lots of mileage, coffees, lunches, resume rewrites and interviews I landed at Mount Olivet Rolling Acres. I’m beyond thrilled.

We are currently struggling with our daughter. She’s 14, going through puberty, diagnosed with anxiety and stubborn. She hates asking for help and has a big volatile personality. Plus… she’s a terrible sleeper. Every day I wonder what I’m walking into when I head home.  I adore her. I want to help her. I’m at a total loss for why we are where we are at with her. I have no idea what to do, when to do it, how to do it and worry constantly about her health and wellbeing.

This, or something better, for all involved – is my life raft.  My head knows it’ll get better, but my mom heart wants it fixed now.  I can’t wait until I can add this time in my life as another example of the wisdom and beauty in my mantra.