the search for lost things

I’ve lost my job.

I’ve looked in all the usual places … gone through my trouser pockets, scanned the mantelpiece, looked under the car seat, been through the ‘man drawer’, checked the bedside table, looked on the kitchen shelf where the important stuff resides.  I’ve methodically been through my jackets, looked down the back of the sofa, searched behind the fridge where things have a habit of falling. I’ve shaken some boxes at the back of the garage. I’ve asked my wife to go through her handbag, I’ve re-traced my steps around the house, drive and garden, I’ve looked on the table in the hall and felt the lining of my coat.

No joy.

Strange we say we’ve ‘lost a job’. Like we’ve lost a pen, or our car keys or our favourite sunglasses.

Actually I haven’t lost my job at all. It wasn’t ever mine really.  Not mine to lose.

The reality is that my employer decided to reorganise the work which constituted the role I was paid to do.  Some work was stopped, some new work added and the way in which my former employer set out to carry out that work no longer included a package of work previously called ‘my job’.  I haven’t lost it, the organisation has removed it.

Time to find another path, another ‘thing’ to occupy my time, feed my interests and my family.

So where do I look? Not under the car seat seemingly. Not in my coat lining. More a case of looking inside? Under my skin, in my gut or in my heart perhaps?  Searching there is not as straightforward though as looking behind the fridge or in the loft.

A search more rewarding perhaps?

So, it turns out, the removal of my job isn’t a loss, it’s a gift. An opportunity. A chance to reconnect with what matters to me. A chance to get closer to myself. A chance to be more me.

Maybe having a job all this time has been masking the true loss – the (temporary) loss of my connection to self? A temporary blindness to what drives me and why I am here.

Well I’ve found that again now, so all is good.

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rain gain

whenitrains

The best thing one can do when it’s raining, is to let it rain

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

Sometimes in life we can try too hard.
Too hard to influence and control the things we simply cannot.
Sometimes this blinds us to what we can do.

Don’t seek to stop the rain.
Instead, seek to master the umbrella.
Instead, seek to enjoy the sounds and feelings associated with a great storm.
Instead, marvel at nature’s power.

Focus on what you can do.

image from a YouTube clip by Acerting Art

where have you left traces of yourself?

image

As you move through the world you will have touched people. Some you will know. Family. Friends. Colleagues. Loved ones.

These people will recall you. They will feel connected. Your life and theirs inextricably linked through a bond. Maybe the bond is tangible, physical. Maybe it is emotional. Maybe it is transparent, maybe it is just there in the system, felt in the ether.

Others you have touched, you may not even realise it to be so.

In the midst of your own hectic, muddled life, you may have inadvertently dropped little traces of you on your journey. Like a dusting of you, cascading in your wake. Equally you may have deliberately acted, not seeking gain, not cognisant perhaps of the lasting impact or significant consequences that result for that person, or those close to them. You may have done this through…

An impromptu smile
A comforting word
A timely glance
A small act of kindness
Listening when someone needed to be heard
Witnessing someone’s truth
A small but critical thank you
A heartfelt hug
A positive thought

With fairy-like footprints, we invisibly stand in people’s lives, often unaware of those we have touched.

But they remember. They know. They thank you.

 

the words we seek

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What would you most like people to say to you?

“You did a great job there”
“Thank you for your support, I really value it”
“You make a real difference”
“Good effort!”
“I really value you as part of this team”
“I love your attention to detail”
“You really delivered there”
“You’re really supportive”
“Well done”
“You truly care”
“That’s another great achievement”
“I appreciate your friendship”
“Thank you”
“You are incredible”
“This wouldn’t have happened without you”
“I love what you did”
“You are vital to this…”
“Together we got it done”

Quite probably, it won’t be precisely any of these. Play around with the words. What’s the perfect positive feedback you could get?

And what’s the worst? Maybe you cringe at “truly care” or simply dismiss “you make a real difference”?

What does that say about you?

Noticing the form of words which we like to receive as a positive stroke and those which don’t work for us can be revealing.

Be curious.