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Sunday, October 18, 2020

Squirrels Don't Walk In Straight Lines

This isn't a posting about squirrels, although I may get around to that one day.  Instead, file this under "random observation".

October has not always been kind to me, a fact that is noted several times over the past 12 years.  Given that fact, one would think that October 2020 would be particularly horrible.  Or, to paraphrase my sister-in-law, "when does the locust plague start?".  But yet here I am, and so far October has been okay to me.  I started a new job that seems to combine all of what I have been looking for over the past few years:  An organization that does good for the world, a position where I can make a difference, autonomy, and a supportive and enlightened leadership team.  Part of me wants to tread cautiously here, as I don't want to somehow create bad juju for myself.

"When it's good, it's bad"

A trusted advisor (and everyone should have a trusted advisor or three in their life) has told me repeatedly that I am wired for a particular response of "when it's good, it's bad".  This is a shorthand description for someone who grew up always having to look out for the next shoe to drop.  I know, that still kind of nebulous, but outbursts of anger were not an uncommon occurrence in my childhood.  Not by me, mind you.  When that happens, well, you tend to focus less on the "what's good" and more on the "I have to get ready for the next bad".  This isn't all bad by the way; I learned, for example, to develop some very good observational skills.  Trust me though when I say that this is not a good way to run your life, and I have no doubt that decades of heightened anxiety over subconsciously waiting for the bad to inevitably happen probably has taken its toll in a lot of ways.  So be it.  None of us can ever change the past, but we can always learn from it.

So here I am, and maybe, just maybe, as I tiptoe into changing some mental stimulus-response wiring, when it's good it really is good.

There is, by the way, plenty of good to go around.  In addition to a new professional gig, I have a healthy family, adult children that I am exceptionally proud of, a nice place to live, and a spouse that loves me for who I am.  And cats.  I have cats.

Here's to all of us learning, growing, and re-wiring, no matter how old (or young) we find ourselves.

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