One of the best lessons I ever had was about reactive decisions. I was in a dead-end job, with no opportunities to grow or learn. The office was small, cluttered and old, with files piled high on desks that did not match, noise from the airport a constant buzz and lots of time to surf on the net. I was bored, passing the time joking around with co-workers and researching my genealogy. The pay was better than I deserved for the skills required for the tasks of the job. In rush hour, the commute was over an hour both ways. There was nothing to recommend this job.
When an opportunity for a better position, closer to home with more money was offered, I jumped at it. The office was immaculate, everything matched and you could hear a pin drop. I also jumped when the phone rang. On the first day, the boss walked by, stopped and re-arranged the stapler on my desk. (Whaaat???) He said all documents must be kept in a drawer until I was ready to work on them. When I asked a question of my co-worker, she whispered the answer.
On day 2, I learned I would not be allowed to talk to customers until my probation was over. Suddenly I was nostalgic and longing for the laughs and camaraderie of my former job. On day 5, my old boss wooed me back with a position tailor made for me. Things were just not the same without me. Boy, was he singing my song!
Sometimes when we are feeling strangled, dried up or just plain bored, we think we know what we want. We look for the opposite of what we think is bothering us. Going polar opposite can be trouble when it is a knee jerk reaction, or a decision born from desperation. It can also be a great learning experience. I am so grateful for this lesson in self-awareness. What I now look for in researching company culture is a relaxed attitude, camaraderie and challenge. Connection is key. And messy desks with no stapler restrictions.
Dreams are not for everyone. Some of us are content to float on the surf or gentle waves of the ocean of life, looking for “normal” life - stability and security. We don’t want the big house (and mortgage), we don’t need exotic vacations in faraway places, we don’t yearn for the next thrill or adventure to get our adrenalin flowing. We want comfort, safe waters with no big waves that leave us breathless and scared of drowning.
Wait, isn’t that a dream too? Does a dream have to mean risking all for uber (no, not Uber!) success, a prestigious job, recognizable only by visible trappings of money and fame? Maybe not! Does it not count as a dream if all you want is a family that you love, good health and a game of cards occasionally with congenial friends? Does a dream of success have to be about your career?
I don't think so. If you are dreaming of a loving marriage, good kids and a strong support system, it is still a dream, just as important as dreaming of being the director of an agency that saves families from disaster. You still have to take steps to make it happen and to make it thrive once you get there.
It is the person who fails to imagine what is possible who really does not have a dream. Someone who believes dreams are for other people. Often they are suffering from depression, low self-esteem or malaise of the spirit. When we are feeling alive, our dreams come alive. Do you have a dream? Do you think dreams are not for you? I’d like to hear about your dreams, safe and not so safe.
Sandie convinced her mother at the age of two that a set of books would make her much happier than a tricycle. Then came diaries, school projects and heartfelt poetry - a writer was born. Reading and writing have been constant and faithful lovers ever since. This blog is an attempt to release some of the fleeting thoughts and crazy ideas in a place that may become another form of diary, but this time, one that talks back! Would love to hear from anyone who is inspired to rebut, dig further, validate or in any way comment on what has been written.