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My Brother and His Family in Laguna Beach, CA
The Joy of Discovery
Sometimes, I really miss being a mom to little kids. It was, indeed, hard work – but also brought such joy and a weird kind of satisfaction to watch them grow and achieve. It is a consistent reminder of how far we – ourselves – have come in life. We were once 3 or 4 years old. We once struggled with buttoning a shirt or zipping up a jacket. I remember plain as day the long training required to tie my shoes and also teaching my children to tie their own. Along the way, we have made discoveries. Life is a constant state of learning, triumphing, and moving on to the next mountain. I get that now. But as a child, it is easy to think – if only I could learn to ride a bike, that’s all I need. Or “I just need to get my license – that’s it, then I’ll be set…”
“As soon as I get my degree…”
“When I fall in love…”
“If I could just get rich…”
Such is Life
But of course, we know that one mountain scaled and won reveals the next to conquer. Such is life – but not just any life. Such is the life of an ever-growing, ever-developing mind and body. It might be easy to stay in one place or one job for all of one’s days, but then what is left to learn or achieve? Gone are the days of staying with one company for 35 years, getting your watch of gold and rising off into the sunset of retirement. They are gone for the working generations today, anyway. But the mindset, the loyalty, the ability to make change within your company or industry is alive and well.
I have thought at every new position with every new company, with excitement and commitment, “I will work hard, long hours, devote my life to this company and eventually retire from here.” This will be my last stop. This will be where I shout my last hoo-rah. Loyalty runs deep in my working soul. But alas, it has not been so. I did have a 13-year stint with the same organization once – it seems so long ago. What I have learned about myself over the years is that I must commit, I must invest wholly in whatever organization or project I join or pursue because some days, that is all that keeps you going. Some days, the crazy train that we ride feels like it is about to jump the tracks and thrust us headlong off the cliff or ravine where emails go unanswered and meeting requests are denied, children scream at each other and laundry piles high, one shoe gets lost and a favorite shirt is stained, “unknown numbers” incessantly call and work goes undone… Thank God, it is only some days.
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Weird Kind of Satisfaction
That weird kind of satisfaction can also be described as pride. I have found that I enjoy having pride in what I have been able to accomplish or what I have seen my children accomplish. There was a time when pride seemed a sin. During a time of strain between myself and one of my daughters, I told her how proud I was for all she had done and how well she had done it – she screamed back, “Why are you proud? You had nothing to do with it!” I shrunk. No words hurt more than the angry words released from the mouth of someone you love so very much. I am still proud of her – I can’t help it. It is the nature of the “forever mother” in me. We grow, we hurt, we overcome. It is, after all, life.
I choose life
I cannot hate my job. I cannot hate my car or my house. I must find what it is that I love. In that love I am able to release any hate or hurt and then grow. So, I choose life. But living is not the same as thriving. So I choose Thrife – a thriving life. Sometimes, there is sorrow or pain, joy and love. The contrast is what makes life so rich and so worth the work. Thriving takes work – it doesn’t “just” happen. It isn’t “just” bestowed upon the lucky ones. It’s just as easy to be unhappy and miserable while being rich as it is while being poor. A Thriving Life is where value is captured and nurtured. It is where we can cry and delight in what we have lost or what we have gained.
“Don’t wish it was easier, wish you were better. Don’t wish for less problems, wish for more skills. Don’t wish for less challenges, wish for more wisdom.” – Jim Rohn, Entrepreneur and Author
by Rayanne Thorn