Forced Sabbaticals and Seashells

One key takeaway from my forced sabbatical …

I finally had to break in order to get to the deep work I’ve longed for.

It’s the journey back home … to myself.

And it’s like walking along a beach and discovering remarkable seashells that have washed up from the waves and tide.

With each shell I find a little bit of me and with it a little bit more peace and love and joy and life.

Yeah, it’s been tough, sometimes ugly, a lot of mess … and not just on me but I’m supported and loved by my people … and nowhere else I want to be but on this journey of discovering myself.


When The Game Gets Too Serious

It’d been decades since I played chess as I recalled, when a couple months ago my son miraculously showed up one day asking to play with me.

I had a felt … a ting of resistance.

I played chess a lot in high school, mainly passing by the lunch period time. And I recall really enjoying it.

The strategy intrigued me.

And then I played some in college.

…. until I broke my hand

…. punching a cabinet

… in frustration for having lost a chess game to my roommate

… who was celebrating like he’d won the Super Bowl

… after losing 10 times to me.

I think, yeah, that was my wakeup call:

I was taking the game WAY too seriously.

I mean even typing it it feels rather drippingly obvious.

Look at it as a headline:

Kid Breaks Hand
After Losing Chess Game

That might have been the last game I played before my son asked me a few months ago.

It seems obvious now … but then it didn’t, until I broke my hand in anger after losing a game that I was taking the game and winning WAY too serious.

ONE game, mind you, not a bunch, but one out of 10.

And that wakeup call told me to take a big huge step back from it, which I obviously did.

Fast forward to today …

I realized I’ve been playing the game of business, of work … WAY too serious, for way too long.

I’ve been mired in anger and frustration.

Then I crashed and burned.

Only months later, I’m realizing some of what happened …. but today I. know …

The game, the fun, disappeared when the stakes got too big and I started taking it increasingly more serious.

There was a lot to lose after all, right?
There was more to prove, right?

That’s when the game I used to love playing … became work.

And the answers to those questions truly ….

Nothing. At least of real value.

Let’s turn the music back on at work … and have some fun again.

The B+ Student

In high school I graduated — barely — with honors.

At the time you had to have a grade point average of over a B as I recall which was over 80.

High school felt fairly easy to me. It seemed more pass-fail to me …. and as long as I passed and could graduate I mostly didn’t care what grades I got.

When I was getting closer to graduation I realized I was razor close to honors and applied myself more.

In the past several months, I’ve realized how often I’ve applied this philosophy to life.

For most things I’ve passed. I won’t list them all here because some may flame me and I’m not always proud of this.

But suffice to say if I can squeak by on some things I’m pretty content.

Part of not getting A’s was not an issue of ability but effort. Was it worth the effort to get an A? For most things, no. Not at all.

And with that I’m ok to just squeak by.

Plus whenever I think about getting A’s in anything it triggers my obsessive perfectionism.

I game it out in my head and all the strategies and efforts and it exhausts me even planning it all.

But I don’t want pass-fail on some key things in my life. I want to stretch and do a bit better.

And it’s been tremendously freeing thinking of just getting a B in most things. I’ve flourished in fact.

So in this new season of life, for key things I’m asking myself:

“What would be a B+ for this?”

If I say A+ real quickly I get flustered. But when I say I wanna be a B or even B+.

And being a B is so much fun and doable and inspiring.