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Why do I make life harder on myself?

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Do you tend to make choices that differ from the “norm”?  It makes your search purpose harder. I have to come clean with all of you…

in that, I have this habit of choosing the road less traveled. Well, that’s one way to put it.

There’s this guy at work who always edits my commentaries with “just say what you mean, Tiffany”, which is…that I pretty much consistently choose to do things differently, and in the process, I make things harder on myself.

Do I thrive on that? Guess that’s one interpretation. Any psyche majors reading this? That deserves a smiley face emoji.

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Say what you mean

My choices often stand out from the crowd. Like…my major wasn’t business > wasn’t finance > it was Real Estate Finance.

And, back when I was in grad school, I went for an interview for a summer internship. Oh, I should explain about the importance of the SUMMER INTERNSHIP to MBA candidates.

Securing a fabulous summer internship is the goal for an MBA student during her or his first year of studies. When you are getting your MBA, you and your peers spend a lot of time talking about your internship goals, timing and dreams. If you land the right internship, you can plot your career course and earning potential.

Back on topic: once while I was at an interview for a summer internship, my potential employer left a printout of the interview schedule down on a table in front of me then left the room. I saw that I was the only one interviewing for a research internship. Sounds like evidence of the road less traveled, at least it was more than a decade ago when I was in grad school.

Things worked out well for me. Oh, no, I didn’t actually get that job. Yeah, I was surprised, too. But, a good friend did, and I ended up with an internship in NYC. Which was great, because I got “living in a big city” out of my system when I was young and have enjoyed my retreat back to the Connecticut countryside ever since. Like really enjoyed it, like I have homestead envy.

What happened to make me question my approach now?

Considering the big picture…I’m probably questioning my approach right now because I’m facing a life transition as I finish doctoral classes, wrap up my dissertation and think about “what’s next”.

But, then again, it’s really a reflective time for all of us, isn’t it? The year is ending. We are all making plans for a new year, new phases of life, and thinking about purpose.

In a class last weekend, we had a long discussion on exploring purpose. The theme of the day’s lesson was: What is a professor’s purpose? But, you don’t have to be studying to be a professor for this to resonate. Insert any other role you fill into that question.

I guess that discussion stayed with me.

Hearing more about what was on my classmates’ minds about their purpose, how your purpose changes, how we all go through phases when we think more or less about it. The quiet time after the holidays – as the new year is starting –  is a pretty reflective time for most people. Possibly, it’s a time when we think more about purpose.

What’s on your mind as we approach a new year?

Don’t get me wrong. I’m not wishing this year to end. I try never to wish time away. It’s too precious. Doesn’t mean I don’t plan for the future though.

What are your personal goals for the new year? My biggest goal for the new year is to recommit.

For the past three years, my attention has been split between too many things. In the new year, I want to be more deeply involved in my kids’ sports and clubs. I want to be that mama who’s coordinating snacks and singing songs with them in the car on the way to practice. In the new year, I want to follow through on more dinner plans with my husband. We thought we would never slow down, even after having kids, but we did. Forget that. Let’s keep that in the past-tense. We should reconnect over a quiet date night a little more often. And, then there’s my career. In order to go back to school part-time, I had to carve some time out from building my career, and in the new year, I want to devote a little more energy to my work.

Bonus thought: Guess what? For the gardeners among us, the dawn of a new year means we get to start planning a new layout, choosing new seed varieties, and feeling Spring fever again soon. Holy cow, I get Spring fever like crazy after the turn of the year. Seedlings, here we go again.

Ok, and the blog?

Of course, this blog. It’s been an amazing start. Thank you for being a critical part of it! You are reading this, and I am appreciating you for it. I hope something resonates in your search for purpose.

I’m committed to bringing you new articles, new perspectives and the play-by-play of the construction of a new window garden in the new year!

At the time I’m writing this post, I have 35 draft posts in the works. My blogging platform does me the kindness of showing me that number, at the top of my screen, every time I open my dashboard.

Oh wow, I guess I have a choice. Those 35 outstanding, half-written, partially-researched, mini-works of blog art could weigh on my shoulders like 35 bricks…OR, I can think of them as 35 bricks in a walkway, a path we can lay and follow in the new year. One of those choices is a lot more appealing than the other. It’s the same thing, just reframed. Like, black cats on your brick walkway could just be adorable kittens who want to play. No bad luck required.

How about your blog?

Do you have a blog? Please leave a link to it or a recent article in the comment section. We’d love to see your labor of love and support you in the new year!

I know it’s not always easy. There are days when things seem to be moving in slow motion, and it’s frustrating.

At least you can always feel welcome to retreat to this community to share your ideas and be supported. I’m happy to help you find ways to reframe the frustration and look forward to the virtual conversations we’ll have as we all begin a new year.

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