working out loud

How to Support New Pathways to Leadership Online

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I feel fortunate and thoughtful. Fortunate because I’m currently at an event for work—in a gorgeous setting—surrounded by brilliant, thoughtful, caring, fun educators—and I’m learning. Thoughtful because, well, I’m learning, and I’m trying to parse through what I’m hearing in conversations around the room and online, and think about how it applies to my work.

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Now

It’s easy to want to look back and recount the year. How much quality time did I spend with my family or how many projects at work were completed or how many miles did I run? Who did I see and what did we do? And it’s almost as easy to imagine what the next year will hold for me. But why? What amount of remembering or fortune telling changes how I am doing right now?
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Resistance

resistanceI have a lot of it. Part of it is the control freak in me—I want things to go my way; I want things to be done the way I would do them. And part of it is simply my inability to accept—people as they are, circumstances, life. Certainly I would be more at peace if I could consistently stop resisting and start accepting.

But then there’s Resistance with a capital “R.” Every generation seems to have some flavor of it, but coming of age in the 80s/90s, it was all about Fuck the Police, Raging Against the Machine, Fighting the Power, and Feeling Stupid and Contagious. And I still have that, engrained in me, but tempered with practicality and a certain docility that comes with age and responsibilities. Still, those things—racism, corporate greed, corrupt government, social and economic inequality, things that destroy the environment—are all worth Resisting, no matter what I want for myself or my family.

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Zeroing Out

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Earlier this year, I made a sort of vow to blog more often and zero out my article reading list (which mostly lives in Pocket). A friend on Twitter quickly replied, “Good luck.” I was undaunted though and set out to tackle these unrelated goals.

I’ve been blogging more often—mostly through a weekly photo post and a weekly music post—but the zeroing out of my article list has been much harder to do. Why?

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What’s Holding You Back?

fearI know my answer: fear. Pretty simple. I hate admitting that and saying it out loud, but it’s real. As I look forward to another day, another month, another year, the one thing I want focus on is accepting my fear and moving beyond it. I want to continue to work on letting go of the phantoms of things that haven’t been because of my fear—fear of judgment, fear of failure, fear of saying the wrong thing, fear of doing too much, fear of doing too little, fear of not being the husband or dad I want to be, fear of not being the man I want to be…so. many. fears. They’re not debilitating fears, but everywhere in my life I can see the remnants of decisions based on fear.

I’m ready to move beyond it.

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A Case of the Sundays

Many of you will know this gem from the seminal film Office Space where the main character, Peter, asks his construction worker neighbor, Lawrence, about The Mondays:

Basically, I get the Mondays on Sundays. I get cranky and irritable as it starts to sink in that Monday is coming. I start to dread getting back into the less flexible routine of our weekly existence of work and school. Of course, this has a tendency to spoil my last day off which in turn pisses me off too. And this Monday is the first one back after three weeks off, so it has a little extra resistance behind it. This doesn’t always happen, and has actually gotten better over the last few years, but I’m hoping that by writing about it now on Saturday, I’m releasing it so I can rise above it and enjoy tomorrow.

Anyone else out there get the Sundays? Remedies?

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On a Date with My Doctor

I had my first trip to the doctor today in 17 years. Yup, I was 17 when I last visited the doctor for a routine physical to play baseball. Nothing was wrong, but being a father of three, it just seemed like something I should get back into—the responsible thing to do. As I was getting ready this morning, I was laughing at the thought that going to the doctor is kind of like getting ready for a date. I showered and shaved so I was fresh and clean (didn’t know how, err, intimate we were going to get). I was a little nervous, probably because I didn’t quite know what to expect.

Photo by sbluerock

Photo by sbluerock

When I arrived I forgot my insurance card and had to run back home which didn’t help my blood pressure reading. I waited in the exam room with anticipation, like waiting for a date to ring the doorbell. When she finally knocked and came in, we started with small talk, getting comfortable with each other. Very soon after we were on to more personal subject matter. I’d be lying if I didn’t say my heart jumped a beat when she asked me to jump up on the table. With more than a little relief, the exam was basically “G-rated” as I was healthy with no concerns.

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I’ve written before how sharing here creates connections across spaces, lives, and people in ways that sometimes I see, and sometimes I don’t. The other day I wrote about this article I read and how it illustrated choice and acceptance for me. My friend Terry in Kentucky responded with how it reminded him of one of his favorite videos from 2013, “This is Water.” So I, in turn, checked that out and it captured so many principles and behavioral changes I’ve been working towards over the last few years, that I’ve decided I should highlight it here.

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