Career Reflections

Life takes many twists and turns.  Careers morph during the course of a lifetime.  But certain skills and traits will serve you well in any career.  Of course, serenity helps you to navigate change and flourish. As I was reflecting on some of the things I am learning about leadership and about some of the things that have served me well in the varied course of my career, I came up with a list.

I am a firm believer in creating a strategy map to design your career and your career goals and aspirations.  Lately, I’ve been working on focus and intention.  My new planner is helping me to more effectively use time-blocking and goal setting to have the discipline to work on what matters most.

There are certain life skills that I believe have served me well.  I think these can be taught but are also ‘caught’ through the influence of significant people in your life.

What are the skills and traits you consider most important in a successful career?

Best Year Ever? Worst Year Ever?

2017 started out like many years – with me desiring to make the most of my time and energy. So I signed up for Michael Hyatt‘s course Best Year Ever.  I began the year with great goals and high productivity. I was excited about using time blocking to manage my time and increase my results. My personal and professional lives were going along swimmingly.

On April 3rd everything came to a screeching halt. Our daughter and my parents were in a horrific car accident. Thus began a four month ordeal that I will share more about in a future post. I spent weeks at a time in Florida with my family.

Is it?
Aqua Notes Inspiration

In my shower there hangs an Aqua Notes waterproof pad for jotting down great ideas that often come to me first thing in the morning. At the beginning of the year, I wrote on the top sheet “2017 BEST YEAR EVER.” Every time I came home from Florida, that paper would be staring me in the face each morning. I began to wonder if this was the Worst Year Ever.

Although I was tempted to cross out the word “Best” several times with a big X, I did not. I came to see that even in the midst of the worst ordeal of my life, there were still things to be thankful for. I tried to add to my 1000Gifts thankfulness journal. I held on to my faith and searched for moments of serenity amid the stress and exhaustion. I prayed like never before. I sought God and tried to continue to praise Him despite my circumstances.

Serenity in the Midst of Turmoil

There is a lot of unrest in America following the recent election.  So many are worried about the future of our country.  Social media is full of opinions on both sides of the fence.   It is easy to get caught up in the turmoil.  And yet, we must remember that our God is in control.  He holds us in the palm of His hand.  He watches over us and our country.  He offers peace and rest free for the asking.

One of my favorite activities is to go out for a walk and enjoy the beauty of nature.  In this way, I reconnect with God and refresh my spirit.  I see the incredible world that God has made and I am at peace.  I enjoy fresh air, beautiful vistas, a bit of exercise, and photo ops.  Hope you will enjoy these pics from a later afternoon hike in the woods near our home.

Ridley Creek
This old stone wall (maybe a damn) is in the middle of the woods

As you contemplate natural beauty, allow your soul to be at rest and allow peace to invade your spirit.  Take time to enjoy the world around you.

Meteor Showers

Our family loves meteor showers and star gazing.  Enough that we get up in the middle of the night and predawn hours to enjoy the sights.  When the kids were small, we got up about 4 am to lie on the golf course in Florida one time to watch the meteors.  A few years ago, Katryn and I got up about 2 am, spread a blanket on our lawn, and lay looking at the meteors and talking about life for an hour.  More recently Deryck and I set alarms and went out on the second floor balcony in the midnight hours to watch for meteors.  There is something about the majesty of the skies that makes it worth getting up to see these sights.  I am continually amazed and awed by creation and its beauty.  When I spend time in nature, it grounds and centers me; it reminds me of how big God is and how He loves to bring us joy and delight.  I find serenity when I can spend time outdoors enjoying all the sights of weather, sky, nature, creatures, and trees.  Most days I stop to take pictures of clouds or sunsets.  Taking time for the enjoyment of life’s little pleasures keeps me serene.

Island Adventures

Had a fantastic day trip to Block Island this past weekend.

North Lighthouse

We rented mopeds and rode, then walked out to the North Lighthouse,

Northern most point of Block Island
Northern most point of Block Island
Mohegan Bluffs
Mohegan Bluffs
Southeast Light
Southeast Light

swam, walked around the point, and then rode round to the Southeast Light and Mohegan Bluffs.  Went back into town for lunch and then another swim and some frisbee in the ocean.  A sun-filled, salty, sandy day was just what we all needed.  Refreshing to walk along the shore and see the ocean, which was very clear and a beautiful turquoise blue.

Serenity restored.