Hello, my name is Beverly. And I’m addicted.

That’s right. I’m an addict, and my drug of choice is Praise. I’m thinking I need to work the 12-step program to overcome this. Step One: “I admit I have a problem. I am powerless against my addiction to Praise, and my life has become unmanageable.” 

I was once a successful marketing executive, at the top of my field and loving my job. Lately, I’ve spent quite a bit of time and energy coming to terms and getting comfortable with who I am now — my new role in life that’s dominated by being Wife and Mom, with just a smattering of freelance work that comes up when we seem to need the money most. It’s been good, and I’ve really tried to stay focused on doing what is best for my family and this part of myself, too.
Here’s the problem: I am going through massive withdrawals. There’s no Praise to feed my addiction. My days are spent busting my ass to care for my family, and I’m lucky to have the opportunity to do it. But no one says to me, “Wow, mom! Dinner was awesome,” or “Great work on the laundry,” or “Thanks for dropping everything and bringing the lunchbox that I forgot at home this morning.” There are no staff meetings at which I can sheepishly bask in the admiration of colleagues. No client presentations that conclude with enthusiastic approval of the project.
My best friend, a psychotherapist, once cautioned me about my addiction to Praise and it being my “thing” to overcome in this life. She pretty much nailed it on the head. I get it, and I can beat this addiction with a little effort. So, I find it a mean turn of circumstance that a covetous job opportunity — rife with all the temptation of praise that it offers — presents itself.
This company has wanted me on their staff for awhile. A friend that works there had told me I could pretty much write my own ticket. The CEO said he’d be willing to be flexible and let me work 3/4 time since I have family obligations. It would mean pretty good money for basically part-time work. But it would also be a lot more juggling and not as much time or energy for my family.
I keep thinking about my addiction, and the inherent sin of temptation, and wondered if this job opportunity was coming up as something to tempt me back into that old habit of seeking praise and feeling that “high” I used to get from being “awesome” at work.
And I think it’s time to quickly move on the other steps, because I can’t allow this addiction to Praise to rule my life again.
So for now, I am Beverly: woman, wife, mother, daughter and friend first. Once I can overcome my addiction to praise, I can again someday be Beverly: writer, marketer, strategist and executive.

Hello? Is this thing on…?

Time to step back up to the mic.

Since I last posted and inconvenienced a bunch of electrons on the interwebs, I lost my mom to cancer, my dad moved to San Antonio after nearly 6o years of living in Dallas, my husband started a new job and graduate school, and I’ve somewhat come to terms with the fact that while I once was a pretty successful marketing executive, I’m now mostly just Mom.

What. The. F*&^.

What’s next for me? I have no earthly — nor heavenly — idea, but I’m ready to discover what it is.

At Odds

“Don’t touch me.” It couldn’t be more clear that physical touch is not one of my teenage daughter’s love languages. I can count on one hand the number of times in the last month that I’ve been able to sneak in a hug, kiss or reassuring touch without the “don’t touch me” rebuke. When did this happen?! When did my first baby girl, who used to love to cuddle with me, get to the point where a hug from me is one of the least desirable things she could imagine?

I’m smart enough to avoid any display affection in front of her friends. Yet I hoped that at home I’d have a chance to recapture some of that childhood lovey-ness that I so foolishly squandered during the time it was given freely.

Maybe she’ll come back around…someday.

Starting Off

I’m experiencing a career crisis today. Have you ever had one? I suppose in this day and age, the question should be more like, “How many career crises have you had?”

I am a talented, experienced professional who has enjoyed a fair amount of success in my chosen field and had the occasional opportunity to branch out a bit and explore other areas tangential to my core competencies. Having left full-time employment of my own accord this past June, I’m once again enjoying free agency. I’ve done the freelance-work-from-home gig before and not only enjoyed it, but also was able to sustain my family financially. I know I can do it again, no question.

Here’s the crux, though: I cannot do free agency in the same manner in which I worked before. I literally cannot make myself do it. There’s been a seismic shift in my priorities, my personality and my perspective that simply won’t permit any activity or function that even somewhat resembles “business as usual.”

So, I sit here at my desk and struggle with what to do and how to go about doing it, but not doing it in my usual way. Seemingly endless possibilities swirl around in my head, taunting me with promises of excitement, newness, purpose and meaningful work, yet I can’t seem to focus. Where is the hell is Square One so I can get started?

I think my mother nailed it on the head yesterday, when she said, “There’s just too much you want to do.” That’s absolutely true. I want to coach small businesses on innovation, resiliency, and sustainable operating & marketing strategies. I want to pick my kids up at school. I want to teach innovation processes to anyone who will listen. I want to find time to indulge my passion for all things paper and maybe create a line of stationery. I want to incite passion for local economic development. I want to write more and earn something from my effort. I want to bake, specifically an apple pie. I want to not worry about how to pay the next bill that arrives.

The list of what I want to do multiplies when I turn my back, so I have no choice but to face it head-on and tackle it as best I can. But once again I ask,  where the hell is Square One?

Wise Words

A great time of change is upon us. This will prove difficult for most, especially the sleeping. Human kind must resist Violence, Hate and Anger. Vibrate higher.

Couldn’t have said it better myself. Thanks to Bryan Helfrich for sharing on Facebook.

7 Days and Counting

One week from today is Halloween…and Samhain. Ready to celebrate? We all know how much fun Halloween is! Samhain is a wonderful celebration, too, and it’s not as freaky as you might think nor as freaky as some make it out to be. It’s based in nature and the ultimate divine. It’s the Celtic new year, a time to look inward, reflecting on what has happened in life over the past year before looking forward to the coming one, and focusing on goals to achieve. It is also a time to remember loved ones who have passed over, and connect with the family ancestors. And it it is a time of thanks for all the blessings that have been bestowed upon the family and home in the past year. You can learn more about the ancient day and its history at the links below; enjoy the discovery!

Meanwhile, I’ll share a traditional Samhain blessing with you:

May the ancestors deliver blessings on you and yours…
May the new year bear great fruits for you…
May your granted wishes be as many as the seeds in a pomegranate…
May the slide into darkness bring you light…
May the memories of what has been keep you strong for what is to be…
May this Samhain cleanse your heart, your soul, and your mind!

More info about Samhain:
ReligiousTolerance.org
Wikipedia

BeliefNet.com

A Charmed Life

I have a confession to make: I love that kitschy show “Charmed.” It’s on every morning and has become a part of my daily routine. (Kinda sad, I know.) But today it took a central role in reminding me of some very important messages that I need to take to heart.

The first Charmed episode on this morning’s schedule was the final episode of the series. The next episode (TNT shows them back-to-back) was the first episode of the series — the series premiere — essentially starting the re-runs of the Charmed all over again.

A happy ending followed by a chance to start over.

This morning I asked my spirit guides to speak to me and send me some direction, and since then random thoughts, remembrances of conversations, cliches and such — plus the odd sequence of Charmed episodes — have been front and center of my morning. The cliche “when one door closes, another door opens” implanted itself in my brain, to be supplanted by a truism from a dear friend: “You have to sufficiently mourn before you can move on.” And a few similar thoughts.

OK, I get it. Message received, loud and clear. You think I’m a nut? That could be true, but think for a minute…

How many times have you been noodling a problem or an idea, turning it over in your mind, and then out of the blue, the answer just pop into your head? What about seeing or hearing something that really “speaks” to you in a way you can’t ignore? Or praying for guidance and discovering that the way just opened up before you?

The last four months have been filled with significant life transitions for me: saying goodbye to a career at a company I dearly loved, the end of a way of parenting my daughters that wasn’t working for any of us, a shift of perspective and priorities, and a renewed emphasis on those things that are truly important in life — the intangibles that we all desire and yet don’t seem to make time to achieve. You know the ones: peace, love, joy, wellness.

So what am I to take from this morning? Exactly what’s been shared with me. I need to mourn the passing of what was, no matter how wonderful it was for the time, in order to move on to what will be. I need to remember that when once door closes, another does indeed open, and that I have the freedom to walk through the doorway should I choose to do so. And that an ending is always followed by a beginning, a chance to start over. I’m thankful for my reminders.

What do you need to be reminded of? And are you listening for those messages?