December 15, 2007

Through the Eyes of a Friend

I live and work in a conference community located amid beautiful scenery, about an hour from the nearest town. Many wonderful things are provided for me here that I would not be able to get elsewhere -- free room and board, free access to exciting conferences given by world leaders, having exquisitely wonderful people as neighbors, not to mention some of the most beautiful scenery on the planet. Sometimes the remoteness gets to me. I miss the conveniences of living near services, libraries, churches, stores. And because of the unique nature of the community, I struggle with the work challenges, many of which I have never encountered before. I've sometimes thought of leaving, moving back to "civilization" and finding a different job.

Recently, one of my closest friends came to visit. My friend and I met more than 18 years ago, when she recruited me into a start-up company. Several years later she hired me again, this time to work directly for her. Although it's been 10 years since we worked together, our friendship has carried on and deepened over the years, despite the fact that we now live in different states.

During her visit this week, we spent 3 lovely days bringing each other up to date on our lives. As she prepared to leave, she turned to me with tears in her eyes, and told me how gratifying it was for her to see me so happy.

"Didn't you hear a word I was saying about all the stuff I'm dealing with?" I asked.

"I heard you. You have challenges here. Every place has challenges. You can't escape them. But I also heard you say how much living here feeds your soul. I heard you say how nourished you are by the community of people you live with. I heard you say how much you respect your boss, and I know how important that is for you. And I can see just by looking at you that things in your life are shifting, and in a good way. I've never seen you this relaxed. This place is good for you."

I am grateful for her perspective. It's easy for me to get caught up in momentary difficulties and forget the good. It's easy to toss the baby out with the bathwater.

Note to self: Knock it off!

1 comment:

Blackcat said...

"It's my intention to create a personally and fiscally satisfying life, starting from right here."

It sounds like you already have. I admire the richness of your life.

"I am grateful for her perspective. It's easy for me to get caught up in momentary difficulties and forget the good. It's easy to toss the baby out with the bathwater."

Getting feedback from outside ourselves, especially from people who know and love us, can be eye-opening. Ignoring what they mirror back to us is one way that we throw the baby out with the bath water.

It sounds like you have a wonderful life. I look forward to hearing about more of it.

Love, Blackcat