Finding Life

Days

What are days for?

Days are where we live.

They come, they wake us

Time and time over.

They are to be happy in:

Where can we live but days?

Ah, solving that question

Brings the priest and the doctor

In their long coats

Running over the fields.

(By Philip Larkin)

I got a call from a recruiter this week – a C-level HR position in another global law firm.  We may speak tomorrow.  Whether or not we do is irrelevant.  What matters is why I even entertained the prospect at all.  And I realized it’s because I spent so long making a very comfortable living, I really didn’t know diddly about making my life (sorry for the cliché).  Thoughts about working represent the comfort zone and figuring how to find my best life is a far scarier proposition.  And I don’t do fear – I prefer to think of myself as naively intrepid.  And other than the first shock of the day when I see myself in the mirror, I try to avoid any other activities throughout the day which may inspire my flight or fight response.

And the bottom line is – running away from life by running to work isn’t an answer.  Too many people do it, and I used to gently suggest to them that their effectiveness was impacted when work became their refuge, instead of an end in and of itself.  Guilty as charged.

So what am I doing to inform this new narrative?

I started writing this blog with no idea as to its direction or purpose.  And though I’m still not sure of either, I am sure that it has brought me into the lives of some incredibly generous, talented, gorgeous people around the world.  I have found that there is so much that unites us, I’m continually amazed that there are so many divisions.  I delight in laughing out loud at phenomenal humor from people who are deft at taking themselves lightly, or shaking my head with wonder almost every morning at my pal David’s prolific (and occasionally neurotic) wisdom.  I wait for a word from Simon which always fills my heart, celebrate Rhonda’s life-out-loud voice and hold Lori’s words as close as one would a second skin.  Bonnie and I may live in different time zones but we’re on the same page (though hers is a younger, cooler page without question).  Maureen writes her messages with a gentle hand, and Christine and Tuck’s mama share the unbridled joys of parenting (with the occasional frustration thrown in to comfort those of us with wonderful, albeit imperfect progeny).  Some people grapple with physical challenges – some of which I personally share – and are not hesitating to dance through life.  Russ and Ivon and John and Shimon make me wish I was smarter.  Susan makes me pine to be able to write poetry – all my Dr. Seuss riffs notwithstanding. Keith inspires me to want to walk with a lighter footprint upon the earth.  I could go on and on and on and I mean no offense in omitting any names – I hope you know how incredible I think you are.  You are all a part of this life I’m building.

I’m in better shape than I’ve been in a while, and knock out 110 sit-ups at the gym (with a back support), do pull-ups, weight-lift and bike five miles in seventeen minutes.  May not sound like much to you, but I’m enjoying learning what my body can do.  I’ve taught myself how to knit (badly – but hey, I’m great at scarves), began teaching myself the piano and am reading as many books as I can that don’t have to do with leadership and management.  I stay in touch with those who fill my soul and have learned to let go of those who have no need of me and for whom I arguably have no need.  I still hate the phone.  I learned how to download videos from youtube.  I consult, though not as often as I might like (but then again, I am lousy at self-promotion and don’t imagine that changing).

I sing again – although when no one is home.

I’m still learning how to be the best mom to adults, how to be an in-law who’s never an out-law.  How to love so hard and not squeeze the life out of that love.  I’m learning how to sit outside and not feel that I have to get up and do something.   I dance like a madwoman in the kitchen – and I’m not  half bad.   I sat in Starbucks this morning and listened to an elderly woman talk at length about a friend in the hospital.  I have no idea what her name is, but we hugged each other good bye.  I’m learning how to breathe.  And as I write this, I realize that I am learning that this is how one goes about making a life.

And I feel pretty damned intrepid.

68 thoughts on “Finding Life

  1. Awesome post Mimi, my little ‘twinkie blogging buddy’. ha ha I could so relate to so much that you said. I love to keep on learning and of course will always keep on at the GYM too. Have a wonderful afternoon. I am off to pick up my Grand Kidlets from school here soon. 🙂 Renee

    • Hey Twink!! So good to ‘hear’ from you..I’ve really come to love the gym..and managed to lose nine pounds in the last couple of months, so I’m definitely getting the religion! Have a great afternoon with your grandkids!! 🙂

      • lol Hey ‘Twinkie’. Good for you! I love going to the GYM actually. I am there when they open their doors at 6 and usually there till 7:30-7;45 and grab those feel good endorphins. If we lived closer we could go ‘kick butt’ at the GYM together. ha ha. 🙂

  2. wonderful mims, only wish i lived closer i knit and crochet i would love to help you with both i could send you some links if you want for knitting stuff patterns and such, shame you’re so far away i would have given you my wool and needles and everything because i dont need them i just dont have the time to knit as well but i did use it a lot to make christmas presents and such, another fab post as always thank you mims loves xx

  3. Love your cheerful spirit Mimi and I enjoy reading your blog about making life. I can only imagine, how much courage it takes to say no to the opportunity. On the other hand, I am sure it’s your win. You can’t buy good life, with any amount of cool cash. p.s Wow, you’re one fit lady. 🙂 hugs, Kristi

      • hahaa, dear Mimi, don’t know where you got Joanna?! ;D Was wondering the other time you cmmented, but didn’t mention it, because I thought you meant to write to someone else and mixed up names. No biggie! ;D maybe you got Johanna from that song…..hop Johanna…..

      • I swear I thought you said that was your name – clearly I was way wrong. But any song that reflects a beautiful spirit would make me think of you. And I’m glad I know that I’ve been foolishly calling you by the wrong name all these weeks! I promise not to screw that up again!

      • 🙂 we just got home last evening, so I’m draggingg a bit today, but glad to get back into tthe swing of things at home. And so happy to see the pup! Missed you a ton too!! Although it was good to disconnnect from evreything for a bit. Glad to be back in the hood! 🙂

      • Happy to have you back, though I bet re-entry was tough. Jet lag alone makes it hard..I can only imagine how happy your pooch was to see you!! Get some rest and then regale us with tales of your trip!

  4. This journey of yours has filled you and others with such joy since you began at the wheel so many months ago. Great post filled with all the emotions that come with moving on after a career, whether intended or not, did indeed define part of who you were. But enough reaffirmation of how your writing this blog is a gift, you had me at “I sing again”. So, obviously you still have “Magic to Do” and I cannot wait to see/hear/share what’s next. xoxxoxoxo

  5. Mimi hon- you are amazing. I think it’s the making of a life that makes one, and yours is beautiful. I love that we share a page in this new life you are writing, creating. I am so glad to be part of it, grateful really, and you have impacted me in incredible, important ways, more than you know. xoxo

  6. Pingback: SOME SPACE | Simon Marsh

  7. I had to sit after “And the bottom line is – running away from life by running to work isn’t an answer” – (Why does she keep talking to me?)…then I see she calls me neurotic (Am I really neurotic? I think I am. Let me look it up. “mental disorders involving distress but neither delusions nor hallucinations, whereby behavior is not outside socially acceptable …oh, boy.). And then you had to finish with a 8 letter word that I had to look up (Intrepid: fearless – dauntless – undaunted – brave – bold – daring). I need to lay (or lie) down….and fast.

  8. and for what it’s worth, you seem happier and less stressed with this new life you’re crafting. I’m happy that you’re thriving and developing so many new friends. Keep it going!

  9. I’m so proud of you for discovering (and developing) the new Mimi. And I’m grateful to know you during thus metamorphosis!

    I hope the day you live in today is filled with awe and joy.

  10. Ahhh, my dearest Mimi. I hold your words and wisdom just as close, and I look forward to every communique. I can only imagine how difficult it must be to turn away from something so familiar where you obviously excelled and start a new chapter in the “Book of Mimi.” But girl, from where I sit, you are doing a *masterful* job. You light the way for so many each day, sharing your wisdom, your humor, your humility, your BIG, BIG heart. I am *so much* the richer for having you in my life, and I know I’m not alone. Continue to dance and sing, honey, and keep bringing us along. “What you leave behind is not what is engraved in stone monuments, but what is woven into the lives of others.” –Pericles. You may have *just* learned to knit, but you are making your mark in a whole new way. ….to the moon…. xoxo

    • When are you going to teach me how to find the right quote, the perfect expression under any circumstances? Oh my friend, you are such a part of my heart. And I will sing and dance – and knit – and hope I make some mark – or weave a dream. Love you very much, xxox

  11. You describe the feelings of those of us in transition so well. Perhaps daunted somewhat by the loss of ‘familiarity’ yet at the same time revelling in the new-found advantages.
    I LOVE both the poem and the song.
    Best wishes with your new freedom and new life.
    I am glad to now be part of it in some small way.

  12. I particularly love this blog, it does share very well what it does mean to go in a new direction in live and that yes, even thought it does scare me also a lot it is so much worth it and it’s so interesting. It is a great support to read that there are so many like minded people out in the world. Wish you continuing luck and curiosity on your path…

  13. I’ve got to say that although any establishment would be blessed to have you on their team, it sounds like you’re really living to me….too bad it couldn’t be a two day a week thing so you wouldn’t have to get lost in working every day and loose all the life building you’ve done. Your blog fans (“I”) look forward to hearing your words of inspiration and are grateful for your blog. Thank you, Mimi!

    • I can’t thank you enough for your comments Fran..It would be nice to pursue something a couple of days a week that parallels what I used to do – but no more than that. I’m not ready to let go of what I’ve found over this past year+. I am really touched with your words about the blog – I am so so happy you enjoy it. It’s made my day..

  14. I’ve missed a lot while I’ve been away. The other day I went through all of the blogs that I had followed in the past only to find that about 90% of them are no longer writing. Even the writing machine that put out a new post each and every day at Manager Better Now. Here you are though, still writing and doing it really well. No matter how old we get I don’t know that any of us truly ever know what we want to be when we grow up. Taking time though to enjoy the adventure of trying to figure it out can be pretty exciting. From what I’ve seen (and read) it looks like you’re doing just fine! Forget the recruiter, and channel a little Walt Disney, “Keep Moving Forward.”

    • So good to have you back Frank! It surprises me how quickly people come, fill a place in your bloglife, and then they’re gone. And I am hardly an old soul here – I haven’t been up a year.
      Thanks for coming by – I’m learning these lessons as I go, tripping over some of the harder ones for sure, but learning as I go.

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