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Archive for the ‘Personal Growth’ Category

I don’t know what I don’t know

Thanks, Yogi Berra.  You are a wise Yoda of truisms.  

As I sat on the beach thinking about how I got sucker punched, I’ve also been thinking about other times I have totally misjudged situations.

I’m an optimistic romantic who always believes the best in people. Then I get screwed, hurt and betrayed. It’s happened in work, friendships and love. With my recent rapid fire series of punches, I am taking time to step back and think. My questions are:
• Who am I?
• How do people perceive me?
• How have I ended up where I currently am – struggling & unhappy?
• How come big success eludes me?
• What should I do next?
• How can I be better at my relationships – all of them? One answer is to re-read, study and implement Keith Ferrazzi’s book, Never Eat Alone, but I’m so raw right now I just don’t have it in me.

I am now 53 years old and soon to be 54. Why haven’t I figured this shit out? Why am I struggling with $$, have limited retirement funds and a 5-figure amount of debt? Why don’t I own a home? Why do I drive a cheap car? My peers do well and flash the cash. I don’t need the $3K handbag or $500 shoes. I do need stability of income with $$ in the bank.

I am thinking more and more about closing Maggie & Co and going back to work for The Man. It’s been 7 years since I worked for The Man. 7 years of learning about life outside corporate America. 7 years of learning about myself. Here’s what I have learned:
• I love being on a team. I don’t want to be the quarterback, but I do enjoy being the receiver.
• I need recognition – ignore me and I sulk, grow resentful and unhappy.
• I’m a great strategic thinker with tons of ideas. Recently I took the Clifton Strengths assessment (I strongly recommend it) and it confirmed that.
• The same assessment shows that my top strength is Positivity – folks with this strength are upbeat and can get others excited about what they are going to do. This is probably why I get myself into trouble misjudging situations at times – I only see the best in people. Sigh.

Now I have to figure out how to put these pieces together to forge a new chapter in my work life. That favorite saying of the definition of insanity – to keep doing the same thing and expecting different results is having a lot of resonance with me. I’ve been working so hard with no results. The Hunter told me that he has painfully watched me for the past 1-1/2 years push so hard and try with everything I’ve got to win new business and come up empty-handed. As he said, it’s not from a lack of trying. It’s just that my business isn’t an easy one and small firms like mine are easily crushed by the big ones.

I’ve got lots of thinking to do, but I have to remember that action begets action. I can’t sit on my butt too long because I’ve got shit to do. It’s time to make some new plans and then work those new plans. I’ve scheduled an appointment with my university’s career center. I’m scrubbing my resume. I’m researching new jobs and I’m going to reach out to some recruiters. It’s time to get my ass headed in a new direction. Oh and in the midst of all this, I need to work out a plan for and with Robin. She is my most faithful, devoted fan. I need to make sure that she lands on both her feet as well.


Photo by virginia lackinger on Unsplash


Why Did We Break Up?

Let’s peek behind the curtain of my relationship with the Hunter and reveal some of the hidden truths (and some of the recent insights and changes that have taken place over the past several days since our break-up).

At the onset of our relationship, I had some niggling questions about the Hunters’ attraction to me. My lifestyle was a nice improvement for him. I did ask myself if this street savvy guy saw an opportunity to improve things with a lonely woman.

The answer at the time was I was OK with that. He wanted to take care of me and went out of his way to do so. I felt loved and taken care of, but over time the red flags began accumulating. I did not confront these head on and we have been discussing these issues more openly now. What, do you ask?

He’s not social. OK, I’m no social butterfly, but when we got together I was good about keeping my calendar mostly full with outings. We don’t’ really have the same interests and even though he didn’t care if I went out, I allowed my calendar to grow empty. That’s on me, I will take ownership of that.

His pot-smoking. I have written about this in the past, but a self-professed pothead is never going to have enough fire in the belly to achieve a decent success in his career. He likes a 30-hour work week. He doesn’t have a desire to push. He hasn’t felt pressure to make more substantive contributions to the house and I have been shouldering the burden alone.

This topic has been much more openly discussed over the past few days. He has apologized profusely and is taking immediate steps to correct this. He has stopped smoking pot and we are taking that one day at a time. I realize that it’s a very difficult habit to quit, but I am proud of him and relieved that he loves me enough to immediately stop. We both realize that we both may have drug tests in our future, so we need to have a very clean household.

He has apologized for being lazy (his words) and he is changing up his schedule so that he is more active in his work. Once I had the courage to open up and bare all my feelings about finances, work, etc., he has stepped up like a real man and has promised to contribute more. We talked about the balance of housework along with my frustration of being both the breadwinner and the major housekeeper.

The Kracken showed me his Red Flags of selfishness and failure to compromise. He had told me this would be a 45-lb dog. The Kracken is 85 lbs. That dog destroyed my patio furniture, shoes, living room sofas and the list goes on. We talked about his typical reaction to my entreaties of help around the house, dissatisfaction with our situation, the dog, etc. The Hunter has been doing what he wants to do with no apologies and little discussion. His typical reaction has been one of “that’s simply the way it is” and not discussing any form of compromise.

This Red Flag came up again as I explained I applied for a job out of state and he emphatically said he wouldn’t move with me and I was creating the end of our relationship with that type of move. I said that it was only an application, too soon to make that type of statement. He backtracked and we were able to talk about it along with sussing out his reactions when he doesn’t agree with something.

On my side, I compromised too much and too soon. I did not stand up for myself more. I did not open up to the Hunter about all the turmoil going on inside my head. Examples of over-compromising include: moving before he passed his 90-day probation; I let him move in too quickly – we probably should have considered dating more before that big a move and I agreed to that damn adorable puppy too soon.

I’ve learned a lot about myself. I’m moody at times and I tend to keep my turmoil bottled up. In my childhood and marriage, showing my feelings only provided ammunition for my “loved ones” to use against me. I’m not much of an initiator when it comes to sex – I much prefer someone else to take the lead. I know that the Hunter has made some compromises when it comes to our sex life. He is too much of a gentleman to give specifics, but he has hinted at this. I know that if it becomes a deal breaker, he will let me know. We have discussed a couple of things that I am addressing on my side.

It’s time for me to really sit and think and be open about my feelings. The Hunter is a good man. He’s smart and perceptive. He has been nothing but loving and supportive as we unpack how our relationship fell off the rails and how we neglected it. We both have areas to improve upon. I’m glad I reached out to my therapist. I need her in my corner as I freak out, recover and move ahead. Today I feel like I’m headed in the right direction. Time will tell.


Words to Live by :: Photo by Ty Williams on Unsplash

Then a Right Hook


Photo by Hermes Rivera on Unsplash

The Hunter broke up with me. Rather he questioned our relationship status, opened the door of breaking up and I stepped through it. Our relationship had not recovered from my coffee with Don Juan. He suspected that I was seeing the guy and his trust evaporated.

Actually the subterfuge that he sensed (and he is a very astute man) is my dissatisfaction with our relationship and my shift to making plans to end the relationship. I went back to my therapist last week to has through things and figure out if I am, in fact, done or if I want to mend things.

Yes, I know that he’s reading this, but I now have no secrets. No secrets of any sort. We have had some long, meaningful discussions of our relationship and how it ran off the rails. There have been quite a few tears shed and they continue to fall from both of us.

I am fragile right now. I feel broken and lost for the most part. Yesterday was hard, today is a bit better, but still tears are below the surface and ready to erupt at any moment.

Here is what I know about the Hunter. He truly loves me. He really does. He accepts me for me. He is profoundly sorry for the pain that he has caused me. He has looked inside and seen how he has contributed to some of the problems in our relationship. He has proven to me that I can talk to him about anything and that I should have been doing this all along. I didn’t open up about the true extent of my work struggles and when I did, it made us both teary. I’m teary just writing all of this.

I don’t know the next step. I do know that big changes will be taking place. Oh and that asshole of a client who was the catalyst for my introspection – he has offered a full apology. He also completely misread the entire situation.

Don Juan Surfaced

I put up a challenge on LinkedIn that I want to connect either in person or by phone/email with every LinkedIn connection I have.  That’s a daunting goal since I have over 1,200 connections.  One of the first people to rise to the challenge was Don Juan who invited me for a coffee.

We met and talked about business the entire time.  I introduced him to a consultant who had done some great workshops for me.  He told me about a new piece of business his firm is developing and it was all work, no fun.  We both made it very clear from the get-go that we now have a friendship.  I told him about the Hunter, he told me about his family.  The past is firmly in the past.

I didn’t tell the Hunter. I did tell him that I was having coffee with a connection.  Was this a lie of omission?  Perhaps, but I knew that I had no interest in Don Juan and I was sure that feeling was mutual because we met for coffee.  No drinks, no dinner — just a 30 minute coffee, so why would I create some drama when there was none to be had?  Or perhaps I’m just lying to myself and I should be willing to withstand any confrontation that could occur.

In any case, in my mind it was just an interesting coffee.  I can check him off my LinkedIn list and continue down the list of 1100+ to go…..

What’s in Store for 2018?

This is the time of year that I spend a lot of time thinking and planning for my business.  I’ve been working with my coach, reading some books, listening to speakers and really trying to figure out the secret sauce of success.  One book that I strongly recommend is Finish- Give Yourself the Gift of Done by Jon Acuff.  He takes the premise that the obstacle to not meeting goals isn’t laziness but perfectionism.  My copy of the book is almost entirely highlighted.  He’s witty and funny writer, so it’s an easy read.  It’s probably the best self-help book I read in 2018.

The Hunter was gone last week hunting and he asked me how we were doing.  I realized that when I am distracted and anxious about work,  it translates to aloof and distant in our relationship.  I need to work on that.  I have moments right now of being happily optimistic about 2018 and completely terrified because once again I am facing an empty bank account in about 3-4 months.  I’ll have to tap into my 401k again and that’s no fun.

My pipeline for 2018 is a small dribble of non-committal clients and one difficult project.  I know what I need to achieve and I am hoping that my roadmap is accurate.  I have an interesting predicament that I have been discussing with my biz coach.  My target audience now includes millennials and young GenXers — that’s fine because I get along well with them.  The problem is the old methods of business development don’t work with them.  That’s part of my secret sauce quandary.  I am slowly figuring out that answer and have some solutions that I’ll be trying in 2018, but the best solutions involve a lot of time and some $$$ and both of those resources are limited for experimentation.  But hey, you have to spend $$ to make $$$.



After inserting my foot very firmly in my mouth and not realizing that the Hunter has been reading along with all of you, it’s time to explain the aftermath.  The Hunter was hurt and angry (rightfully so) for the full-on blindside I delivered.  We have talked about our relationship, sex life and cleared the air on a number of things inside of our relationship.  Those things will stay inside our relationship and we have come out the other side intact, but we both have things that are still be digested individually.

The Hunter feels betrayed and lied to.  He thinks I have been deceptive.  Perhaps I have been, however, I will also say that confrontation has never been a strong point with me.  I need to do a better job of sussing out my feelings and separating the crazy aspect from the legit part. This blog is a part of that process and I think he now realizes that.  I am chalking part of my rant up to my crazy regarding holidays in general.  I’ll write some more about it as I process more.

On my side, I need to think about how I feel knowing, without a doubt, that the Hunter is an avid reader of my blog.  He is gracious, open and understanding about it.  He says I am a complex woman and this is his best way to understand what is ruminating around in my brain.  I respect and admire him for accepting that part of me.  I am difficult to understand and I make no bones about it.  Hell, half the time I have no idea what I truly think about tough issues.

But now how will I write?  Will there now be a bit of an internal censor knowing that one of you Dear Readers shares my life and my bed with me?  Will I go back to my brain dump and continue my ruminations?  Time will tell.  One thought I had was to password-protect sensitive posts or just leave them marked private so they aren’t published, but I don’t know if that’s the answer.  Is concealment a form of deception or just an omission of kindness?

As I have watched Ann St. Vincent go through the hell of being outed, it reminds me that there are many people who aren’t open-minded enough to understand what blogging means to many of us.  For non-writers/bloggers, they don’t understand our compulsion to put our thoughts on paper/screen in the wide open internet.  I do it so I have a snapshot of my brain processes.  The blogging/writing process coupled with reader comments helps me remember context and specific situations, release anxiety and tension and a host of other reasons.  Some of my stories cannot be shared with friends and family in the real world, but I feel the need to tell/share them.  This gives me that needed outlet.

In any event, I am back to writing, the Hunter is back to reading and life goes on.  That’s enough for today.

Dear Hunter

My Love,
Technology can be cruel and I apologize. I had no idea that my blog pops on your tablet whenever a post goes up. You have had a front row seat of my innermost thoughts for many, many months.

As we had discussed at the beginning of our relationship and during this two counseling sessions, my blog is how I process. It’s my inner mental journey, so you have seen my secrets while I have not seen your innermost thoughts.

I know I have caused you hurt and I am deeply sorry. You are a kind, wonderful man who treats me only with respect and kindness. It breaks my heart to see you angry and hurt because of me. I don’t have answers.

Do I ask you to radically comprise to fit what I want? Is that fair? We both agree that we aren’t staying in this house when the lease is up, but what’s next? What about the Kracken? I believe we have an obligation to him. We got him, he stays. I will just have to suck it up.

Now you just left having told me that in your mind we are officially over. I’m heartbroken. You are in so much pain because of me and I am so very sorry. I do love you. You have brought joy to me and I am causing you pain.

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