New Year’s Day 2023. My 61st birthday. A quiet morning reflecting on a tumultuous and now bygone year. Also, a year of abundant joy, good company growth with the creation and development of new offerings, and the beauty of deepening family relationships as we continue to create a village of support for our grandchildren.
Tumultuousness in The World and the Emotions This Evokes
Tumultuous largely because of world events that disturb and anger me that I am helpless to influence. I have a hard time grappling with how one deranged man can be responsible for so much destruction of life, infrastructure and peace. I imagine Ukrainian families waking up a year ago… life was normal. Their courage, bravery, persistence and passion for their homeland is an inspiration even as it brings out sorrow for hardships they should not have had to endure.
The state of political divisiveness in the world is another thing that disturbs me. I am exhausted by the lies, by people believing and acting on the lies, by the loss of moral compass for too many in political leadership and by the name calling. Name calling! Like children on the playground, except worse. Is it even possible that these public figures could return to a state of diplomacy and decency?
The repression of women’s rights – not just in faraway countries like Iran and Afghanistan but close by in the US as well – is another thing that enrages me. It makes me understand how fragile our rights are while fuming about how this happens. I see the courage of women who are standing up and taking incredible risks, putting their lives on the line, and I fear for them.
It’s Been Hard to Write About Life
I haven’t written much on this blog, mostly because there is so much I don’t know how to make sense of and in reviewing them now there is a lot of emotional angst expressed. (And also because we have been very focused on creating content for Worldview Intelligence and our clients.) There is a comic Jerry and I use in our work as an illustration of cognitive dissonance: my desire to be informed is at odds with my desire to remain sane. It completely describes how I feel about world news these days. I scan it because I want to know and scanning is usually as much as I can take. And I realize how privileged that makes me.
Focusing On What is in Your Circle of Influence is Not Trivial
The antidote, as always, is to focus where you have influence and on what brings you joy, contentment and peace. It can seem trivial when there is so much heaviness in the world. But if I can’t actually change what is happening in Ukraine, in politics or in so many of the systems that seem to be crashing – like health care – my sitting home, worrying about it, becoming depressed by it or sinking into despair is not going to change anything about those things, but it does impact me, my health, how I live and how I engage with those I interact with regularly. So, it’s not trivial. It is life giving, life affirming and essential.
Welcome the Children and Fresh Eyes
We welcomed a new grandchild into our family in February, making three grandbabies for me, in addition to Jerry’s four. I am blessed to have an active participation in their lives. I love having visits with any and all of them, with and without their parents. They call me into presence, joy and remembering how to see the world through new eyes. The relationships with my adult children are different in the best of ways as they have become parents. All of the grandparents have relationship and presence with the grandchildren, providing support for their parents but also providing the little ones with unique relationships with the adults in their lives. All of our lives are richer for it.
The Beauty of a Deepening Relationship and Learned Wisdom
Jerry and I often express appreciation and gratitude for how our relationship has evolved and deepened over the years, how we have each grown in being with each other. It is an unconventional relationship in some ways because we live in two different countries and we are also business partners. But it works for us. That is partly due to confidence and faith in our relationship. We have similar goals, which include each of us living close to our kids and our grandkids. We travel well together.
It is also due to the fact we have figured out how to let the stuff go that doesn’t matter. When we do have arguments, we have become wiser in disengaging with them before they get out of hand and we don’t pick up arguments that might have been unfinished because we recognize how little value there is in fueling them. We also know when to stop talking about politics or the differences between our two countries.
We focus on what works, what we appreciate about each other and the greater number of things that go well in our lives, relationship and our work.
While I wish for world peace, my contribution has to be through my peace, and that is not a trivial thing.