This is my dog, Emma Jane. She doesn't have an ounce of stress in her body. Yesterday I was doing yoga and she uncoiled herself from an armchair to trot over and inspect my form. She then stretched next to me in a perfect downward facing dog. Show-off. She makes everything look easy.
When I reflect on 2016, easy is the last word I would use to describe it. Personally and professionally, the hits just kept on coming. So many things were beyond my control that I felt nearly paralyzed, and I recognize I'm far from alone in saying that. I knew I needed to do something, because stasis is not a normal place for me. I'm always looking for a way to move forward, even if it means pushing beyond my comfort zone. But I was exhausted. Over 12 months, life had pushed me beyond comfort into a scary place where I questioned much of my own strength. I even lost it for a time.
(spoiler alert: I got it back)
In a recent post reflecting on 2016, Elizabeth Gilbert said:
We are still in the ring. We still have choices. We still have power.
And that's incredible.
I find much comfort in that. It tells me that despite what may be happening in all the noise outside our control, we can still have impact. While I may only have one voice, I can make the choice to use it. So I'm going to start small.
Because the stakes are high.
Stakes is a term you hear often in writing and theatre. Essentially it refers to what is at stake for a character at any given time. "Raising the stakes" means cranking up what the character may have to gain or lose, which naturally creates tension and/or conflict. It's a useful device for building character and motivation. I say this because I realize I'm choosing to start writing a blog when the stakes are already very high for us as humans. Without getting political, whoever you are, there is something at stake for you in the current climate. I have no doubt this will continue to create conflict.
I firmly believe that amidst this conflict, people that choose to put good back into the world will be needed. While I am a natural cynic, I believe in the inherent good of humanity. I have seen and known far too many good people to give up now.
What this means for this blog remains unknown. I read books, so you may hear about those. I work as a business leader, so I could talk about that. I also take photos and drift around a number of random creative activities. What I can and will commit to is to do my best to contribute regularly, honestly and even inject some humor into the daily hum.
Welcome to the adventure!