I typically post less frequently during the Summer, but this year I really, really needed to recharge. After the deaths of Rich Wright, my father-in-law, and Roanak Desai, a student of mine, I was emotionally and physically depleted.
And while Amy and I got a much-needed break on a trip to Point Reyes in June, 2010 wasn't finished with us yet. Amy had a second shoulder surgery in July and her recovery has been anything but healing. She's back at work, but is fighting chronic pain and fatigue. (Melanie Thernstrom's The Pain Chronicles has been immensely helpful.)
The past few months have been difficult on a number of levels, and I just didn't have the energy to write. But as my colleague Andrea Corney would say, times like this are an AFOG: Another Fucking Opportunity for Growth. And in an unusual twist for me, I've grown by just letting myself recharge.
I've been very physically active, while allowing myself to take days off without guilt. I've eaten a lot of really good food--including a heart-stopping number of Marin Sun Farms steaks and regular visits to The Moss Room. I spent over a week with my parents, brothers and sisters-in-law back East doing little more than eating great meals together and then exercising the next day in order to keep up with my caloric intake. Amy and I returned to Point Reyes and fulfilled a year-long wish by staying in Hi House, a breathtaking glass-walled modernist box on stilts in the middle of a pine meadow. I put aside my professional reading and took up a new novel--Joseph O'Neill's Netherland--for the first time in ages.
But while all that play was essential to the recharging process, I've also been involved in some deeply rewarding work. I held a seminar for nonprofit leaders in Los Angeles on "Happiness, Excellence and Boundaries," and co-facilitated a group with Carole Robin in Stanford's Interpersonal Dynamics for High-Performing Executives program. And I worked more closely than ever with my beloved coach Mary Ann Huckabay and (unsurprisingly) found myself doing my best work as a coach with some amazing clients, who I feel incredibly privileged to be associated with.
Most importantly, Amy and I just spent a lot of time together, coming to terms with everything we've had to deal with this year, learning when we needed to be still and when we needed to push forward. AFOG.
I've learned not to say, "I'm ready," because, really, I might not be. Who knows what the hell we'll face tomorrow? But I am eager--and, finally, recharged.
"Eveready" logo courtesy of The People's Logo Page.