Tuesday, January 27, 2009

T-Minus Three Months: The Ever Elusive Cohesive Whole

I have to admit that I’ve completely lost interest in my blog over the last three months, which should be fairly obvious since I’ve posted zip. My last post talked about “creating a cohesive whole” between my newfound personal and professional lives. I’ve often felt like a split personality in my approach to these two sides, and I will continue to work on this as I enter my 40’s.

Still, now that I’m less than three months from turning 40, I feel the need to close out the “project,” of my 39th year, and be ready to evolve into the focus for my new decade.

I’ve never been great at finishing things. I inevitably get bored about halfway through and want to move onto something else. As a child, this constantly frustrated my mother as I skipped from stamp collecting to movie star photo collecting to bug collecting to piano to clarinet to tap to jazz to girl scouts to 4H to voice lessons to creative writing to photography…and on and on...

About 9 months ago, I wrote my first blog, which contained a list of things I wanted to accomplish before I turned 40. Here is that list:
  • Finish the novel I've been working on for 8 years

  • Get in amazing physical shape before all my body parts start to head south

  • Figure out my next big career milestone or...

  • Decide to quit my job altogether and see where that leads

  • Have more and better sex...ahem...

As I barrel around the calendar on the last few laps of my 30’s, some of these things I’ve accomplished very successfully, some have taken on completely different iterations, and others (ahem, my novel) are still sitting out there waiting for my attention span to come back around to them. I’m not going to articulate the specifics, mainly because it just doesn’t matter. The important thing is what I’ve learned along the way, so I’ll direct the focus there.

Over the next few days, I’ll take my learnings one by one and post them here. Starting with this one:

Ask for what you want. You might get it. In my personal life, I’ve spent a lot of angst and turmoil over the years HOPING that I’d get what I wanted or needed in my relationships. I would never verbalize my wants or needs. This seemed terrifying. And funnily enough, I never seemed to make progress towards a healthy, fulfilling relationship. Instead I stayed too long in the wrong relationships HOPING things would change. I also attracted partners who were commitment- or communications-challenged. Hmmm.

I would NEVER do this in my work life. I always ask for what I want in my career whether its money, responsibility, title, etc. Still, this prospect seemed daunting with regard to personal relationships.

I could write volumes on how and why this changed for me during my 39th year. I won’t. Suffice to say it was hard work, but there was no magical formula. I just changed my way of thinking and stopped being afraid of what would happen if I asked for what I wanted or needed.

I’ve been amazed at the positive response.

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