At the tail end of 2014, I gave myself the gift of the word "perspective" for 2015. I needed to live in the knowledge that my reality at the time was a small part of a big picture, my personal world of uncertainty and unemployment was not forever.
I kept that word close to me for 12 months and looking back, I see that I did learn something:
I learned something important about isolating myself.
I am your classic "Type A" personality. Extroverted and drawn to large groups and big experiences. I like to be in charge of those big experiences. I have been called bossy in the past, but I prefer "well-organized leadership".
In 2015 my world became very small. Instead of rubbing shoulders with a few hundred people each week, I interacted with a few dozen. I do see value in pulling back and regrouping for a season, although for me it's not something I could do long-term. There was good that came out of the isolation, but I noticed a trend in my behavior which I didn't like.
The smaller my world became, the more easily offended I was.
I remember growing up as a pastor's kid and going with my dad to visit the elderly and shut-in. The steady stream of complaints coming from some of their mouths surprised me. It was like nothing could be good enough. The world was against them. I didn't understand.
I understand now.
The smaller my world became, the more time I had to focus on the perceived "injustices" the world had thrown at me. I liked people less. I became paranoid. My spirit looked uglier.
If for no other reason, that is why I need to re-enter the land of the living. I don't like the person I become when my time is primarily spent navel-gazing.
Perspective shows me that this season of my life is part of a bigger picture, but my activities and energy are part of a BIGGER bigger picture.
I want to learn to constructively respond when I need to.
Sometimes a nose is just a nose and there is nothing you can do about it. There is nothing you need to do about it. Other times, I need to open my mouth and not just stew with offense.
I have no desire to be a woman who rhymes with ditch, nor do I want to spend hours of negative energy replaying scenarios in my mind.
What I want is not to be taken advantage of.
A large organization appointed me to a position in April. The interview process was long and I poured a lot of time and heart and soul into it. A week after my public introduction, I was told the organization had changed their mind, no other explanation.
Good bye Beckie.
I felt that my reputation and credibility was damaged. What did I do about it? Nothing.
Perspective tells me to love myself well, I need to speak up. Constructively. Not with malice. But with respect for myself and my journey.
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One more thing - this is something my oldest daughter mentioned at her baptism in June:
Just because it's different, that doesn't mean it can't be good.
I fear change at the best of times, I like my safety and security. It's totally a losing battle. My life is chock full of new. New marriage. New step-son. New career. New house. New financial challenges. New choices. The list goes on and on.
Hope and perspective tell me to look for the good in the different. Look for the good in the change.
My gift to myself for 2016? Balance.
I want to balance my personal needs with my families needs with my career needs with my villages needs.....something I've never been good at. Yikes.
It's going to be a bumpy ride.