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Archive for the ‘leadership’ Category

Decisions reflect how we see ourselves.  The decisions we make tell volumes about us.  I bought a horse six years ago that turned out not to be a good match for me temperament wise.  I worked with her, hired trainers, read books, asked people’s advice, etc., etc.  I was told she would settle down when she got older, that she just needed more ground work and other well intentioned advice.  I thought about selling her and moving on time after time but always seemed to find a way to talk myself out of it (by trusting someone else’s advice).  All the time I really didn’t enjoy her much of the time and never took her anywhere to do anything.

Finally, a few months ago (with my husband’s no nonsense counsel) I declared that I was done with trying.  I was going to look for a calm, smart, willing horse.   After scanning hundreds of email ads, talking with people and visiting some horses, I found Flynn last week.  I had thoroughly checked out his breeding and history and when I met him I had a great gut feel about him.   I was still anxious about my judgment though, after all, I had made the decision to get the mare.  I called my husband and blathered on excitedly cautious about this and that and his good points and his liabilities and he said with characteristic simplicity, “Just buy him.”  I will always remember how he cut through my jumble of fear and excitement with that simple statement.  I whooped and hollered and bought him.

Now that I’ve had Flynn for a week, I can’t believe I put up with the mare for six years.  At only 4 years old, he is calm, tractable and all around a pleasure to be with and learn with.   Why did it take me so long?  To use an acronym a client once shared with me, it’s an AFGO (Another F____  Growth Opportunity).   It made me aware of how we sometimes make decisions and tolerate things for not very good reasons.  Pay attention to your decisions, what you tolerate and what it says about you.

Flynn, my new love

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I first learned of the “Total Compensation” phrase years ago when I worked in the corporate world.  We used it to describe the various ways an employee was compensated in addition to their salary.  We were attempting to show employees that all the other stuff:  vacations, health benefits, insurance, training were all part of compensation.

A few days ago I heard a radio guest (never got her name) say that when she focused on being grateful and all her blessings she felt happy and when she focused on the lack in her life compared to others she felt down.  I have experienced the same thing, I don’t think it’s uncommon.  I began to connect this idea with the Total Compensation idea.  When I view my life in it’s entirety and notice all the blessings instead of picking apart one area or another that I may be dissatisfied with, I feel more at peace.

I also have occasional fantasies of just having one or two main focuses in my life instead of the several I have.  I imagine being just a mom or just an executive coach or just a horseback rider  or just a fiber artist, etc.  Wouldn’t life be grand with a singular focus!  While this would be fun for awhile, I then remind myself of who I am and how easily I can get bored or obsessed with one thing.  It’s all these different things, I tell myself,  the total package – that makes life dynamic and challenging.

So when I contemplate the “Total Compensation” in my life I am filled with gratitude and happiness.  I’ll take those feelings over envy and self-pity any day!

Speaking of blessings, I asked my 9 year old son if he could make dinner so I’d have time to ride after work and this is what I walked in the kitchen to find; lot’s of veggies and lots of dishes!

A joyous moment, my son making us dinner!

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For many years my husband and I have worked towards our dream:  living in the country with animals, educating our children at home, growing some of our food, and working in our own business that somehow makes the world a better place.  It’s not for everyone but it works for us.  In all these aspects of this dream we now live,  I discover life lessons, humor and inspiration, sometimes seeing threads that connect them in startling ways.  I hope to share these reflections in this blog, encouraging others to create the life they dream of.  Depending on the season, we also create and learn a variety of things living here, working with fibers is a passion of mine that I look forward to sharing as well.  I took the photo in the header of our farm this morning.

Our 100 pound dog that we finally trained to not kill the chickens, more on that in another post

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