Processing out loud ...

Since it is early in January and I am excited about getting off on a good foot in the new year, I was hoping I would have a terrific thought to write about this week. Unfortunately, I don't.  I am not ready to share another leadership story this week; that has to wait because I said I would not share a story every week. The last 24 hours has been full of strange, unplanned, inconvenient things that have interrupted my typical preparation for writing the weekly blog.  One would think I could string these things together into some meaningful message for you, but I'm just not sure about that. Perhaps I will just process these events out loud and see what comes of it ... for me ... for you.

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Last night - We have two lovely Siberian Huskies, Skye and C'yana. If you know anything about huskies, you know that they are not good off leash. That's putting it mildly. When you buy a husky, you know that you will never have your dog off leash outside of your house. Imagine my panic last night about 10 p.m. as I took the "girls" out to potty and all of a sudden I realized that Skye was out in the yard much further than the 15 foot leash would allow her to go. That was because she was not actually on a leash. I had gone through the motions of putting the leash on her, but failed to get it over her head so when I opened the door and let her out, she was free to run. She discovered that she was untethered about the same time I did.  As I called her name to come in,  she first looked at me and then at the moon and then at the squirrel running across the back of the yard and then ... she took off running. It was a beautiful sight! What is prettier than a white and black husky bounding through fresh fallen snow?  I'll tell you what's prettier - that same thing happening with the dog being on a leash so that she couldn't follow the squirrel wherever the squirrel decided to run.   So, there we are - me in  my pjs and slippers on the back deck and Skye running through the still winter night. Unlike the me of 10 years ago, I didn't panic or scream or react badly. I took our other dog in the house and calmly said to my husband, "Skye is out in the backyard or someone's backyard without a leash on." He said, "Intentionally?"  At the time, I thought that was a really stupid question, but I simply responded "No, I messed up. Please help me bring her home." Without going into the details of the rescue, suffice it to say, that she came home due to his help and it all had a happy ending.

Tonight - Part of my new year's resolution is to get rid of junk/crap/stuff around our house that is not useful or that I don't want. This includes the contents of our freezer. As I was fixing dinner,  I started throwing stuff away that looked as if I would never pull it out of the freezer and use it. One of these items was a freezer container of beef noodle soup. I methodically chopped it up in chunks and fed it to my garbage disposal with lots of water. I was feeling really great about my freezer that now contained only items that were usable. Before I could relish the feeling of a clean freezer, my husband told me that the downstairs shower appeared to be full of water and beef noodle soup. It wasn't quite running out onto the bathroom floor, but it was close and the smell was nasty. Once again, it's about 10:00 at night and I have another unexpected event on my hands. Our attempts at home remedy plumbing did not work, so I sent an urgent plea for help to a plumber and blocked off the downstairs bathroom to the public (or us).

In between LAST NIGHT and TONIGHT, I have had several interactions via email or phone calls that were completely unexpected, and completely wonderful. I also have a to-do list that has not gotten much attention. The funny thing is that I am not upset. I'm okay that I haven't made much progress on the list I created on Sunday night for my week. I'm okay that I have spent time doing things or talking to people that were not on my radar at all on Sunday night.  I am also interested in the fact that I nearly had my dog run away on the night of a snowstorm, and a shower filled with disposed beef noodle soup and neither incident really bothered me or put me over the edge. What do I make of all that?

At this point, you may be reading this thinking "what point is she going to make exactly?"  I think the point I want to make is that I have actually learned some pretty great things as I have aged and matured.

1) It doesn't do anyone any good to panic

2) Blaming someone else for something I did is unkind and unnecessary - OWN my stuff

3) Planning is good to do - if nothing else, it gives me something to divert from

4) Sometimes things happen that can't be planned for - paying attention to those things is likely more important than the plan

5) Life is more meaningful if I pause to look at my days rather than just living my days - there are things to be learned in every day if I take time to look

Thanks for listening (or reading, unless you read this aloud and felt as if you were listening to me telling you the story). I hope your week has a few unexpected, unplanned things that you grab onto and learn from. Being open to the unplanned in life is a challenge for many of us; we like order and being prepared and crossing things off of lists. Maybe this week is less about the lists and more about what is presenting itself to you in any given moment.  Enjoy!