Thursday, June 16, 2011

Email Keeps Me Close

Remember when we'd wait for the "phone call"?

You know the one -

Am I getting an interview?

Is he going to ask me out?

Did I land the account?

OMG - we went out - must. catch. up. girlfriend.

In my life that phone call has given way to the EMAIL.
Instead of the marathon phone call or even the quick chat to clarify - email has replaced this exchange in my life.

And I'm cool with that.

As a busy working mom and wife approaching 4-0 - I long to reach out and connect with friends that I used to have time to talk to regularly. And while there are times I intentionally make the marathon call and sacrifice sleep - I am so grateful for email as tool to say connected.

As an entrepreneur and veteran corporate marketer with close to 20 years experience and contacts - email has been the glue to keep me close to former colleagues and potential clients. How great is it that email enables me to follow-up in a meaningful way with a personal touch SUPER FAST. Earlier this year - I did some outreach to my network via email and made my first consulting engagement sale. Did it in my spare time on a day off from my day job.

The power of email is endless. And while texting has creeped it's way into my toolbox - nothing beats a late night email to update folks on all my happenings.

Nor the response that I get back, that enables me to stop what I am doing and virtually engage with my loved one.

I sent my dad a greeting card for Father's Day this weekend. But I think I'm going to send him an email, too.

My 74 year old - old fashioned - I'm not buying a microwave until 2000 - just got a DVD player because my VHS works fine - kind of dad LOVES email.

Late start appreciated.

Thank you to Yahoo! Mail for sponsoring this post about staying connected. I was selected for this sponsorship by the Clever Girls Collective, which endorses Blog With Integrity, as I do.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Why We Must Join Billy Joel Go To Extremes

Triumphant. Victorious. High.

Devastated. Crushed. Low.

The plight of the super high energy person - Extremes.

After a particularly extreme week, I finally collapsed in exhaustion late last night. Unable to move, I slept for 5.5 hours straight and woke up like clockwork at my early morning quiet time.

But it was quite different today. I have finally accepted a deep loss. I mourned it. Prayed about it. Laughed about my obsessive compulsive behavior related to it over mango shakes with two wise women. And now I'm better.

I wish I could say something magical on how to deal and cope better with the extremes that we high energy folks go through but alas there is nothing. Really.

The best way to "deal" is to go there.

Go to your mountaintops - experience the joy. The victory of accomplishing something awesome. Savor it. Share it with those you love. Love it.

And at the same time I encourage you to embrace your pain. Wallow in your loss. Weep. Scream. Feel it. Share it with those who can handle you down. Love it.

Because the next day is a brand new slate. You owe it to yourself and your relationship with others to experience your extremes and then move on

This Billy Joel song was ringing in my head when I woke up. It helped.

Friday, June 3, 2011

Seasons of Relationships

With the arrival of June this week, it appears that Spring has finally come to Chicagoland. Growing up here, you are fully accustomed to a curtailed Spring or no Spring at all with Summer bearing down on you right away.

Either way - it got me thinking about seasons. Winter. Spring. Summer. Fall.

Just as the weather moves thru its course every year - so do our relationships. Some of the activity is in our control but most of it not. Any long term relationships are certain to have their seasons as they endure. When I look at it closely - here's how I see it.

Relationship seasons all begin with a Spring. You know it - the newness, blooming, flowering time when we are patient as the relationship grows and matures. It's discovery time and every moment is cherished and longed for. Everyone experiences Spring in relationships.

Summer is touch and go for relationships. Because like the weather,  some Summers are pleasant, relaxing and slightly off strict routine while other Summers are arduous and dry. Summer seasons in relationships really are the first test if they are like the latter description.  If they are pleasant and relaxing - no issue but if it is draught and scarce -not all relationships make it out of the summer mode.

Fall is transitional in both the weather sense and relationships. Its during this time that we return back to our  pre-Summer phase and start to build routines again.  Fall is also about preparing for harvest - some of the seeds planted early in our relationship have come full circle by now. We notice the subtle changes in our relationships and either accept them or reject them. Fall seasons are a good indicator for the long term prospects for our relationships.

Winter. Regardless of where you live - you look forward to winter's passing. The same holds true with winter time in relationships. These are the tough patches. Sometimes they are intense and have outside elements influencing how we see this season. Other times they are just void of growth and very stagnant. This is the season where most relationships die.

This reflection has caused me to revise my thoughts on my own relationships. Simply put.

Winter is not welcome in my relationships. At no time is it ok NOT to grow with people I do life with. It is never ok to "hunker down and just exist until the next season" as we often do during Chicago winters.

My relationship "tough patches" will be relegated to dry and arduous summers that may visit me. I will work through them and not linger long. I will work tirelessly and intentionally to skip "winter" in all the relationships in my life.

What about you?

What season best characterizes your relationships?

Do you allow winters? Why or why not?