It is Sunday morning here in Nice, the end of a week. We begin our journey home on Tuesday and arrive Wednesday evening, California time.
I have been so overwhelmed by an incredible variety of emotions. Jim Kelley always talked about different kinds of emotions. In has words, real and fake. Two simple examples – sadness would be very real and anger would be quite fake. He taught me that something, almost always internal, contributed to that anger. And understanding all of this was a key to a healthy emotional life. While I struggle with his word choices, I agree completely with his conclusions and struggle to find better words.
Failure is something that I have really struggled with emotionally over my life. Yet, I have grown to so fully appreciate of the personal benefits I have gained. It has just been mostly after the fact.
I learned during my last epic struggle (2008) to not go inward, but to do everything I can to go outward with my struggles. To fully engage with friends in a real and meaningful way. To not find the solution myself and then share the results, but to engage them while in the struggles. As you can imagine, this is incredibly hard not only for me but for them as well, as most people are fixers. And being in a situation like this one can feel incredibly helpless. However, one thing the previous dwellings taught is that there is incredible power in community. In friendship.
It is 100% my choice how I view these 55 days in Europe. I can choose to be angry and filled with regret. Or I can choose to see the so many wonderful aspects. That wonderful English garden in Canterbury that will change the way I live into the future. The views out of the glorious windows in Paris and Nice that provided the backdrop for my mind to imagine. Wonderful drives to Chartwell and RSG for incredibly different yet meaningful experiences. The ruggedness of Scotland and a deeper appreciation of Scots. David! Blair’s wonderful life moment of celebrating her 30th in Paris. I choose all of that wonderful stuff.
We’ll be home soon. And I have the choice of what to do going forward. Real change has always come hard for me. I believe it comes hard for most. I have a stinking suspicion, just like with my cancer diagnosis, change did and will come. Never, ever to the extent we promise ourselves, but yes, real change. And here is the deal, I would benefit greatly by your help. Frankly, the change won’t be as complete or as fulfilling without it. So, I invite each of you into our home to share community. For some it will be the evolution into something bigger, and I am sure more wonderful. For others, it may simply be less casualness, and more realness, between us. Come by for a visit. It doesn’t have to be announced. I’ve learned over the years (thank you Mike Quillin) that those are often the best kind. And you’ll know if it is a difficult time that will require a shorter stay than we all would hope for.