This morning I met with a dear friend and colleague of mine, Dr. Robert Zeitlin, via Zoom for an informal interview for something he is working on. (Don’t worry, I will be sure to share with you once it is complete!) A few things stuck out to me about our conversation, and I would like to tell you about them individually, so here goes…
The first thing that stuck out to me is… The Quality of Conversation Matters.
I have a few friends and colleagues that are SO FUN to have conversations with for various reasons. Robert for example is empathetic, yet really deep. He makes me think and I feel comfortable talking things through with him. We get into such deep conversation we can lose track of time. We look at world problems, talk about parenthood and raising kids, grief, resilience, superpowers and MORE. For the rest of the day I am usually deep in thought about at least one of the topics we discussed.
On the other hand, I have friends who allow me to be silly and laugh. My friend April and I think we should have our own show. We laugh constantly. we make sarcastic remarks about life and how we feel, we talk about shows, our kids, our husbands… anything! Our conversations are relaxed full of profanity and snorting laughs till our sides hurt.
The I have friends who are BOTH (not that Robert or April are not in the BOTH category!) Friends who can sit in silence and speak volumes, friends who I can have a deep conversation over text and feel like they are in the room, friends who ask how I am and really want to know. I find at this stage in life quality conversation fuels me… it fills me up, makes me think, allows me to be heard. I hope I am able to do the same for the people on the other end of the conversation!
The second thing that stuck out is… I am a Work In Progress
If you have been following me here or on social media, you know this has been a shitty year. I’m not even sure shitty is “enough”, but we’ll go with that! I have felt like SO MUCH has changed in 12 short months, it has left my head spinning and my heart-broken. I have questioned my abilities, my goals, what brings me joy… everything. The quote i I am reminded of is, “The only thing that is constant, is CHANGE”.
As part of the preparation for talking with Robert today, He suggested I take a Character Survey to see if anything stuck out for me. We were originally supposed to chat in early May, so I took the survey on April 16th. Things ended up getting postponed because, you know, LIFE… we rescheduled for today. SO June 22nd I retook the survey. I forgot I took the survey in April until AFTER the chat with Robert. What was so cool is… from April 16th to June 22nd my result slightly changed! I am a WORK IN PROGRESS. You see, my mom passed away on May 8th. It has been one of the most difficult things to go through in my entire life. Although she had been ill for a while, you are never ready. In this time I have learned grieving is a process, and that there is no “wrong” way to do it. Her death changed me at the core. I didn’t really know it at first, but these last 2 months I really feel that is true. A few weeks after she passed, I had a complete identity crisis. I didn’t know my purpose, who I was, what brought me joy… anything! I felt lost!!
But today in my conversation with Robert, we talked about the Character survey (I’ll put the link at the bottom if you are interested in taking it!) and I realized I haven’t completely changed… I shifted. I continued to be a work in progress. the GREAT news is… we are ALWAYS a work in progress. Remember that quote earlier… the only constant is change! SO, we can change whenever we choose! We can shift our focus, take a break, speed up, slow down… whatever we need in that moment.
Check out my top 9 Character Qualities from my 2 surveys (there are 24 total)…
April 16, 2018 Results (1 to 9 Only)
June 22, 2018 Results (1 to 9 Only)
What I LOVE about this is… 7 of the 9 are the same in the top 9… but because of what I had been through in the 2 months and how I am choosing to handle myself in the days between taking the surveys changed a little. Bravery and Creativity moved into the top 9. I find that VERY aligned with my writing and methodology lately. Even my last blog post talked about creativity, writing, baking etc! But what I love most of all is… Humor went to number 1! Watch any of my videos or hang out with me for even a few minutes and you will see humor. I love to incorporate humor in EVERYTHING I do. It helps me cope, it helps me heal, it helps bring me to life!
But what I also am reminded of… even though I FEEL completely different… many of the main components are still the same… just in a different order. This reminds me of the DISC assessment. I have taught many times that people can have different High behavior styles in different situations in the SAME DAY! That doesn’t mean the other styles vanish. When we understand our characters and behaviors, we understand ourselves better. When we understand ourselves better, we can do better. We can find joy! We can find Peace! We can find Love! We can improve our relationships. We can understand others. We can offer grace. We can have GREAT conversations! But most of all we don’t have to stay where we are if we aren’t happy there… We are a WORK IN PROGRESS! I can’t wait to see what come next, can you?
Oh and if you are curious about your character survey results take the free survey here!