Garlic and other things that eke out of you!

At a recent job interview I was asked to share the three most important things in my life and why. The interviewer pre-empted the conversation by clarifying there were no wrong answers. It was a means of getting to know me and what matters to me.

My responses came quickly to mind. The first two made sense immediately but the third was an interesting self-revelation.

The why for each took more time to consider as life experiences, changing contexts and time have both shaped and deepened my understanding of what is important to me.

Curiosity aroused. I genuinely want to hear how others answer this question. What is most important? Why?

And take the next personal growth step: What would those who know me well, say is most important to me?

That’s a ‘mirror’ question, a vulnerable moment of checking whether what I say, and how I live, are congruent.  Do I really live out of what I say is important to me, or does my everyday life, decisions and activities show something very different?

It’s like when you are on a peak hour crowded train squished next to a person who has recently consumed a garlic infused meal. It’s eking out of them if you know what I mean.  What’s really important to us is obvious to everyone around us even though we may well be oblivious.

“The things that matter stay with you, seep into your skin”
― Christina Baker Kline, Orphan Train

Over the next few weeks of blogging, I’ll unpack what is important to me and why. I won’t mention them now, as I do not want to distract from the impact of the question on you.

Your response is the one that matters and as the interviewer at my job interview said, there are no wrong answers.

I look forward to hearing your responses, to hear if you have gone the next step and asked the ‘mirror’ question too.

“I made a promise never to let myself be deceived again. I would live for the important things in life.”
― Ivy Oakes, The Story of How We Met

2020 ‘Annus Horribilus’ or……?

2020 has been a ………. year! Fill in the blank but check out the questions below to help give perspective.

Moving forward into 2021 will involve an honest look at 2020. Before we hastily dub 2020 as ‘annus horribilus’ which for many, it truly was just that, we need to take time to reflect, ask questions and find a realistic perspective on the year that will certainly be remembered worldwide for all sorts of reasons. Between catastrophic summer fires, famines, floods, explosions planned and unplanned and a worldwide pandemic thrown in for good measure, there have also been many families affected by the more ‘normal’ slings and arrows of life too.

Yet, in speaking to a good friend today she reflected on the safe arrival of two new grandchildren, the welcome return of friends to their home, quality time with family via all means possible both online and face to face when allowed.

Another friend mentioned the joy of having time, (as an introvert), alone, with quieter routines and less hustle and bustle in the days. The change of pace was a welcome reprieve to life’s demands and pace.

So I ask the following questions to help find a more balanced perspective on 2020. Reflection at this time of year is even more significant and helpful given the relentless negative and hyper intrusive media flooding our daily lives with the conjecture and statistics to drown us in fear.

Take some time today or over this festive weekend to consider these questions:

What did I learn this year? About me? About life?

What did I accomplish this year?

What challenges did I overcome this year?

What significant events occured for me this year?

What has changed for me in this year?

What burdens/habits have I let go of this year?

What am I grateful for this year?

Would love to hear your responses to these questions.