Tag Archives: Discontent

Tunnel Times and Waiting for a New Season

It is the dark tunnel known as snowbird season in Sarasota. We snobby native transplants hate it. Traffic is tripled and it takes forever to get from point A to B (or to snag a table at your favorite restaurant.)

This is the price we pay for living in paradise, but the light at the end of the tunnel is knowing snowbird season doesn’t last forever.

So, too, with the tunnels of our lives. The dark seasons of our souls are just that – seasons.

Where I get off track (and maybe where you do, too) is when I take the tunnels all too seriously. Instead of distracting myself with a better-feeling thought, I build monuments to the dark ones and envision my future around their bleak paintings.

As if the tunnel times are the end-all story of my life.

When they’re just seasons.

These, too, shall pass.

Oh…but when you’re IN the midst of a tunnel time? Let’s belt out a rousing chorus of “Ain’t No Sunshine…”? Only Bill Withers’ soulful voice perfectly captures the depths of despair. Wailing is apropos.

Milk that darkness for a day or two and it can spin into weeks of not wanting to leave the bed and face the world.

Oh, you do. Because you HAVE to. The lottery tickets haven’t paid off yet and there are people, places, and things requiring our attention.

Have you ever felt like you were walking through quicksand?

Such has been my experience for about a month now. I tried to pin my mood on the new moon, which is supposed to influence the emotions of sensitive people.

But the new moon wasn’t so new anymore. So how to explain this malaise?

And in trying to figure it all out, it seemed I dug a deeper hole.

And then it dawned on me.

This is just a season.

When you’re in the frost of winter in your soul, it can feel like the buds will never sprout again.

Friends, don’t be so hard on yourself. (It never makes matters better.)

Faithful Mark, my loving partner, always wants to make things better. When he sees the dark storm clouds hovering over me, unlike some who would run for cover, he seeks ways to offer light. And I hope the story I am about to tell you sheds light on any darkness you might be feeling.

When I thought I couldn’t even remember how to feel happy again, he said, “Come outside for a minute.”

Still in my bathrobe, with Phyllis Diller hair sticking out and sleep in my eyes, I mustered enough oomph to shuffle out to the lanai.

And there was our avocado plant. Purchased as a housewarming gift nearly a year ago, it always looked healthy, but never offered hope that it would ever bear fruit.

Take a closer look…
It’s a baby avocado!

At first, I didn’t see it. But I looked again, and there was not just one, but a whole family of baby avocado buds.

Just like when the Grinch’s heart melted because of Cindy Lou Who, mine stirred with a lately-unfamiliar feeling.

Hope.

“…and the Grinch found the strength of ten Grinches, plus two!”

Sometimes, it feels like NOTHING is happening. You’ve planted the seeds, watered, fertilized, and weeded them. And nada.

As if it’s Groundhog Day and it’s the same ‘ole same ‘ole and it’ll always be the same ‘ole same ‘ole.

You can feel like all of your effort is for naught. That all of your believing was just a pipe dream. That you should just settle for ordinary since CLEARLY this season of discontent is on an endless loop of auto-replay.

But take heart.

You may not see progress, but something’s getting ready to sprout.

I promise you, it’s getting ready to sprout.

Because there is an end to every season. Even a dark season of the soul.

The treasures you will mine in this fertilizer of darkness will richly serve you when the fruit arrives.

Keep looking for the sprout. It’s coming.

And celebrate the coming change. Because seasons always do.

Here’s our new WOW:

https://youtu.be/4Efzw2cs_Uo

Oooooooh…let’s all go and take a nap!

xoxoxo

Brenda

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The Beauty of Discontent (and the New WOW)

My favorite dry cleaner, Sherry, was discontent.

As I dropped off my latest stain-splattered garment, she was ending a conversation with a guy at the other end of the counter.  Realizing a customer was at hand, he said, “I’ll be on my way.”

She said, “Okay, baby.  I’ll see you later.”

Oooooohhhhh…such intimacy and tenderness in the way she said those words, I couldn’t just mind my own business.

“Who’s he?”

And the not-so-short story began.

Turns out, many years ago, Joe was married to her friend.  She was married as well, and the two couples often did social things together and always got along famously.

Her marriage ended; she moved.

She lost track of Joe.

A decade went by.  A decade of discontent.  She couldn’t stop wondering what happened to that really nice guy, Joe, that used to be her friend.

She Facebook stalked, to no avail.  More years went by, and then, all of a sudden the “People You May Know…” feature on Facebook turned up Joe’s wife.

Who turned out to be his ex-wife.

The rest, as they say, is history.  One re connection with Joe was all it took for them to  rekindle their friendship, which quickly caught fire and became love.

I say this to encourage those of you who have this nagging thought about something, ANYTHING:  Keep pursuing it.

If you can’t stop thinking about it, let that discontent inspire you to take action.

Who knows how YOUR happily ever after might unfold!

Aside from the beauty of DISCONTENT, this week I also pondered what STEALS my sense of contentment.  I think you might have this in common with me:

A little more understanding…and a lot less judgment.  Let’s extend that not only to others, but to ourselves these coming two weeks.

And let yourself nap!

xoxoxoxo
Brenda

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A Fabulous Man: The Contented Markeith Price

My grumbles of discontent were stopped in their tracks this week as I encountered a very contented man who simultaneously maintains a champion’s internal fire to win.

My discontent was simply a product of VERY long days spent on my feet and a week away from my husband and puppy dog. Don’t get me wrong – my week at a work-related trade show was a thrilling success, but my body is used to being comfortably ensconced at my desk for hours on end.

I LOVED the ability to connect with our clients and make new connections (but even the ugliest shoes built for comfort were no match for a hard convention floor.)

Then I met Markeith Price.

Mind you, I had talked to him previously; he is one of the athletes who uses our product. His story is even more compelling because he participates in the Paralympics as a visually impaired track and field athlete, who just happens to own four US records and will be headed to Rio to represent our country in August.

Somehow a few e-mails and phone conversations didn’t convey fully who I was about to encounter.

When I received the call that he had arrived at the registration desk, I trudged the LONG length of the convention floor and up two flights to meet him.

I could tell who he was right away, wearing a US Team track suit and the presence of a champion. After I shook his hand and welcomed him, he said, “Lead the way…” and at that point he whipped out his cane to ensure the walk would be stumble free.

Because he carried himself with such confidence and had such physical beauty, it was almost a disconnect to see him walking with a cane. Or when seated at the autograph table, for him to put his cell phone one inch from his face so he could tweet and invite people to come and see him at Booth #2087.

Markeith at table

I had the chance to interview him later in the day, and he is one grateful guy. (Yes, gratitude is the bridge back to contentment, isn’t it?) Instead of grumbling about the condition that progressively stole his eyesight, he found his passion, his calling, his joy and has never looked back from pursuing his dreams.

I asked him, “How do you do it?”

Simply put, “I hear the gun and I GO.”

Boy does he go.  He flies!  It’s a ballet of speed and grace; a thing of beauty to watch.

He has made peace with the physical challenge he must live with but never has let it stop him from running toward his dreams.

I see a gold medal in Rio in his future.  He sees it too, though not with his eyes.

Markeith in color and ring

And I?  Found the spring in my step again, thanks to Markeith.

Here are my parting thoughts on CONTENTMENT and the unveiling of another word that embodies Markeith…

May we find our second wind this week and draw from the well of resources that are unseen (just like those extra miles available even when your tank is on E.)

Take the time to refresh your body so that it can catch up to the infinite wellspring contained in your spirit.

Have a beautiful week, everyone –

xoxoxoxo

Brenda

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