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I have to laugh a little at myself because it seems whenever I try to do a ‘mini series’ of themed posts in here I lose my weekly blogging pace.  Exhibit A:  my review of the Four Agreements book last year.  Normally this glorious Sunday blogging ritual is something I look forward to…waking up with a smile after sleeping in a bit.  Sitting down at the keyboard either totally ready and knowing what I’m going to blog about…or with zero idea and just seeing what happens when I type.  I love both scenarios actually!  There’s no need for a safety net in here.  Last weekend was recovery from mental exhaustion, and I just needed to truly chill and not do much of anything except get in the gym and enjoy some downtime and cooking. 

So, it’s good to be back here after an unexpected vacay.  It’s a steely-grey, damp Sunday morning.  Silence save for a few occasional cars out on the main road.  Funny how I can tell what the weather is like before I even look out my window every morning.  The cars sound totally different on wet asphalt vs dry.

Back in mid November I started this 4-part “come meet my soul” mini series.  Joy.  Passion.  Kindness.  Today’s theme is PEACE.

How wonderfully fitting that this peace post falls right smack in the holiday season.  It’s what we all wish for and pray for.  Sometimes it’s a hard struggle out there to imagine a world with peace.  This horrific school shooting in Connecticut late last week makes me want to cry and throw up all at the same time.  I teared up when I saw my cousin’s Facebook post that “….more parents have lost their children today.”  Those words were a kick in the stomach.  My cousin and her husband lost their son in a drowning accident in 2004.  On Father’s Day of all days.  He would have turned 10 this year.  And I saw a list of the shooting victims and their birth dates.  Children born in 2006 (2006) lost their lives.  I just don’t have any words for this.

I don’t know if we’ll ever get to a state of world peace.  But I think however we get there it’s a personal responsibility…it starts with each of us as individuals.  Every day.  What choices do we make from what life puts before us each day?  Do we go through the motions unconsciously, or perhaps with a state of anger?  Or of calm?  Of happiness?  With a hunger to change things for the better?  And how?

I’m told I have a calm, grounded presence in times of stress…and to me that is peace personified.  Honestly I am much better at ‘holding’ that stance at work rather than outside of work.  But again, I’m human.  Sometimes I get jittery and rattled when my confidence is challenged.  I think we all do though.  I’m trying to continue to practice breathing through problems…and asking for help and support when I need it. Being vulnerable when I need to be – and it’s OK.  This is far easier to do when I’m feeling – well – at peace.  Rested, fed, getting enough exercise…all the basics that fuel the best Me.  If I’m tired, cranky or had a tough day at work I’ve got very little left in my reserves to deal with much more.  Lately that’s how it’s been.  Man, actually for the last month work has been nutso.  Normally this time of year is the slow winding down before the holidays.  This year it’s been nothing but madness.  But madness in a good way.  This team continues to blow me away with how collaborative and helpful and respectful we are to one another while fighting the fiercest of fires.  It’s a true ensemble cast without backstabbing or finger-pointing or not saying ‘that’s not my job,’ when we all need to put other priorities aside and focus on fixing the most burning ones.  When this work engagement wraps up for me next month (by design), they’re going to be a tough act to follow.

So peace to me means being calm.  Bringing a state of serenity and grace to those around me.  Which in turn brings warmth…and love.

And this weekend has been a glorious self-refueling to get back to that center of peace.  Sleep.  Exercise. Excitement…I finally broke the 30 minute barrier in my 5000m rowing machine sessions – hit 29:26 – woohoo!  And celebrating by making a pot of hot and sour soup from scratch…topped with fresh crabmeat!  Getting the Christmas tree decorated and figuring out what last-minute shopping I still need to do and vowing not to be in the mall on Christmas Eve like I was last year, eesh.  I love weekends where there’s a list of stuff to do but no rush to do them.  This is the time I need to mentally reset.  I have 3 social evening events in the city this week and need to figure out how to make more hours in the day, ha ha!  Work is still going to be intense with longer hours required of all of us. 

So today is a day of recharging and refreshing.  Gearing up for a whirlwind, glorious week ahead.  Book club at a wine cafe.  A concert at Benaroya Hall – what a treasured jewel right smack in the heart of downtown Seattle.  And a major birthday celebration for a wonderful friend of mine to cap off the week in style.  I simply can’t wait!