People are Kind

People are kind.

Just now, I took the dog for a walk. It’s chilly, but as usual, I chose not to wear a jacket. One of the things I like about frigid weather in the winter is how alive I feel when the glacial air blasts my face.  Continue reading “People are Kind”

An Authentic, Invested, Thanksgiving May Not be “Happy.”

It’s obvious that today is Thanksgiving. While the typical greeting on this holiday is, “Happy Thanksgiving,”  I much prefer,

“I wish you a MEANINGFUL Thanksgiving.”

Not that you’ve asked, but for me, the typical Thanksgiving greeting, reeks of a lack of inclusion of all people. It’s downright platitudinous. Do you really want to say, “Happy Thanksgiving,” to indigenous people? Many Native Americans observe this day, as a day of mourning or “UnThanksgiving.” Continue reading “An Authentic, Invested, Thanksgiving May Not be “Happy.””

Project Target: One, 50 Year Old, Knocked Up, Perimenopausal, Meat- Juice Lovin’ Grandma, Finds & Shares Love & Joy

I have grown to acknowledge, embrace and celebrate, that some of the best, most beautiful experiences of my life, happen at Target and Jewel-Osco. To be more accurate, I find endless pleasure in people, places and things. I also happen to spend a great deal of time at Target and Jewel.

One year ago, I embarked on a photo series on Facebook – called, “My Beloved Jewel.” It’s a melange of musings… basically, all of the random, peculiarly hilarious items and situations I can find at Jewel. What began in my head as just something that tickled me, ended up being one of the things people ask me most about in my day to day life: Continue reading “Project Target: One, 50 Year Old, Knocked Up, Perimenopausal, Meat- Juice Lovin’ Grandma, Finds & Shares Love & Joy”

Cutting, Keeping & Nurturing the Right Ties

chick magnet
My ex-husband, the Chick Magnet

Today is my ex-husband’s 50th birthday. His name is Doug, and ladies, he is single!

doug headshot
Lookin’ Good!

←(Shameless matchmaking plug.)

 As I sit here at my desk in the suburbs of Chicago, Doug is on a gorgeous European cruise with our daughters and the rest of his loving family. Though we have been divorced since 2011 and separated for two years before that, I think this post deserves a few edits and to be republished.

In just over a year, since this article was written, I am complexly fulfilled at my job, in a career that I deeply love. Much of what I have learned from leaving my marriage and one previous professional position, (while choosing love, respect and boundaries), it all prepared me for my bashert organization, ORT.

The jury is out on who my male bashert is, or if he exists. (Bradley Cooper, are you reading this?)

For anyone who believes they despise their ex, or spends a lot of mind and heart space on reliving the bad, I hope this article includes benefits for you.

Being divorced and co-parenting isn’t always easy. In my own experience, walking through a divorce and then making an intentional choice to stay kind and loving as co-parents, takes work and commitment. (And then, more work and re-commitment.) The truth is, I’ve been far more committed to, (and successful at,) being a good ex-wife, than I ever was, at being a good wife the entire time I was married.

I highly recommend this commitment to working on a healthy relationship with your ex. For me, it has been one of the most poignant experiences of my life. 

I wish you peace, joy and harmony for all parties, even where dissonance exists.

_____________________________

Published on June 16th, 2016

Yesterday was my 14th wedding anniversary. My ex-husband and I honored each other and our children, with an evening of celebrating together. We’ve been divorced for five years, and separated for a few years before that.

I don’t regret marrying. I learned a great deal about my own insecurities, my willingness to forgive, my desire to take risks, and my openness to learn and grow from my mistakes. Our marriage also resulted in two beautiful daughters who bring us daily joy and an abundance of gray hairs.

Last evening, as I enjoyed my nontraditional family, I marveled at our kind and empathetic friendship, one that we committed to work on when we first split.  When we initially made this commitment, it was for the kids. I think we’ve both realized how much it nourishes our own health and well being. The kids benefit from our example of care and respect for each other and for our own selves.

In my recent and former full time position, while it was exceedingly clear it wasn’t a fit, I kept telling myself I was trapped. I would tell myself, “I have to stay for the money and the benefits.” I recall telling myself similar messages when I was unhappy in my marriage and thought I had to stay for the kids.

Thanks to the intense impact of my last professional experience, and all that went along with it, it’s become obvious that I have never really been trapped by anything but my own thoughts.

I have mentioned in previous posts that I have refused numerous full time positions since mid-April. I have politely declined to even interview for some organizations, because it simply didn’t fit. Some of the organizations are phenomenal, but I know what brings me joy and what doesn’t. I don’t want to waste anyone’s time or energy.

My ex-husband and I are good people. We both agree that we didn’t like ourselves when we were together. We were incapable of lifting each other up to our best selves in our marriage. The same holds true for my last director of development and institutional advancement position. For a myriad of reasons, I could not add value to the organization in a way that really mattered to me. I certainly wasn’t being lifted up to be my best self. When the organization and I amicably parted ways, year-to-date fundraising was up by 24% from the year before. Still, I was unable to implement what I was hired to do, and if I couldn’t be a creatively strategic, external-facing, relationship building, donor-centered fundraiser, I wasn’t being true to my core values.

My divorce, while painful for obvious reasons, has been a wonderfully positive experience in my life. Splitting from my previous employer has been strangely similar to my divorce. This is a great organization, and one that I would choose to serve me and my family.

Now, I embrace that I am fully single, personally and professionally. My mind, heart and spirit are wide open to possibilities, which of course, makes for the best collaborative experiences. It makes me think that a career-focused, Tinder app isn’t a shabby idea. While I’d swipe to the left quite a bit, there would be a few available opportunities who would get a “Super Like.”

In all ways, I am seeking a match where I am encouraged to be my best self so there are possibilities to reciprocate fully, ever reminding myself, and everyone else, that no trap exists,

EVER.

______________________

HAPPY 50th BIRTHDAY, DOUG WEIDNER! I wish you all good things –  love, (Katy Perry, are you reading this?), professional fulfillment, $10,000,000 if this is what makes you happy, and most of all, assurance that you are extraordinarily gifted in more ways than I can list here.

“You are enough, right now, just as you are.”

Love, Pam

doug ariana
Doug looking “lit” with his Ariana Grande headphones

 

A Fear of Peaks (and Valleys)

As I stand at the base of the highest mountain I have ever seen, I squint to view its highest peak. I try to appraise what it will take to reach its top. How can anyone possibly live through this painful and dangerous climb? I try to count all of its jagged edges above the timberline, but there are too many to track. I panic. I don’t know anything about the other side of the mountain. I acknowledge that my understanding of this risky venture can only be accurately evaluated by walking to the other side of the mountain along its base. Continue reading “A Fear of Peaks (and Valleys)”

The Mother Load

Lately, I’ve been extra depleted physically, mentally and emotionally. This is not a complaint, but is provided as a frame of reference for the possible drivel I’m about to write.

While in this diminished state, I considered writing 100 things I love about my Mother, but the truth is, 100 isn’t nearly enough. I have way more than 100 things I love about my amazing Mom.

Instead, I thought I’d fantasize about 100 Mother’s Day gifts and/or events I’d absolutely love. Some are real, and some are imagined. Most are imagined, but I hope they’re real someday. Continue reading “The Mother Load”

The pessimism in positivity, with or without donuts

Just recently, I was told that my positivity, is downright irritating. It wasn’t just one person who mentioned this to me, it was at least two and perhaps a third was nodding in agreement. If you are a fairly recent friend or colleague of mine, you may be nodding along. Also, you may be right.
Continue reading “The pessimism in positivity, with or without donuts”