This Too Shall Pass

Seeing the jobs report headlines this morning resolved a challenge regarding this new project of Sharing Perspective to Share Smiles.

As I considered various angles from which to go at the content, I’d decided the priority was to remain positive in the messaging while drawing from a life of unique if rich experiences.

I’ve witnessed world events getting feedback through observation and conversation from some interesting and amazing individuals.

While wanting to remain positive is a noble desire it needed to be done in a way that wouldn’t come across as pollyanna-ish.  This is where drawing from experience comes in.  The challenge in that, however, is that experience isn’t always happy or positive.

Even if the outcome is.  

So, how much do you share and how do you keep the spin on the lighter side?

This morning’s jobs report headlines gave me the answer.

One in particular.

From Experience.

One of the best strategies that got me through times of uncertainty was to tap other people’s perspectives.

Perspectives gained through experience.

Not all storms are the same.

Economic Headwinds.

Having grown up in the Metro Detroit Area, I lived through a number of economic downturns.

I remember being in the service station line in the family car during the oh-so-fun oil embargo.

Though I recalled the somber mood and the concerns of various individuals during those days I couldn’t appreciate it the way I do now for the simple fact I was too young to truly understand.

To add complexity there was a family member who had a birds-eye view of the situation which ruffled a number of family feathers, none of which I could, being a kid, understand.

When, as a young adult making my way in the corporate world, I was facing those economic headwinds, simply drawing from childhood memories wasn’t enough to assure me that things would eventually turn around again.  Drawing from the experience of those I was working with- people I trusted who were older – gave me that assurance.

I eagerly listened as they explained how and why challenges unique to the Discrete Manufacturing Industry meant our area was harder hit yet how we consistently came back stronger.

Coping is Investing.

I spent that time not just listening but observing.  What I noted was that a number of the savvier and better-performing consultants spent the time tinkering with new technology.

Hardware and software.

Deciding they knew something, I did the same.  

It paid off.

Not only did it help advance my career, it made me a valuable player so that when those headwinds came around again, I had skills in demand.

Just the Facts, Ma’am.

One of the more valuable skills I developed was the ability to step away from the emotional flashpoints to look at reality.  

I wish I’d known to do it then.

This is a great way to insulate yourself from other people’s drama.

Priceless in terms of reducing stress.

No I Don’t Think So.

Over the past weeks I’ve seen plenty of headlines warning of a recession.

Along with a number that proclaimed if there was one, it wouldn’t be that bad.

I had my own feelings on the matter.

Based on some hard facts.  

Even before the pandemic hit, we were looking at a demographic shift that tilted heavily in favor of the consumer.

The employee.

Not only would there be more jobs than people, it was a trend that would be around for awhile.  The pandemic only exacerbated that.  As a result I was confident that regardless of other factors, we were not looking at the type of economic storm we saw in the early 70s, early 80s, early 90s, etc…

Notice a pattern?

No panic here.

Even when the layoffs – mostly in tech – began, as painful as I knew they were to those directly affected, I understood today’s employment situation meant many of those affected would find new jobs.

A vast difference from what I witnessed in the early 90s when many of my tech colleagues were affected.

At no time did I feel the country was about to relive earlier downturns.

We are in a completely different situation.

When I saw a headline this morning mentioning the January Jobs Report leading a number of individuals to say they no longer feared a recession, I felt a bit vindicated. I hadn’t shared my thoughts beyond a close group of individuals and I certainly didn’t brag but I did draw from prior – if painful – experience.  

Young and inexperienced, I was highly traumatized by the secular headwind fallout of the early 90s.  

I considered how I could pull this together to put out an article that would assure people.

Ease some of the “fear of the unknown” lack of experience can fuel.

We are a nation and a world that continuously looks to the future.

And our place in it.

I believe that, despite alarmist headlines, we can feel good about the situation.

As my grandmother used to say – this [secular headwind] too shall pass.

To brighter days ahead!

A Return to My Writing Roots

Note:  Longer Post.

As part of a soft launch of the new writing project I’ve been revamping my website.  As it says in the updated Welcome message 

I’m really excited about this change as it is an opportunity to return to my roots as a writer while continuing to make a positive difference in the world.

Return to my roots as a writer. 

What does that mean?  

To fully understand I need to go back in time to what is – ironically – one of the more challenging time periods of my life.

I was working in a culture that was becoming more toxic in proportion to the  strengthening of “secular headwinds.”

In the midst of this despair I found comfort in the company of some of the most creative individuals I’ve ever worked with; souls who shared the ways they channeled stress into their life’s passions.

Being part of a band, writing fiction, dancing, working on code to predict winning Lotto numbers among other interests.

Working with people who had dreams outside Corporate meant I was free to share mine with an audience that was receptive if not outright supportive of them.

A few even helped me fulfill some of them.

Though I eventually attained my dream of leaving corporate to pursue writing novels full time, reality was nothing like I imagined.  Coming into the dream right as the publishing industry was undergoing one of the most significant transformations in history was turbulent to say the least.

The rise of ebooks via Smashwords and Amazon.

Somewhere along the way I lost sight of what the dream was all about.

Why did I want to be a writer?  


Like with so many around the world the pandemic forced a total recalibration on every level so it’s no surprise that on the other side of the worst of it I took stock of where I was and looked to see what needed to change.  In terms of my career, a lot.

Though I’d become highly prolific during the lockdown, turning out several books – fiction and non – I drove myself straight into the wall of burnout.  

Eliminate the Source.

Though I would have gotten here eventually, a recent and revealing discussion with a caring friend accelerated the decision to turn my focus from writing books.

The source of the  burnout.

What excited me most was the opportunity to take time to think about what it was I wanted to write.  I came to see the answer was going back to what I used to do.

Writing in a way that reflected who I am.

Which brings me to…

Making a Positive Difference

I have a lifetime of service that began in childhood with volunteer work.

Read, walk, and skate-a-thons for organizations such as March of Dimes, Muscular Dystrophy, The American Juvenile Diabetes Association, to name a few.

This continued into adultood.

Working with food banks and other volunteer opportunities.

I channeled my love of helping others professionally by becoming a consultant.

I was always gratified by the smiles of customers who got what they wanted in a solution.

After earning a doctorate in holistic healthcare, I channeled the consulting into nonfiction work.  

Books and websites.

Unfortunately, this led to a rather interesting conundrum.  It became about them.

My motivation was in the right place.

I didn’t understand the toll it would take.  

Fast Forward to Positive.

I’ve decided to focus on blogging as it allows me to write what I love for the reason I got into writing.

To Share Smiles.

I believe it’s best – for readers and this writer – to stick with what I have rather than go to a newsletter service and ask readers following me to add an additional service.  

Sharing Smiles

When I thought about who I was as a person I remembered countless stories of laughter shared with colleagues and customers.  

Even and especially during difficult times.

I knew immediately I wanted to give that to a broader audience.

I changed the site banner to reflect this.

Sharing Perspective to Share Smiles.

I think the world can do with more opportunities to smile and look forward to doing my part.

Stay tuned!

Warmly and with good vibes,