An Ending and New Beginning: I have ended a 29 year marriage and begun a life of economic and emotional independence.
The marriage began in a far away place, was sustained as we built a family, but faltered as the kids became adults, and I ventured into a mode of self discovery, growth, learning, and coaching. I am sad it couldn’t last through that change. And I am grateful that we both finally acknowledged our need to live apart. Grateful for the years we did have together, even the difficult ones.
“Getting the chance to know you has been one of the highlights of the year for me. Your generosity, kindness, enthusiasm, and passion for making the work world a much more human and connected place makes such a difference.”
Learning, Growth, Exploration: In 2016, I also had 3 amazing trips. In January of 2016, I went to Santa Barbara and gave a talk on Clean Language to the Santa Barbara Lean Agile Meetup group, visited with a second cousin there, and then drove up the coast to be with Clean Language experts, James Lawley, Penny Tompkins, and Sharon Small for 10 days. That was a huge highlight of my year and truly helped sustain me throughout the rest of the year.
In April, I went to Boston – to the Agile Games Conference and the Mob Programming Conferences. There I ran a session of Featureban game – a game I’ve been using a lot to teach Kanban concept of flow and limiting Work in Process. I learned this game because of two leaders in the Kanban community who invented and socialized the game. I subsequently joined the Agendashift community online (thank you Mike!) – for additional surveys and tools to help me in my consulting work and eventually met both Karl Scotland and Mike Burrows (see pic below) on my third trip of the year. I much enjoyed the Mob Programming experience as well – getting me a bit farther back to my programming days – seeing how to get the best knowledge from the group’s individuals into the code – collaboratively. I also got to visit my mother’s childhood home in Newton. Memories!
The third trip was to Edinburgh, Scotland to run another Clean Language workshop at the Lean Agile Conference. I met up with some European friends
for the first time and was also able to visit with the son of my Santa Barbara second cousin – (that is my second cousin once removed), who teaches Philosophy at the University of Edinburgh. I am amazed that I am able to connect with interesting members of my more distant family on the same trips as my conferences! I am truly blessed! These were not the first such ventures, and hopefully not the last either! It was, like the others, an amazing conference too.
This year, I also invested in two workshops given online by some wonderfully inspiring women. Lisette Sutherland’s Work Together Anywhere Workshop and Leslie Zucker’s Deliver Workshops that Bring In Clients. Both online workshops were well thought out and delivered flawlessly and I took a lot away for my ever growing toolkit.
Reliability: In 2016, I supported my daughter in her dream to leave corporate America and start her own business. She runs Christie Bailey Fitness now, and is coaching other young women, and very active in social media – now with 10 thousand followers on Instagram. She is a top-five contender for bodybuilding.com’s spokesperson of the year contest and will be flown to Boise, ID, then on to Los Angeles this coming week for the finals, interviews and lots of photo shoots. It’ll be exciting to see what comes from this experience. I am proud that she has the courage to pursue her dreams and to not let negative things or economic uncertainty get in her way! This is inspiring. (update on 1/7/17 —-> SHE WON!)
She and I (and my ex) have tried the best we can to support my other child, who is taking a path that is slow, unintentional, difficult, bumpy, and very far from a path that leads to economic independence…. The good news is that this child is working full time at a hospital ER as a technical aide. That gives me a little hope, and yet the night shifts and day sleep can be detrimental to health and certainly that makes taking even 1 college class challenging. Video-gaming takes up most of the rest of the waking hours for this child. Any information anyone has on rehab for gamers – please do share – even if I can’t make force this child to acknowledge the addiction – at least I will be equipped with more information. Further attention to the mental and physical well being of this kid will form a significant part of my effort no matter where I am or where I go… I am glad they both can rely on me, and I can support them in the best way I know how – through love and belief in them.
I would like to start exploring moving to Europe – what would it take? Could I find work there? What are the visa hurdles?