Making sure the next step is the right step

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I have had a small epiphany today.  I call it small because to most it would be a normal occurrence but to me it was evidence of the changing of a tide within myself.

When it comes to life-changing events I have always faced them head on.  I react without much thought, relying only on intuition.  I don’t allow myself to wallow in the horrible circumstance, instead I am always looking for the next logical step.  I give myself pause to reflect after the dust has settled but, during the crisis, I am continually thinking ahead and moving forward, never giving a second thought to the cause but always striving for the solution.

But when it comes to the finer, more minute details of life I tend to fester and over-think the little things.   I replay the scene in my head over and over and, after a multitude of scenarios have been beaten into submission in my over-active imagination, I am eventually able to put the proverbial pencil to paper and draw the logical conclusion.

Until that moment of clarity, my mind is a churning mess.  I analyse, over-analyse, recreate the scene in a way it never happened.  I create dialogues in my head that never occurred and have myself convinced that this miniscule event has become epic in proportion to actual reality.

Personal growth is a journey taken one step at a time and today I took another step.  It was a small thing in the grand scheme of my life but one that I normally would have allowed to gnaw on my subconscious until my brain hurt.  Instead of allowing the situation to spiral out of control in my alternate reality, I diffused the ticking time bomb before the digital clock even began counting down the seconds. The drama was over before it began and I understood what it meant to take the high road.

High-road

(image credit: 5feet20.com)

Perhaps wisdom does really come with age.  Or perhaps I am just tired of spending so much time creating scenarios in my head that never existed in the first place.  Regardless of the reason, I am glad I was able to teeter on the precipice of discomfort and take a step forward that was foreign to me.  That one small step in my day was a giant step on the path of my life.

The fading image in my rear-view mirror

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Like the perfect piece of baker’s chocolate, today will be bittersweet.  I am comfortably ensconced in a chair in my office, shrouded by four very familiar walls that are situated on a property that I could maneuver my way around with my eyes closed.  But today is my last day in this place.

A big part of my life has been spent exploring every facet of the 408 acres that make up this resort property.  From my humble beginnings in 1986 I have cleaned every single one of the 158 rooms on numerous occasions, I have served hundreds of people in its dining room, I have greeted hundreds more at the front desk and I have encouraged thousands to vacation here.  My car could drive itself from home to office after the numerous trips we have made together down this winding Muskoka road.

This home away from home has been the site of many experiences for me, some fantastic and some tragic.  This job was not just a job.  This place gave me the tools to grow, not only as an employee and a boss, but as a person.  This place introduced me to many people I consider an extended part of my family.  From staff to hotel guests, the connections I have made here will last a lifetime.

cleves water front

(image credit: http://www.clevelandshouse.com)

But the time has come to change the landscape I see on my drive to work.  Although the splendor of the Muskoka beauty will still be seen through each of my car windows, the shadows that dance on the road before me will be different.  The path that my tires follow will be not be naturally carved in the pavement leading me to the walls that contain so many memories.   This new path will take time to feel as comfortable but I’m sure it will lead me to just as much happiness.

As the image of a lifetime fades in my rear-view mirror, the path ahead is waiting to welcome me with open arms and begin the journey of making new memories.

Regrets, I’ve had a few

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There are always regrets in life – missed opportunities that weigh heavily on us the more we think about them.  I’ve had my share of regrets, whether those regrets have been caused by my actions or perpetrated by my inaction.  There is always a tremendous sense of “what if” at the core of our regrets and that is a force field that is better left unexplored.

I was recently presented with an opportunity that I did not want to regret not pursuing.  I did what I had to do and saw it through without exemption and that exploration resulted in me giving notice at my current job and looking forward to venturing off on a new path.  I have never been unhappy at my current job but the winds of change ruffled my hair and made me think about what life would be like in a new place.  That thought was a bit intoxicating.

After weighing the regret of leaving my current job and the many co-workers I have come to think of as family against the opportunity for growth and forward movement with a new team of people, I took a deep breath and chose to follow those winds of change.  That gust of wind caught my sails and propelled me in a direction that I could never have foreseen.

It is a daunting feeling closing the chapter on a life that is so familiar and ingrained in my day-to-day life.  The people who I have come to lean and rely on will no longer be in my daily routine but I can only trust that I made the right decision for myself and know that I am following a trajectory I was meant to follow.

Life is too short to have too many regrets and this is one I did not want to have.  I’m happy to be embarking on a new journey and encountering a new set of challenges and learning experiences.  From the excitement I feel, I know I will not regret making the change and opening my life to a new realm of possibilities.

Have you ever missed an opportunity that you regret?