This is a weirdly strange week for me. I was trying to figure it out and was telling a friend of my “dilemma”. She asked what had changed in my life. When I was growing up I had a group of friends – guys and girls – from the neighborhood that essentially hung around from kindergarten on. We were all the best of friends. Some of us went to college together – some married each other - and we were all in each other’s weddings and early lives. Over the years, we grew apart and saw each other at parent funerals and … pretty much that was it. We got together this last weekend and laughed and talked like it was 1982. It was remarkably and wonderfully familiar … I’m feeling strange though and in a good way.
Over the past couple of days I reflected on this, and I think over the 15 years I’ve dealt with a lot of personal things – folks and friends dying, building a lake house, then a restaurant, and for the first time in probably those 15 years I am at a point where I find myself free of “encumbrances”. I told my friend this last night, and she warned me about filling my time just to fill it. “Sometimes we get so addicted to drama that in its absence we will create it just to fill the empty gap.” Scary.
We talk a lot about the forest and about the trees. When I talk about the forest and trees I am referring to operational (day- to- day stuff), and strategic (long- term planning). The operational (trees) stuff is what we know. We default to this. I remember talking to Deb when she was the leader of Nutrition Services. She said she really looked forward to cooking because that is what she knew and liked to do. Strategic (forest) on the other hand is hard. It requires the imagination and wonder. “What could our future look like?” “What could we be?”
My challenge for myself is I have some open space to wonder and plan. I am free of stuff for the first time in a long time (… and I am so needing to fill it with anything …), but my challenge is to breathe, and see and appreciate the forest. Whether my forest is to rekindle friendships or seek out new … or just look to the horizon and let life happen; I don’t know, time will tell. This week, take stock of your life, are changes on the horizon?
-Steve Simonin, President & CEO