I’m a coach. Some people assume that being a coach means that I have everything figured out and therefore, I am able to coach others. Oh how I wish that were true. The best analogy I’ve heard about being a coach is that I am climbing my own mountain and my clients are climbing mountains next to me. While I have all of my own challenges, I am sometimes able to see things on your mountain that you can’t see. I didn’t come up with that, but it’s a pretty good description of how it works.
The truth is that I am on my own voyage of self-discovery just like everyone else. I can’t remember when the voyage started but I think I’ve always been searching. For many many years I living was under the illusion that this journey would actually end and I would come to some great discovery and be done. I’m a little embarrassed to admit that it was only recently that I realized that there is no destination and no end point. It’s just a journey and we are all on it. Some of us are just taking different modes of transportation.
However NOT having a destination that I HAVE to get to is good news because there is nothing I love more than learning new stuff. So much so I don’t think my husband would be surprised if I announced I was going to medical school or culinary school or the local beauty academy. How fun would beauty school be?? I mean, even if it didn’t work out, I’d be a real-life beauty school dropout!
But I digress… back to the point here. The latest chapter in my journey has included a few really interesting mind-stretching courses. More than one of these courses has required me to take a strengths assessment and/or survey a large group of people about my top strengths, to create a personal brand statement, or to write my personal theology, etc.. etc. Basically, I am being challenged in lots of different places to identify who I am and what I believe,
I know what you’re thinking, at my age that shouldn’t be too difficult. However, I’m here to tell you youngsters in the group that we “older” people don’t have things nearly as figured out as it might seem. Yes, most of us know how to buy a pair of pants that don’t hurt our feelings (to quote the awesome Ann Lamott) but when it comes to knowing what we believe, we aren’t always as on top of it as it might seem.
So, I’ve been journaling, assessing, surveying. I am nothing if not a compliant student. Then a couple of my instructors (shout out to Jessica Steward and Susan Hyatt) mentioned creating a manifesto – and who doesn’t want to create a manifesto, I ask you? It just sounds so awesome. Once it’s done I will be able to say things like “Oh, that’s in my manifesto.” or “Yeah, you should check out my manifesto.” So when manifesto came up, my first thought was “Hell, yeah! I am all over it.” But my second thought was “Wait, what would go in my manifesto??”
So there I was struggling to come up with something for a manifesto that I desperately want to create –again, it’s a manifesto people!! And I often ponder life’s complex issues like whether I should cut my hair or what I should put in my manifesto while walking my dog. On this particular walk, I also was listening to a playlist I optimistically named “Running songs.” I love that I have a playlist titled “running songs.” It is perhaps a greater testament to unrealistic and delusional hope than the 4 cookie serving size of Think Mints. However, while my awesome, and somewhat embarrassing, playlist does not seem to inspire running, I realized there are some great life lessons in these songs. Such great lessons that there might even be the makings of a manifesto in here.
So here’s the thing: I am committing to writing a blog (or a paragraph or a sentence or a short prepositional phrase, let’s not get overly ambitious) giving you the life lesson of each song in my running song playlist. You may be thinking “how hard could that be. Perhaps you think that this playlist is filled with deeply meaningful tunes and if so, allow me to introduce myself… Hello, I am the queen of cheesy pop music. This playlist includes such gems as “Wake me up before you go go” by Wham and “Bye Bye Bye” by NSync.
I think it will be a fun challenge. Possibly impossible at times but impossible tasks sometimes yield meaningful or even better hilarious results. I think it will be so fun that I’d like to invite you to do the same. Maybe you aren’t up to documenting your entire playlist. I admit to a bit of trepidation over sharing the nonsense I have included in my playlist. But maybe you’ve got one or two songs that inspire or motivate or really sum up something that should be in your manifesto. So let’s hear it. I hope we can make each other think, laugh and maybe listen to some great tunes we haven’t listened to in a while.
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