Can I Ever Be Satisfied?

I had an epiphany.

I dropped in to visit my mom on a whim during the holidays. I had a huge list of things to accomplish and was in the pre-New Year’s Eve party hurricane which inevitably includes frantic grocery shopping, cleaning and worrying about what my guests will think about my housekeeping skills. Even with so much to do, I decided a grandchild-less visit was warranted. I thought an hour long coffee break was not too much to ask. Little did I know that the hour would turn into four and a visit would be life-changing.

There wasn’t one particular moment during that conversation that was uniquely insightful but as a whole, I think that four hours changed my perspective on my life. Over the last year I have felt a shift in how I feel about myself. I wouldn’t say it was a change in confidence, more a change in my expectations of my life.

I have always been driven to be the best that I could be. I think that is a good trait, most of the time. The downfall is that I spend a huge portion of my day reflecting on the events of the day and wondering about them. I think about what I said and if it could be misunderstood in any way. Did I hurt anyone’s feelings unintentionally? Did I come across in an unflattering way (condescending, arrogant,  boastful)? Was there any sort of slight to anyone that needs to be repaired? Oy. You can see why I enjoy my forty minute drive to and from work: it gives me time to do this without driving anyone else crazy!

During my visit with my mom, I realized that my life path has always been focused on relationships. I thrive on recognizing people’s emotions and reactions and adjusting accordingly. I want people to walk away from dealings with me feeling validated, heard and connected. I want my student’s to feel that I truly care about them and their education. I want every interaction to be satisfying for me and the involved party. Wow…lofty desires.

It is any wonder that after realizing that after this lightbulb, I realized the enormity of my wishes, and felt a little overwhelmed?  If I want to be the best person I can be, while helping others to be the best they can, then I better start walking the walk.

I believe wholeheartedly the universe conspires to lift us to higher heights. Over the holidays, I have a personal revelation and start taking steps to behave the way I need to behave in order to be the wife, mother, sister, daughter, teacher, friend, colleague I want to be. Baby steps, mind you…

I read the book, The Happiness Project. In reading this book, I gained several tips and techniques to helping me remember to be more of what I want to be. It was awesome, but like any habit, I had trouble making it stick. My resolve one day would be strong and I would be mindful of my actions, reactions and words…then the next, I would let stress take over and BAM! My poor husband would suffer my criticism and impatience.

But again, the universe noticed my need and sent me some professional development in the form of The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People . What a gift. I spent two full days considering the possibilities of using the presented techniques to help focus my life and my relationships. During the workshop, I realized the basis of any niggling discontent and lingering negative emotions in my life: I wasn’t living the life I wanted to live. As my mom had stated during the four-hour conversation, I was “should-ing” all over myself. I needed to be in charge of my life and ensure I was making conscious decisions about my direction rather than being the victim of my circumstances. WOW. Empowering. It helped that I was at a table with some past colleagues who knew me fairly well and were honest and candid with me.

So here I am at home. I had a conversation with my husband about some of our reoccurring arguments during which I was able to explain my perspective and goals without any blame or negativity. I was able to exercise a little patience with my family, who weren’t ready to talk when I was. We’ll try again tomorrow. (Baby steps)

Without too many steps forward, I feel I am moving quickly. I am beginning to understand my purpose and that is very, very satisfying.


3 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Jacqui
    Jan 13, 2011 @ 09:23:30

    As Jack would say….WOW


  2. Wendy Powell
    Feb 01, 2011 @ 19:52:49

    Holy smokes you’re one inspirational lady. Thanks so much for your blog. I just love it!
    I just came back from a work-related convention and the keynote speaker (Dr. Bertice Berry) spoke on how we can align ourselves with our life purpose and how living with intent can change the world. It was a fantastic (and for me – life changing) experience to listen to Dr. Berry. She inspires me to do my very best as a person in this world. Someone at the conference recorded it and posted it on youtube. Part 1 is here if you have a few minutes and then you can find parts 2 and 3 if you wish.
    Thanks again, Melissa! I love how your heart and soul comes through in your writing. Fantastic!


    • Melissa Everitt-Dallinger
      Feb 02, 2011 @ 08:48:35

      You know Wendy, I am 100% behind the idea that finding passion and living with intent is life changing. Even though I struggle with communicating effectively at times, I feel like I am becoming a better person each day. I will definitely check out the video! Thanks for the compliments!


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