Living life

A Reason, a Season and a Lifetime

There is a saying that was shared with me about a year ago where someone told me that “people come into your lives for a reason, a season, or a lifetime”. It was interesting to me as I had never heard this before, and it was something I needed to hear in that moment. I was questioning my friendship with someone and sharing this information with a complete stranger; a nurse who was drawing my blood for my annual check-up, which by the way, I hate doing. Another story for another time…

I do not believe in coincidences. I do not believe that people come into our lives by chance, and this interesting piece of information was something that resonated with me in a huge way. I had never been able to rationalize my thinking of “no coincidences in life” and “the greater meaning of connections” and this person put the words out there plain as day. This particular nurse came into my life for that one, singular reason; to inform me of this interesting notion; people don’t come into our lives coincidentally. They are there for a “reason, a season or a lifetime”.

That was her reason. I will never see her again. But the impact she left with me last a lifetime.

On most days, we think we are connecting with people that we think are there for us. But I think most times we are actually meeting people we are supposed to impact. It can be hard to think of this the other way around, meaning; we actually connect with people we are supposed to impact, until it happens once or twice. I was at the airport last month and met these two women while having a beer waiting for my flight. We chatted and the one said to me, “I’m glad I missed my flight. Otherwise I wouldn’t have met you and I’m really glad I did”. The other woman offered to set me up with one of her single male friends in Seattle, to which my response was “no, thank you” ;-) But I digress…. I of course was having flight debacles galore this particular day, but perhaps this was the reason for my flight delays; to impact someone else in this case, these women.

There’s also another saying or theory that when you do through a major life change, be it loss or something else, you tend to find out who your real friends are – or are not. I like the idea of thinking that it’s more along the lines or a reason, a season or a lifetime. I’ve come to realize that everyone comes into your life for a reason – be it for your or for them. On most days I often think it’s for me, but I’ve gotten better at thinking maybe it’s for someone else. The woman at the airport, case in point; I impacted her that day. Doesn’t matter that I was having bad travel karma, the reason was I came into her life for a reason that day. That reason, I’ll never know. But it’s those connections that stay around for a while; those for a few days, weeks, months or even years sometimes. Those are our seasons. Until they become lifetimes.

Ed was my lifetime as are the kids. There is no question about that. And there is not further explanation or discussion that needs to take place. I know this. My kids know this, and anyone who knew us, or has read our blog knows this. Since his passing, I tend to see, and actually look for, the deeper meanings in the connections I make with people all of the time. And while often times the “reason, season, lifetime” can’t be seen right away, there are some connections that are clear as day, to me anyway. This is how it looks to me:

  • It’s a group of girls drinking Bloody Mary’s and Mimosas on a Saturday morning, or a different group of girls eating bar food and beers on a Friday night.
  • It’s a friendship that just ended for no apparent reason – the season just ended.
  • It’s a group of women who you have nothing in common with except you’ve all lost husbands. You just “get it” and that’s enough for a lifetime.
  • It’s a 21 year old young person that is seated next to you on a four hour flight that contains the most interesting and inspirational conversation. I know one day I’ll say “I remember her when…”
  • It’s dinner with an old friend where there is endless conversation and laughter and you can’t remember a word of what was said, just that it was great – and it makes you realize it’s time to think about moving forward.

My list is endless…

The reality is, everyone is a reason, most are seasons, and few are lifetimes. But I know who those are. Without question. I am lucky, grateful, privileged and honored to have them, as well as all of the “reasons and seasons” in my life. I learn from each and every one of them. Some just go deeper than others, and some just stand the test of time…and life.

I’ve had a lot of “reason” and “season” people come into my life; and I cherish the “lifetime” ones. They are all characters in my book of life. Some contain a brief sentence; some a page, others a chapter, and few are part of the entire story that is written each and every day.

Today, ask you to think about your “reasons”, “seasons” and “lifetimes”. We all have them. What do they look like to you?

Strength, courage, wisdom…faith, love, hope

It’s all I need to get me through each and every day.

Tracey

What’s Next???

This time last Saturday, I posted an update to Facebook letting friends know that I had officially resigned my position from Microsoft. Resign isn’t actually the right word. I had been on a personal leave of absence (LOA) first to care for Ed, and then of course to care for myself and my family after his passing. My LOA end date was coming on January 17, 2014, and I needed to decide if I was going to go back or not. Obviously I chose not to return for a myriad of reasons, none of which I need to go into great detail other than to say this; Microsoft, while an amazing company, and amazing place to work, and a place that gave me an amazing amount of support and compassion during the most difficult time in mine and my family’s life, can be a hard place to work. And I have had enough and still have “hard” in my life. I don’t need it professionally at this point and time.

The comments I received on my Facebook post about this were incredibly supportive and humbling. I’m still never sure what to do with this other than to stay grounded in myself and accept the kind words; something I haven’t always been good about. I don’t take compliments well, but am learning to be better. The most interesting comment of course I did receive is, “What’s Next” and I haven’t posted any response, not to be coy, but just because that is not an easy answer. And there are really two ways to answer this.

The question I think inquirers are asking is, “what is your next job and/or what company are you now going to work for”? When you have worked for one of the largest and greatest companies in the world, where does one go next? First, yes, I have another job. The answer to that question is easy. I have taken a marketing role with a Schaumburg, Illinois based company, Flexera Software. My wonderful friend and former Lexis Nexis manager, Maia, called me with a job offer I couldn’t refuse, and I accepted (there is lengthy story about all of this that I will save for another time. I will only say that sometimes a good friend knows exactly what you need when you need it. And that is Maia :) ). I am now working with her, and other former colleagues in a really fun environment, and as far as enterprise software goes, a good product. I am not moving back to Illinois, rather, I am able to work from home which allows me to continue to let my dogs run my life :) So professionally, the “what’s next” answer is easy. I’ve changed jobs and companies.

But what I hear the question, “what’s next or what’s your next adventure” the answer goes far beyond what my job is, which is the second way to answer the question. The job part is only part of the answer because the reality is, I, like many other, have a mortgage to pay along with other bills, and well the dogs do eat fairly expensive food and treats :) The reality is though, I see the next chapter and adventure as more than my job and while for so many years of my life, my career and job was a big definition of who I was. That is not what I want any longer. I am, and always have been more than my career, especially as a wife and parent, but now more so than ever. And my next adventure is figuring out who that person is, what that person wants to do, and where she wants to do it. This new job at Flexera Software gives me the opportunity to learn new things as a professional marketer, and gives me the flexibility I need to learn these other things about myself. I can take the time to figure out “hobbies” as I’ve started thinking about all of things I just want to try right now. More importantly, I can decide where I want to be while doing it, as I just am not 100% certain I will stay here in this house, or potentially even Washington State.

The house I live in today was mine and Ed’s. Seattle, Microsoft and everything about where I am today is about our life. And the same would have held true if I were still in our house in Naperville. That was OUR house, our life together, our adventure together. And now it’s my own adventure to figure out and live. The kids are always part of this consideration, but as adults, in their own respective homes, it’s really about what I need for my next chapter. And like any good book, it doesn’t write itself quickly or easily. It takes thought, creativity, care, detailed planning and careful consideration; one sentence at a time, one paragraph at a time, and one chapter at a time. The “new job” chapter is a good one so far. I’m fortunate to really enjoy what I do, have fun doing it, and actually get paid to do it. Not everyone gets to say this, and I am fortunate to be able to do so. There are, however, other chapters to be written.

As we approach the one year anniversary of Ed’s death on February 3, I will continue to “write the book”. One day at a time, one sentence at a time, one paragraph at a time, and in this case, one blog post at a time. I suppose in a sense, all of our lives are just books, the contents of which, we determine. How exciting the story is, is really up to us and how we choose to live each day. I encourage everyone to go create a really great paragraph of your book today :D

And for what’s next right now…the daily dog walk…let’s hope for some exciting squirrels :D

Thanks for reading and “listening”.

Strength, courage, wisdom…faith, love and hope

Tracey

PS – GO SEAHAWKS!!!!!! :lol:

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