Table of Contents

  1. Going with the flow
    1. Starting Small
    2. Planning Ahead
    3. Going with the Flow
  2. Lean into your values
    1. Integrity
    2. Curiosity
  3. Living the dream
  4. Going with the Flow
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Going with the flow

It was fairly early on in our relationship when Andrew introduced this notion of going with the flow. I am a planner. I have always looked at an empty day as filled with opportunities to cram activity in every hour - no, every last minute. This is especially true when traveling.

Meeting Andrew however changed my approach to life in a meaningful way.

Starting Small

Not long after we first met, we began to spend entire weekends together. We lived 70 miles apart and often times it wasn’t worth splitting weekends at each other’s apartment. What became readily apparent was my tendency to plan these weekends with gusto, given they came at a high premium with the commute. In very much the same way as my friends who have children, and their weekends are non-stop with back-to-back activities, our weekends often become more exhausting than the work week. 

At some point, Andrew asked the question, “Why don’t we just take it easy. We’ll play the weekend by ear. When we wake up Saturday morning, let’s see how we feel. And then we can decide what we want to do.” 

The planner in me paused, reflected on this suggestion and replied, “Yes, why not?”

In effect, I was starting to open up to the possibilities that come with going with the flow…

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Planning Ahead

Microsoft Outlook was my organizational tool of choice to plan meetings and activities.

Work deliverables are scheduled in Excel, and calendarized across the team as well as the overall department. With startling accuracy, I am able to plan out vacation days months in advance regardless of management meetings because our work is fairly predictable. 

That world no longer exists for me… 

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Going with the Flow

While I am using Bullet Journal to organize my life now, each day I am choosing what to do based on a gut feeling, based on my energy level, and finally based on necessity. My calendar isn’t pre-empted with too many commitments. It has breathing room for inspiration and surprise to occur without derailing the schedule.

In the future, this will serve me well because when we look forward to a life on the high seas, the weather pattern will often dictate our timetable more than any other variable.

“All things change, nothing is extinguished. There is nothing in the whole world which is permanent. Everything flows onward; all things are brought into being with a changing nature; the ages themselves glide by in constant movement.” ~ Ovid

Lean into your values

Because of my long daily commutes to and from work, I have taken the opportunity to listen to quite a lot of audiobooks. I stopped keeping track after I listened to 200 books. While I mostly consumed fiction, I would on occasion listen to non-fiction, and a couple of these were books by Brene Brown and in particular Dare to Lead

During this transition from my first career to my encore career, I found it helpful to define my core values: Integrity and Curiosity. These are values that define who I am. They do not represent things I would like to be or what I need coaching to be. They are who I am. They define me, and these are the filters that I use to make hard decisions. 

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Integrity

What are the 3 behaviors that support my value?

  • Following through on commitments
  • Doing my best to communicate clearly & timely; to be transparent
  • Completing tasks and not being capricious about decisions

What are 3 slippery behaviors that are outside of my value?

  • Changing my mind can be challenging; this shows up as being inflexible
  • Back-channelling or gossip
  • Not speaking my mind / being polite

Curiosity

What are the 3 behaviors that support my value? 

  • Asking questions
  • Pause and don’t fill in space or silence / complete other’s sentences
  • Love of learning (travel, growth, mastery of new skills)

What are 3 slippery behaviors that are outside of my value?

  • Rushing to judgment
  • Using an argument for efficiency as a crutch
  • Ego-driven desire to be right or correct

When it comes to this transition, the way integrity shows up is in my planning and being prepared. It will however be challenged as even best-conceived plans will go awry when weather patterns change. I can either have an internal fight about the implication of not being able to follow-through on time, or let it go. When there are forces greater than me at work, I will concede.

As for curiosity, this new adventure will certainly unleash many opportunities to explore and to grow. Whether it is learning the nitty gritty of launching a website (coding, SEO, content strategy, etc.) to learning diesel mechanics or a new language, the only limitation I have ahead of me is time and figuring out how to prioritize all of these new activities.

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Living the dream

I am reminded of a conversation I had with Jeanne not long before my last day in the office. She and I each have married men who are dreamers. We are the planners, and they are the “just wing it” types. They push us beyond our comfort zone. Her husband wants to buy a castle in Europe when they retire. My husband had a dream from his youth to sail. So I will lean into my core values - integrity and curiosity - to embrace this change.

In the end, this transition isn’t quite so jarring because in our personal lives, Andrew and I have been open to going with the flow and letting our moods dictate our activities during the weekends as well as during our travels across Asia and Europe. 

“Be still like a mountain and flow like a great river.” ~ Lao Tzu

Going with the Flow

As we continue through a voyager’s journey, the theme of going with the flow is echoed throughout serenadewind.com as depicted in the following stories:

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