I am coming to the end of this project in New Orleans and it has been a long, hard road. The hours have been long. The locations have been challenging. The project has been sensitive. And here I am after four months discovering still that I have more endurance than I ever thought I had. Like the trees in the swamp I have continued to stand tall, straight and quiet.
I know age is a relative thing and some have very distinctive ideas about getting older. Some say they are ageless. That all sounds good on paper but in reality there is the blatant truth. Some of it I can do without but there is one thing I know for sure. Call it patience, perspective or just plain tenacity but being more seasoned and experienced definitely has its advantage.
For one thing I have learned to pick my battles or not. Mostly not. When I was younger I was hot headed and thought I needed to make a point to be heard. Loud and clear. But now I realize that you can make a stronger point by not reacting and really listening to what is being said and done. I know there were many times in the past I would have spoken out when things didn’t seem to be going my way but it was my way and not their way. Funny thing is that when I let them think they are getting their way by not fighting I really get my way in the end. Because I have found that the turtle actually does make it to the end first by making it in their own quiet way.
I am learning to step back and let the swirl of activity, especially negative, spin itself out without me giving it the final push. The strength is in the silence. Because in the silence the message I am sending is loud and clear. The silence states I am not interested in joining the chaos. That has turned out to be a much more powerful lesson than being vocal. And it has saved me the angst of engaging in abusive behavior.
A friend once told me that while I’m getting crazy and all worked up they are going to lunch. And I am finding that going to lunch instead of getting combative has helped me endure even the hardest times. I have the conversation but now instead of having it in public I have it in private. It helps me to evaluate what is really important and that being right is not always what endures. Going to lunch endures. Especially with a nice glass of red wine.