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reSLience… a.k.a. resilience

it's what lies within that really matters

A time gobbler I have befriended the past 3 almost 4 years is a 50 mile round trip commute. It is a daily task I face head on – taking about 45 minutes to 1 hour each way depending. I attempt to breathe and enjoy the sunrise, the sunset, or entertain myself by imagining things about the fellow commuters who join me in the inching motion across the Valley. Having a hybrid for the past year extended the rights to me to drive in the HOV (carpool) lane. Joining the HOV lane drivers was extremely liberating and added a new twist to my commute entertainment.

Anyone who rides in my car knows I enjoy the stereo very much. But… I admit.. I abuse my privledges. I torture passengers by switching songs on CDs or my iPod or changing radio stations much in the same manner men use the remote control to watch television. I’m in constant quest of the perfect song for whatever the mood. I have my favorite DJs on the morning commute and enjoy the banter – to a point of course. SL DJs have helped make my commute more interesting. The sex song triology is one that I would imagine most of my fellow commuters never enjoy. It adds an odd sense of release to the drive – LOL!

So… one day… in this trek… I switch to the country station. Yes – I admit it… the country station… and I listen to a cutie – favorite Kenny Chesney. He is singing about 7-3, 3-11, and 11-7. A pretty good song… and ode to the working man (and woman). A song about how somebody has to do shift work. A song about what that somebody might do if he or she didn’t have to do shift work any more.

I thought about my job. It is a far cry from shift work. I feel fortunate for that. I have a creative position that allows me to write, conduct trainings, and connect – people, programs, dots in general. For years I have worked double shifts. I poured my heart and soul into it. My family supported me in that endeavor and I worked so hard I accummulated TOO much vacation and sick time. A few months ago our organization was faced with a hostile takeover of sorts. My colleagues and I have likened it to a rape. Those who were victorious took everything from us – including our pride in all we had and the success we had shared. We were left with nothing. Those long shifts I had worked… they seemed to be all for nothing. I began a ride I hadn’t expected.. a rollercoaster of grief.

It was about that time – of the initial shock – that I found my way onto Second Life. SL offered me a much needed solace for creativity and fun. My husband had more time to explore being home from teaching for the summer and he would scout out things for us to do and enjoy. It became something fun and an escape from the 110+ degree summer temperatures. We didn’t try to find any shift work to earn Lindens other than suntan and walk the catwalk. But surprisingly, there are many opportunities for work. My favorite Linden conversation with a DJ not too long ago was about how proud he was he hardly ever had to pay real dollars for Lindens. The friend of mine I was with and I both had a good laugh about all the Lindens we pay for. Our RL shift work helps fund his SL shift work πŸ™‚ (and all those clothes and shoes we are so crazy about too!)

I’m not quite sure what I wanted to say here. I think work takes up so much of our lives it is important to find SOMETHING we like about it even if it is a job we as a big ol’ pile of shift work as Kenny sings. It doesn’t necessarily have to be the task or project. It can be the people. It can be the breaks πŸ™‚ or lunches. It can be fun… even if that fun requires your imagination to work overtime.

Ultimately though, life is too short to not enjoy. I personally am saving my shift work pennies and heading off to that tropical paradise where Kenny parks his boat. But in the meantime, I’ll enjoy my SL island escape and sing really loudly in the rush hour commute.


P.S. Our organization is making an amazing comeback – flexing our muscles in new ways and seeing what we can become. It is exciting to be in on the ground floor of redesigning what we can become. We are RESILIENT πŸ™‚ (kind of a theme in my life – SL and RL huh?)


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