Thursday, December 20, 2018

Closer I Am to Fine

Are you dealing with a difficult personal decision? I relate as difficult decisions consumed my 2018. I had some important but really hard decisions to make and I was none-too-sure of myself. 

I found the strength to pack up my life and move mid year as it was the clear answer; one I had been struggling with for some time. I also ended a relationship with a family member because she took advantage of me far too often. Letting go of two important but unhealthy relationships was gut wrenching. I realized that accepting bad behavior from others is a choice. I had to make a different one.

Being in emotional pain comes from holding (often tightly) onto to things that cause us damage. We worry that releasing these things will leave a gaping hole in our lives. But the hole can only be refilled with something better after it has been emptied. There is no room before. Simple. Not easy.  

Gradually, a bit at a time, I found a new day-to-day life. New grocery stores, gas stations, restaurants, and movie theaters. Less mindless television to numb the pain. More commuting to see old friends, old local clients, and to the Denver airport for work trips. More deep talks. More walks in the (nearby) mountains. More joy. It's been a short time so my new normal is evolving.

The big ah-ha this year was that I simply had to trust the journey. I tried hard to listen to what the changes and struggle were telling me. Here are some of the most important messages: It's okay to be scared. Everything is figureoutable (thank you, Marie Forleo). One step at a time. And then another.

My friend Phil told me I'd feel disoriented but should realize that the most important parts of my life would remain the same. He was right, of course. The things I love--cooking, fitness classes, writing, and helping people get better results from instruction--didn't change. My work buddy, Karen Hyder (, who encouraged me to write my research-driven learning books and now uses them in her own (amazing) practice, came to visit me in my new home. Laughing and walking around my new little town with an old friend felt perfect. My friend Steve and his daughter helped me KNOW that I was absolutely where I was supposed to be. 

Each year, I pick a song that conveys this year's main message. This year's is Indigo Girls' Closer I Am to Fine. I relate to these lines especially.
Well darkness has a hunger that's insatiable
And lightness has a call that's hard to hear
I wrap my fear around me like a blanket
I sailed my ship of safety 'til I sank it
In the last few years, darkness has called to me loudly. I had to make it stop before it consumed me. Deciding to and then making the move helped me again hear the soft voice of lightness, telling me I wasn't stuck and I would be fine. I began the difficult journey to becoming fine. If you are facing hard decisions, I wish you the peace, strength, and insight to make them. I get how hard it is.

“New beginnings are often disguised as painful endings."

If you read my articles, books, blog posts, or tweets, or sent me messages on email, LinkedIn, or Twitter you helped me as well. We think of writing as a one-direction activity. But it isn't. I've had many conversations with people who read and comment on my work. Some people have done a lot to help me but didn't have to. Special thanks to Mirjam Neelen (@MirjamN), Will Thalheimer (@WillWorkLearn), Bill Sawyer (@billsawyer94566), Guy Wallace (@guywwallace)and Christopher Pappas (@elearnindustry) for all of your help. 

I wish you a "fine" 2019. 


  1. Stay strong. And thank you for all that you do to keep the ship of ISD upright. Looking forward to meeting in person in February!

  2. Guy, I will, and thank you. It takes a lot of people to keep this ship upright. Glad you are rowing beside me. ;-)

  3. Some years really are harder than others, but you are strong. I have faith that you'll figure out a new path. I hope 2019 is a happy, healthy, and fine year for you.

    1. Thanks so much, Christy. I hope 2019 is happy, healthy, and fine for you, too.

  4. I am on a similar ship. Hearing this from you encourages me. My prayers are with you. My goal is that 2019 is the year I find some peace. I hope you will be more than fine in 2019. Thanks for linking in with me!

  5. Paige, peace is worth the journey. I'm not very far down the road yet, but have made it to the place where I know it's what was needed. My prayers are with you, too. You can do this.


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