Monday, October 17, 2005

I was talking with a friend of mine, Nyle Smith, about life and the things it does to you. Nyle has survived a number of strokes. He was on the faculty at Lewis & Clark Law School before the strokes derailed his life. Nyle is now disabled, but still wise. I try to drop by to see him when I'm in Portland visiting family and we talk from time to time. I'm hoping that some day he will be able to blog.

One thing that I realized while talking with him is that I've always had good things to say about places where I've worked. He suggested that much of why I find good is that I do my best to make places better.

That came up as we discussed last firm. Before I came on board, it used to have more than 100% turnover (mostly staff and associates). Yet, for the almost four years I was there, turnover was down to about 10%. Talking to one of my ex-partners after I left, I discovered that turnover was at 100% or so the year after I left.

Nyle suggested that perhaps my job history of dramatically slowed turnover in each job I've had was not just my good luck in being in the right place at the right time my entire life, but perhaps something I was bringing to the table as well. He snorted at me and suggested I take credit for making a difference.

What he had to say reminded me of my first secretary at my employment when I brought another summary judgment back in and I passed it off as just more good luck. She snorted at me and suggested that luck might have made the difference once or twice, but after five or six I ought to consider that part of it might be me. I thought of her when I talked to Nyle and he said the same thing.

Nyle gave me some good perspective, which he always does. I appreciate his faith and endurance and good example. Not to mention, what he had to say was a good remember to give myself credit and to remind others to do the same -- to give themselves credit.

After all, much of life in recovering from grief is owning life and giving yourself credit, accepting joy and sharing it. Owning life and accepting the good things in it is a lesson to be learned and shared over and over again, and yesterday was a good reminder.

Thanks Nyle.


annegb said...

Wow. that is so profound. I am speechless. Thank you for sharing it.

Sarebear said...

Today I took a wierd kind of joy in "owning" some of the "crappier" aspects of my personality.

The psychiatrist, who was far beyond painfully direct (it felt more like an emotional slap in the face lol), laid it all out. I was sitting there, lips a-quivering, body starting to heave with unsupressable sobs, and he just kept on going, and part of me wondered just how much cruelty I was supposed to put up with.

But, in the end, after what he had to say, and some discussion, and telling him I was pissed off at him, and him asking why, I paused for a second, and inside, I felt a strength I never knew I had, to face the awfulness that I never knew I could face, to face all the ways in which I have been left with rather negative and selfish personality traits by necessity of having to USE those traits to survive my childhood, but which traits no longer were a positive thing, and, in fact, were rather negative . . . . and in that moment, I stepped up to the plate, in the recent fulness of self that I have felt, that I have NEVER felt before this medication began to lift the fog of something preventing me from KNOWING the fulness of my capability and self, in that moment, I stepped up to the plate and answered his question of, "Why?", with, "Because the truth HURTS."

I owned it. And in doing so, I felt a strange sense of empowerment, and even joy, at my own strength and depth of capability that I had never before experience.

I could go on, but I believe I'll post about it more later tonight or tomorrow on my own blog.

I took credit, as it were, for the bad stuff, but ALSO for facing up to it, when I never thought I could. And he recognized that and applauded me for it.

Still, I'd rather not go through anything like today again . . . but I suspect he'll provide opportunity every couple of months when I see him. Lol.

Sometimes I tend to credit the meds too much, and me too little. So this is a very good post for me, to realize too.

I am so glad someone helped remind you of this. You have been so kind to me, and I am glad someone was there to do this for you.


Lisa M. said...

I concur, Annegb.

And I suspect, Nyle is quite brite.

annegb said...

Stephen, I very often measure my posts and think if you would think it's too mean. Sometimes I post anyway, but you are a good example of true kindness.