Mid-summer check in

So, I’ve been doing what all the cool kids do and taking a social media holiday. I’m checking my messages on Facebook and I’ve auto-scheduled my Friday Bliss Notes posts, but that’s it. I’m heading into the time of year that reminds me of a nightmare period in my life and I need to shield myself from the news of others going through nightmares such as the Nigella Lawson divorce and the Oscar Pistorius trial (I only want to hear about the royal baby, so I’m limiting my news to that found in Tatler.) While I’ve unplugged, I’ve been treating myself with kindness: more prayer, working through my Lara Casey Powersheets (which are amazing!), and spending time with people I love. I’ve even booked a little getaway for later in the summer.

I cannot begin to tell you how positive all of this has been. I was able to get the clarity I needed to make a big decision: I’m not continuing with school in the fall.

The decorating program looked like fun – and the class I took this summer taught me a lot and will be the basis of some creative thinking material. But it’s just not where my heart is. Instead, I’m going to be putting my MBA to work once again and doing some consulting work related to my book on strategic thinking. I realized how much of my desire to go back to school and be surrounded by pillows was a response to acute stress. Among other things, I’m a certified Myers-Briggs Type Indicator administrator, which can help my business clients gain insight into themselves and their teams. It also gives me a lot of insight into my own personality.

I’m an INTJ. I’m introverted (I), highly intuitive (N), a thinker (T) and someone who likes order and closure (that’s the J part). My type finds school a very low stress activity and so when I do not know what my next step should be, more education is a natural response. When anyone is under acute stress, there comes a point when one falls out of type. My own traumatic experience pushed me out of my intuitive comfort zone and into the totally-not-me sensing type where everything is highly tangible. (There is an amazing booklet about type and stress called In the Grip by Naomi Quenk if you are into this sort of thing.) I overindulged in sensory activities, which explains the 12 new throw pillows this year as well as the Chanel jumbo flap bag. (Thank God I was not in Italy when this went down: there is only so much damage one can do in Oakville!)

As things settled down, it became clear that working as a decorator was not really for me. In my drawing class, I discovered that I really don’t like to measure things or use rulers. I also don’t like inflexible rules or bureaucracy. What I did like was drawing a hotel concept that would be loved by Ayn Rand, but sadly there is not a lot of call for that sort of thing these days. And so it’s back to corporate training  and consulting: the career I’ve worked at on and off since I was 20. I suspect I’ve given my lovely boyfriend whiplash during this process, but I feel very good about this decision.

I’m pretty excited about this next step even though it means chaining myself to my laptop doing re-writes instead of driving around looking at fabric and paint. But I’m not giving up on pretty things all together. This is the girl who has had a subscription to shelter magazines since middle school, after all. I have all of the elements in place to open a little retail business so that I can pass on my great home and fashion finds to others (you cannot get a Goyard bag in this country: somebody needs to work on that!) I’m not sure exactly what the concept will look like but since it’s a stated goal in my Power Sheets, I know I’ll get it done.

I’ll be popping by here from time to time to write about the lovely side of life (Italy, the Rogers Cup, the royal baby and fall fashion) as well as blogging over at Engage the Fox. And of course, I’ll be keeping up with Bliss Notes Fridays.

And sometimes I’ll feature a guest post:

Have a safe and happy summer.

xo Jen

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