When Kyeli and Pace first told me that my guest post would appear on January 1, 2010, I was like – WOW – happy – like bubbly happy! And, at the same time, I also knew that I’ve always been introspective on this day. Let me tell you why.
For years when I was much younger and celebrating New Year’s Eve by partying, I always felt disappointed by January 2nd. New Year’s Eve never quite lived up to my expectations.
I’m not even sure what I expected but I knew it didn’t happen. I felt like something was missing from my life and New Years had a way of shining a spotlight on the ennui I was feeling.
The truth is that I never felt like I was really a part of something and I didn’t feel like I was making a difference in the world. By many benchmarks, I was successful and had a rich and exciting life. But, true happiness for me was like a teasing tropical breeze you sometimes feel in early April in Pennsylvania – it feels wonderful but you know it won’t last.
And then I got really lucky. In the late nineties, I met Joann. Over the next few years (we got married in 2001) Joann never judged me or tried to make me something I’m not. She listened, laughed, and cried with me as I experienced the highs and lows of change in my life.
Intuitively, I knew that it was time to live my values and be the person I wanted to be for myself and not for someone or something else. I had spent most of my life trying to please others. First it was my father and later it was too many friends and lovers. I needed to please so I could be accepted and so I could find myself acceptable. It was a never ending cycle that was wore me out.
I realized that Love, Integrity, Justice, Honesty, and Authenticity are core values of mine that I wanted to live by, but instead of letting them guide me, I had been doing whatever it took to have others like me.
Something had to change. I asked Joann how she would feel if I quit the work that brought in plenty of money and, instead, started writing and working to help others by sharing what I’ve learned about business and life these past 60 years. It would require a big change in lifestyle – and it wouldn’t be easy.
I’ll never forget what she told me. She said, “You can spend all day dancing in the streets if that is what you want to do. I want you to be happy.”
And, so I began to dance. We both did a special little happy dance when I published my book in 2009. And, we both are looking forward to dancing together for many more years. I’m finally a part of something and someone. And, I finally know I’m making a difference.
Today, as Pace and Kyeli enjoy their honeymoon in Ireland, it seems like a good time to remember how important it is for all of us to accept and love ourselves, to live a live that has meaning, and to stay connected with each other.
Bob Poole lives his life following a path with heart. He is the author of “Listen First-Sell Later”, a father, husband, teacher and student. He writes about Sales, Marketing, Creativity and Leadership at Poole’s Water Cooler. He coaches and consults with individuals and companies who are following their own path and need someone to accompany them for a while.
He’s also a heck of a nice guy, sincerely warm-hearted, and fun to work with. He lives in Perkasie, PA with his wife Joann, two dogs, and three cats, and more friendly good nature than you can shake a stick at!