I flipped through a book on leadership not too long ago and found not only passages highlighted by Rick, but even a handwritten list of significant changes he had made to improve himself. I’ve shared the list with his daughters and we all agree each item on the list resonates true.
The book is Deep Change: Discovering the Leader Within by Robert E. Quinn. Rick read it while transitioning from an executive role to leadership consulting. The major theme throughout the book is that “we must continuously choose between deep change or slow death” (Page xiii). Using his own resilience and self-knowledge, consultants, books and counselors, Rick had already taken huge strides into a life of greater integrity before he opened this particular book.
I do not have the strength of character I saw in Rick, but I end 2017 stronger and more self-aware than ever before.
“Time heals all wounds” is simply poppycock. I will always have our love embedded inside me and I will never stop feeling his absence. Time, however, does change things. I admit that I probably have tinted my memories of our good times a rosier hue. Remembering arguments and misunderstandings hurt, so I don’t linger on those. I revel in the knowledge of our passion and commitment to one another – we truly had an unusually close relationship.
If I had tried to continue with the life and activities we shared, that surely would have been a slow death for me. A widow cannot remain the same woman she was before; she has to undergo significant change. If you’ve been reading my posts, you know I have picked up activities and friends, and discarded some of both. I have tried to find my way to the best of my ability and overall I am satisfied with my journey so far.
Recently I was at a party to celebrate the publication of a new book. Also in attendance was a couple to whom I owe a debt of gratitude for pushing me into writing. Last year a local city’s marketing staff was looking for someone to write lighthearted posts about cycling; this particular couple, as leaders in the cycling community, was asked for recommendations and reached out to me. It was just a few months after Rick’s passing and I turned them down flat. After further consideration, I realized I was the perfect candidate for the writing assignment. That grew into a second assignment with the same municipality and this personal blog. At the book party two other possible writing assignments emerged.
With Rick by my side I was a different and more joyful woman. I am undergoing deep change to live more abundantly in my new life. I love my family, I value my friends, and I look forward to 2018’s adventures!