Living in the DC area, we would always have a snow/ice storm sometime in December. Having been set up for “work from home” literally since 1992 (with an ISDN line…), I would save that day or so to stay home and write reviews. Watching the snowfall, and hearing about the traffic reminded me why this worked for me, knocking out the writing that would hopefully remind my “directs” of some of the great things they had done in the past year, and a few that perhaps might need just a little more ‘renewal’. It was also when I wrote my own Retrospective for my boss to use. Now that I am my own boss, I have gotten lazy… until this year…
… for years where I had good records from my Weekly Accomplishments reports, the process was easy… and extremely renewing. Often I would see things that I had completely forgotten about, with my great pleasure, reminding others of what THEY forgot they did. As the world was blowing up, I knew that structure was important for me, and as I had this infrastructure ready, I simply jumped in. Now I have a daily summary for the last nearly 286 days. I know that because as I write this, we are getting an ice storm here in the mountains… so my old habits had me dive into “what did I actually do this year?”
One of the self-serving parts of this blog is forcing me to actually learn something new almost every day. For example, this week I learned that Lenny and Stanley played on Bitches Brew with Miles, that Stanley with his huge hands plays a short-scale bass, but most surprising is the core group was only together for 3 albums. AND their impact was so huge that each of them would go on to win multiple Grammys.
Today’s offering is the title track to the album that first exposed me to them, probably heard on KZEW – a rock station – but would play lots of jazz instrumentals that were popping up in the mid-’70s. I also learned that it was influenced by the great albums by Rick Wakefield about Henry VIII which lead to the imagery about Medieval times on this concept album. Shortly after this album was recorded in February 1976 in Colorado, Chick decided to break this group up… but eventually they would come back together for a few tours, including a great Retrospective outing at Montreux in 2008 where you will see them in today’s song. And as I found yesterday, here they are in 1976… note for note the same after over 40 years..
One thing from my own Retrospective that leaped off the page was again I am at the end of the year exhausted – one of my posts last year featured my car dashboard with Zero miles on it… I have gas in my car, but not as much in me as I need. And, as I learned this year, for every one thing you find you want to work on/improve, you need to find 6 OTHER things that you did.. Well. And that is not a normal practice. We are used to focusing on problems, things to fix… and to do that, you need to be in the creative part of the mind, that enjoys… renewing successes.
And…in looking back, I was forced again to see the place that faith and renewal hold in my life. This year, I made progress on making it a priority to take time off and renew. I have stepped up to run the sound system at church, helped get our Zoom services off the ground, facilitating Bible Studies for 3 small groups, and now lead a Men’s Bible study week. And – that is four… I need 2 more places that I did focus on renewal and rest. Well – these are now a part of my day – a time to pause, reflect, think about someone in my past that has a good story that I need to tell. The structure did in fact help me, and having it ready before I needed it is something I am now paying attention to… but that is for next week – on Resolutions (and don’t fear – it will be easy… ) So that is 5…
As I end this series and this year with you, I am going to work up a way to find the posts a bit easier and will share that with you. But a quick Retrospective of some of the topics we have thought together about: Bridges, Colors, Work, Play, Women, Men, Hope, Laughter, Innocence, Inspiration, along with management topics such as Delegation, Persistence, Preparation, Labor, and a consistent resonance on Management Hygiene. Artists have included Kansas, Marshall Tucker, Black Sabbath, Bach, Art Blakey, and Jimmy Durante. And a few artists got 2 weeks – Eric Clapton, Santana, the Avett Brothers, and Nat King Cole.
And I was renewed by all the emails through the journey – things that you liked, weren’t clear about, were confused about, and most of all – things that these made YOU think about. A few of you figured that out – some of the lack of clearness is on purpose – to get your own thinking on things – like did he really mean what he just said? And does that really occur in my own life? Is that even true? Those are the interactions that I work hard for – as when I am working directly with leaders It is not really what I think that matters… it is: can I help you see things in a different way? SO you make 6!!!
Today, I pray that you have a real pause to reflect on the year that was… and find the things that really worked well – 6 or more of them – for everything you want to change. Remember – your Brain needs that if it is really going to believe and renew… you. They are there, but sometimes you will have to dig a bit deeper, maybe even suit up a bit and do some combat with your own inner doubting voices. But… I have faith in you, my friend….. and Romantic Warrior.