The Disruptive Influence

My father called me “The DI,” or Disruptive Influence, from the time I was about 9 or 10 years old. I thought it wasn’t a good thing, that it was about my being too “bossy,” as my sister calls me. I felt bad that that was my place in the family, rather than being “the smart one” or “the pretty one” or even “the troubled one.”

I mentioned this to my brother a few years ago. He said it was just that I would “cause things to happen. It was a good thing.  You’d say, ‘Let’s go to the beach!’ And off we’d go. ‘Let’s make taffy!’ And we’d make taffy.”

(I’m not sure this says as much about me as it does my family, but oh well.)

0058I think it was partly self-preservation. I like being busy. I like making things happen. I like adventure. (And obviously, since age 4 or so, I don’t like others pushing me around!)

So, in my new retirement life, the good news is that I finally have a social life. I’ve had coffee or dinner with friends or taken a class (Italian and Pilates) nearly every day. I’ve read a bunch of books, scoured Zillow every day for a house, and gone shopping (online and local).

But, I’m struggling. I’m not busy disrupting things. I’m not making things happen (or not much, anyway). I’m not having adventures (unless you count buying a house in Tuscany). I don’t feel like I’m accomplishing anything.

I started doing a felting craft, but without a place in mind to sell them, I’m bored. I try to sit and relax, but I’ve never figured out how to do that without a glass of champagne – and 10 o’clock in the morning is a bit early for that. I even go on hikes in Annadel, but my body can’t take that every day (as much as it needs it).

As a DI, you would think I’d get into the political scene in a big way. I did do the March and that felt good. But I’ve never been very political, except to end the Vietnam war. Now THAT was disruptive. Or maybe I should learn more about Twitter (who can keep their thoughts to 140 characters??) or nanotechnology or this But, I think my brother once called me a Luddite, so obviously this is not my strong suit.

I helped two people (and my husband) with their business plans, and that felt good. Can I do that more? How about being a virtual assistant? (Still working on getting internet in Italy, as I see it as a game-changer in that field.) Life coaching? What IS that, exactly?

I did promise myself I’d take this year to just chill, and I’ve been really good at trying that. It’s not working. I need to be what I am – a disruptive influence. And no, not like DJT or the nay-sayers about disruption in the business sector.

My personal way of being a DI is seeing things from a different perspective. Dusting off the cobwebs of fear or uncertainty or inertia. Taking a business or an idea and turning it upside down or shaking it out to see its working parts. Asking questions to get to the core, the essence, of a problem or need or issue. It is then helping to turn that into some kind of action, to help a person or an idea move from point A to where it really wants to go.

Is that a job description? Maybe. I guess we all need to be DIs in this new world we’re in. Meanwhile, I will continue my quest. Ideas anyone?


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