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I think I need a time out … to think.

Posted in Life & Love, and Relationships

6f1d84a589a990a492b4a1aac2e2572eRecently I have felt a little overwhelmed by the myriad things that come across my plate every day. All of it manageable – but in all honestly – I don’t think I am making the best use of my time. Somehow, my end of the sofa seems to have contracted – and I want to address it.

More than anything – I want to clear out the expectations I have of myself so that I can look around with clarity.

I’ve been thinking about all this for a while. But not quite got my ass into gear. Until the other night when I was watching Billions, a vicious TV series that pits a ruthless U.S. Attorney, Chuck Rhodes, against a ‘can’t-touch-me’  hedge-fund king Bobby Axelrod.

Rhodes has never lost an insider trading case, so when evidence of criminal activity turns up against Axelrod, he decides to proceed cautiously. Rhodes is an ambitious man; and he knows a win here could put him in the White House. But it’s no plain sailing – Axelrod has brains, ability and more money than god, but even more than that, he loves the game.

Axelrod employs Rhodes’ wife Wendy, as a psychologist/performance coach for his company. Wendy, who has been in her position longer than Chuck has been in his, refuses to give up her career for her husband’s legal crusade against Axelrod. She is literally in the middle. By choice.

So far, so Shakespeare.

Bobby Axelrod has a right hand man (“you’re my rapacious scumbag”) – Mike ‘Wags’ Wagner. Sweet puppyish name for a misogynist psychopath. The kind of man who sets up one of the firm’s top brokers because she is female and because she demanded more compensation. Maria has received an offer from another company – and is using this to leverage Axe Capital. Furious that anyone would do this to Axe, and by extension him, ‘Wags’ decides to meet the offer – showing Maria an unexpected degree of warmth, luring her in.  Meanwhile, as he tells Wendy happily in their session: he intends to spend the next two years crushing Maria. Freezing her out. Destroying her career. Rendering her unemployable.

Wendy thinks Maria is ‘badass’. That in this group of unprincipled men, she has held her own with ability and dignity. She wants her to succeed. So, in their next performance review during Maria’s recounting of the situation, she tells her:
“Close your eyes, picture yourself… at 80 years old.
You’re at your Sag Harbor place, on the front porch in a rocking chair.
See the view. Hear the sound of the water, the seagulls. Feel the summer breeze. And feel the arm of the chair as you slowly rock.
Now reflect on your life having decided to stay here at Axe Capital.
Your relationships here, your chances… to advance, to be fulfilled.
What are your days like?
Now… picture yourself having spent that time with Zenobia.
Who are you with?
What are your days like?
Were you able to rise?
Did you become a better version of yourself?”

10898161_817224768315917_5764289782775509282_nLater in the show, we see Maria skipping to the door, her boxful of belongings in her arms. On her way to Zenobia.

Those questions stuck with me for days afterwards. Am I still able to rise? What do I want to have done by the time I am 80? What would a better version of me look like?  So I have decided to take some time on the porch to figure them out.

Which means that (among a few other things) I won’t be writing for a while. It’s not the end of campari&sofa, Claudia will take both reins in her hands. And I will drop by from time to time. Hopefully the fog will clear and, by the time my chair has stopped rocking, I will know what I want.

Until then – so long and thanks for all the fish.*

(*Apologies to Douglas Adams.)

 

 

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15 Comments

  1. I too love Billions and remember this episode. Wendy is the “badass” one. Love her. Good luck with your search. I continue with mine daily. Sigh.

    July 30, 2016
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  2. We shall miss your grace and wit but completely understand. Best wishes while everything sorts out and you find exactly what you want and need. ღ

    February 29, 2016
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  3. Will miss your posts, but as someone who has really slowed down on my own writing due to various life challenges these last few years, I completely sympathize. Take care of yourself and hope you find new inspiration soon!

    February 21, 2016
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  4. Good luck! As usual, your post gave me plenty of food for thought. Can’t wait to hear how it all ends up.

    February 18, 2016
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  5. I’ll miss reading your thoughts, but I’ll just say “rock on” and wait patiently for you to return 🙂

    February 17, 2016
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  6. I’ll miss you so much – but you’ve got to do what you’ve got to do.

    One thing I will say is: don’t think too much, one can easily ‘over-think’ a problem/situation.
    The question you posited amused me in one way – ‘What do I want to have done by the time I am 80?’ – a few years ago I would have pondered and drawn up a list…but events have overtaken me, now my answer would be ‘to live until I am 80’.
    Hope you find clarity and peace of mind dear Sofa Girl, I (we all) look forward to your return to blogging. XX

    February 17, 2016
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  7. Val du Toit
    Val du Toit

    Yes, I’ll miss you too. Although I’m relatively new to the site, I’ve loved your posts, especially so as a fellow S. African with US connections (children and grandchildren). Take whatever me-time you need, without any compulsion to keep the words flowing. Chill out at Temenos or the lovely Yoga retreat at Barrydale if you can. Namaste.

    February 16, 2016
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  8. Ellie Toffolo
    Ellie Toffolo

    Knowing when and how to take time out is a good thing. Come back soon.

    February 16, 2016
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  9. We will miss you. Take time for yourself and we will see you again soon.

    February 16, 2016
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  10. Aw, sometimes a girl needs to take a creative break. In a rocking chair. With plenty of cake. Hope to see you back soon 🙂

    February 16, 2016
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  11. Sorry that you’re leaving us, but wishing you all the best in your decision-making.

    February 16, 2016
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  12. Nooooooo. I loved that episode and how Wendy so expertly guided Maria to her decision. Be well and become your best version.

    February 16, 2016
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  13. I’ll miss your posts. I hope you find the clarity you feel you need right now. I know myself, there are times I need to re-evaluate my course. Peace………

    February 16, 2016
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  14. winston moreton
    winston moreton

    Maybe write a screen play about the scum bags you have encountered! LongFiction at 1000 words a day . I will miss your regular contributions.

    February 16, 2016
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