She deserves better

photoToday is Corinne’s 43rd birthday. It’s also her last day earning a salary for the foreseeable future.

She deserves better.

She deserves a better birthday. She deserves a better result after 13 years of bleeding CM blue (well, 12 years of bleeding CM blue and one year of bleeding A&Z “that’s not pink, it’s berry”). And she deserves a better tribute than this crappy blog post.

She deserves decisive, competent leadership. She deserves the chance to spread her wings and do what she can do. She deserves committed support. When she has those things, she can move mountains. I’ve watched her grow over the last 13 years from a talented-but-quiet graphic designer into the best creative director I’ve ever worked with. Bar none. And I’ve worked with some good ones. But you can’t be a creative director when there’s nothing and no one to direct.

So you see, we don’t always get what we deserve. Most of us who worked at the company that was once known as Creative Memories have seen that. Screw it. It is what it is. Move on.

And now she’s on her own. She’s scared shitless, but she’s in there swinging. She’s slapping the crap out of her course load at Saint Scholastica. She’s making contacts. She’s exploring options. She’s even laying the foundations for a company with infinite possibilities.

skoog_logoShe’s scared but fighting. And I’m not being much of any help because I’m scared and frozen in place. Losing over half of our household income grabs me by the chest and makes me feel inadequate for not earning more or not being able to fix this. As a result, I’ve been doing a pretty poor job of being the rock she needs to lean on in this time of crisis.

I didn’t feel much like writing this blog post, but I did it. It’s taken me five drafts and I still know I’m not coming close to putting into words what a remarkable, powerful, resilient woman my wife is and how physically painful it’s been to watch the life being slowly sucked from her over the last year.

But she wanted a blog post for her birthday.

She deserves better.

8 thoughts on “She deserves better

  1. A word from your friendly neighborhood theologian: Søren Kierkegaard, in his work “The Concept of Anxiety” describes the predicament of being human using the story of Adam and Eve. The crux of Adam and Eve’s issue is the fear of losing their potential by not eating the apple vs. the fear of losing their life by eating it. That, in essence, is the burden and greatness of being human. Do we squander our potential in the safety of not taking actions that force us to risk, or do we take such action and risk over-reaching our potential? Once we are alive to the dilemma, there’s no getting out of it. It becomes clear that even the “safety” of not risking is itself a risk. We can either endure the soul-crushing anguish that we are wasting our life, or endure the fear that we might not have what the new situation calls for, but one way or the other, the anxiety of being human will be our companion.

    I think there’s a sort of freedom in that knowledge. Once we realize that there’s really no “safe place,” we can get on with risking our life without the illusion that any one path will lead to true safety. Though we long for the safety of Eden, we were never meant to stay there. So embrace the fear as the gift of your freedom and remember that though “a ship is safe in harbor, that’s not what ships are for.”

    Best wishes to you Corrine and Greg. We’re cheering you on!

    • Great stuff, Alex! Thanks for the insights.
      And, actually, Corinne lives for change and new challenges – she revels in it.
      So, in the long run, I’m confident there’s something fantastic coming down the road and we’ll look back on this as a key opportunity. She’s going to bite that apple, because she’s sure as hell not going to squander her potential!

  2. You obviously love your wife very much. Never forget that no matter what you lose, the two of you are lucky to have that.

    Let me speak from the voice of the school of hard knocks on the sort of situation you find yourself in now. You have two choices – give in to the fear and curl up in the corner and let the situation drown you, or come out fighting and see it as an opportunity to remake your lives because you have little to lose at this point.

    Losing income is a great way to get perspective on your finances – that is the first thing you can get control of. What do you REALLY need? You’d be surprised how much you can cut from the budget on at least a temporary basis.

    Once you’ve done that…think about moving forward and envision what you want. Then GO FOR IT. No hesitation.

    Good luck to you both! 🙂

  3. As a former part-time consultant with former CM she definitely deserves better. You can be her rock. You will both survive the struggle and fear that has gripped tight and is holding you in place. The fact that you are able to voice your feelings with the world shows me that you are strong. Whether you feel it now or not you are her rock and she loves you as much as you do her. Sometimes you just need to hear that it will all work out and for you both – it definitely will. Sometimes all you have left is to trust you will be guided. You will both succeed. My thoughts and prayers are with your family.

  4. What an amazing gift of support and love your wife has just received! I have no doubt that you both will be just fine! Your words alone show an amazing amount of love, strength and support! Go forth, budget (it is refreshing to minimize- as one post said) and revel in the fact that the love that comes from these few paragraphs will get you through anything!

  5. Great said it all in one line. “She deserves better” and she does . Unfortunately I am very familiar with the CM situation. Its a good business model for what not to do. However your wife did get the best with you! Rooting for both of you!

  6. What a wonderful tribute, and such thoughtful words. I was a CMC, although just a hobbyist for the last half of the time. We’ve all experienced so much sadness over the loss of an amazing company, with wonderful products. I know that it is so much more than just an income -it is the loss of a way of life.

    It sounds like she has her rock, her biggest supporter. Best of luck to you both.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s