Lint-Trap 2/10/01: Let it Snow


Let it Snow


Ever since I moved up into the hills, I've wanted to be here when it was snowing. Growing up on the East Coast, I rather miss the drama of a winter snowstorm--school closings, laying in batteries and firewood, planning meals that can be made without opening the refrigerator if the power goes off.

Last year, I got home one day in a rainstorm to find a half inch of slush on top of the mailboxes--it was clear that we had had some snow, but it was mostly gone. This year, we have had several predictions of snow at my altitude, but nothing but a few flakes were ever left when I got home from work.

Today, it SNOWED.

Not that it stuck to the roads, or anything, but there was a nice quantity of snow whirling through the air, fat wet flakes. It coated the deck and a few of the trees. At one point I looked out and the silly palm tree was covered with snow in a most incongruous way--by the time I thought to get the digicam out, the snow had turned back to rain and the effect was lost.

Speaking of lost, so was the power for a half-hour or so. And my phone and ISDN service for most of the day too.

I spent the day in a most interesting way. At the Tom Condon workshop last weekend I met a woman, Pam, who was in the midst of a career change. She had started a dot com company and grew it nicely until the air pocket. Had a deal agreed upon for her company to be acquired, and then the acquiring company tanked.

She and I were on a panel together, because we are the same Enneagram type (Seven). As it turns out, we both have six wings. But I am an 'intimate' subtye, and she is a 'social' subtype.

(OK, I'll translate. Sevens at best are smart synthesizers, interested in everything, with a dozen projects on the fire at once, fun-loving, the life of the party. The dark side of Sevens is a pathological avoidance of pain and commitment, and a tendency towards shallowness. Sixes are, at their best, loyal planners, smart and determined. At worst, they are paranoic worriers who restrict their lives out of fears around their own competence. So a Seven with a six wing has, at core, the traints of a Seven, but also displays some of the traits of a six. Intimate subtypes are drawn to, and best at, one on one discussions. Social subtypes like people and tend to be attracted to group activities. So there).

It is an interesting experience to be on an Enneagram panel. You sit up there with people who describe themselves as your type, perfect strangers, and within a couple of minutes you find that they are completing your sentences and saything things just as you are thinking them. It can be quite creepy, in a very fascinating way.

So Pam and I and several other people were on this panel, and she talked about her job change. In a most Seven fashion, she had decided it was time for a new career (she has had several already). Maybe she should go into community relations for a large company near her home. Perhas she should sell real estate. Maybe starting another company is the thing to do. She has a lot of experience with nonprofits. Etc. etc. All the Sevens on the panel are nodding enthusiastically and smiling with her at the excitement that making this change brought up in her. I dimly noticed that the rest of the room was sort of sitting in stunned silence, a frequent response to a Seven when they get on a roll.

Afterwards, I mentioned to her that I had found doing some NLP values work to be most useful when I did my last job change. She was interested in this, and so she came up yesterday and enjoyed the snowstorm and endured the power outage. And we talked about what was important to her in a career.

The one jarring element was that she put 'Independence' very high on her list of things she looked for in a career. (Again, this is what you would expect from a Seven). When we discussed this, Independence for her was expressed largely in negative terms. She said "I couldn't work for the government--too rigid." "I don't want people telling me what to do>", and even statements like "I need to be free to be creative" are less than ringing affirmations.

NLP teaches that goals that are negative are pretty problematic. It is far more effective to focus on getting what you want than on avoiding what you don't want. So we had a several hour discussion on these topics.

It's interesing to talk to someone so similar to me. From time to time, she would say something jarring, and then I would realize that I say things like that too, and wonder if they jar the people I say them too.

We Sevens are so interesting, though! I think I may be on my way to making a Seven friend, someone who I will see rarely because Sevens are always so busy, but will always be fun to hang out with from time to time... All in all, a good Saturday.

Thank you for reading.

Copyright © 2001 Pete Stevens. All rights reserved.