Day 23,682: Living in the Grey Zone.

Likely since I’ve been born, I’ve been living in the grey zone.  No, I’m talking about hair; I’m talking about the limbo area between black and white.

Many people I know see the world and its issues in black and white, right or wrong, up or down. I rarely do. It’s likely why in some weird twist of fate, my career ended up in marketing – a field that has very little obvious choices.  It’s very subjective, has difficult metrics that change by platform, and requires both science and art.

Living in the grey zone, allows you to be flexible and sometimes tend toward the whiter side or the blacker side depending on the day and mood.  It makes it more difficult to choose sides, but serves you if you’re the youngest in the family, as I was, so that you don’t have to choose between anyone in your nuclear family. You get to be on the side of going along and getting along. If not, any older child can easily leave you in the dust.

Related Post: Focus v. Flexibility

Ironically, I operate in a vivid technicolor world.  At work, I’m surrounded by graphic designers, videographers, photographers and other visual thinkers who very much see the world in beautiful patterns that might have otherwise eluded me. It’s  an advantage of being in the marketing arena.

At home, my house is largely colored in yellows and oranges, with other rooms in greens, blues and lavender.  My clothes are heavy in black and white, but are generally offset with various shades of grey plus bright blues, greens, reds and pastels to give some pop.  Then, there’s always denim, my stand by since the Age of Aquarius.

Living in the grey zone has become a challenge as I get older at work and realize I know more than ever, but have fewer answers. When I was early in my career, I was considered technologically advanced just to be an early adopter of WordPerfect, a precursor to Word, and limited to a machine that wasn’t even a computer, just a fancy typewriter called a word processor. Today, I’m on both a Mac and a PC; dabble in Google Analytics and way too many social media platforms; and have to master a series of suites from Adobe to Office and whatever additional not-so-sweet programs the industry seems to invent every three months. It’s mind boggling.

I have notes and cheat sheets, short-cut keys, and soft function keys – all to communicate better in a world that has gotten way too complex. I’m not a true master at any of them because there are too many of them, which is why I feel I’m a perpetual intermediate. Being an intermediate is, of course, a grey zone state of being – not an expert, not a beginner – just enough knowledge to have a modicum of mastery.

Being in the grey zone is also my way of pretending to be in balance—not the world’s best mother, housekeeper, cook, marketing maven, or bottle washer – but good enough to keep all the balls balanced in the air for the most part.

Having lived so long in the grey zone, perhaps it’s no mystery that I envy grey haired ladies – both those older than me and the latest crop of twenty somethings who, the last few years, made fake grey trendy.  Or maybe my love of lots of color at home and in my closet comes from being so long in the grey zone in so many other areas of my life.

And here’s an ironic twist.  I bet friends and colleagues might say I live a colorful life. It might be what happens when you just keep going with the flow and stay rooted in the grey zone.  This grey zone life has brought me to where I am today, a home where the outside decks give me me a front row seat to amazing sunsets, impressive storm fronts,  inspiring cloud formations inspiring, and more than my fair share of optimistic rainbows.

Staying focused on gun sanity:  Keep following the money and know where your politicians are fueled on OpenSecrets.org.  Few are squeaky clean, In the last presidential election, Trump took in close to one million dollars from the gun lobby — far from the myth that he was funding his own campaign totally with his own money.  Marco Rubio — who recently faced off with the Parkland students — took in a quarter million. Hillary, also took in $48K from The Gun Rights lobby offset by the 1+million contributed by the Gun Control lobby.