As I work through the changes I have thrown myself into it has been amazing and frightening all at the same time. This quote captures the essence of my life during this time of change.
I thought that life would immediately reveal itself to me and I would be clear where I was headed and I would quickly move in that direction. To quote a friend of mine “Was I smoking crack?” I am old enough and experienced enough to know that isn’t real life Some days I struggle with this change I have made to my life and other days I am riding forward in a new direction with self-assured with no reservations. I continue to move forward, full of questions, second guesses, wild discoveries and affirmations about who I am. It is easier and more difficult that I imagined, but now that I have stepped off the path I have no choice but to move forward and finish what I have started.
One of the things that multiple people have said to me multiple times that now I can sleep in and do nothing since I am no longer employed by someone else. Interesting thought, but not happening. First and foremost I am a creature of habit and routine. So in spite of this big change in my life there is so much I do that I have always done and will likely continue to do, but I am seeking something different.
For this creature it means that I get up each morning and almost universally am rocking and rolling each day by 7. It is my internal time clock. It is part of me. Regular time or daylight savings time each day at 7 bells each am I am getting up, no alarm required. I am a morning person it is part of my undeniable chemistry always has been and not likely to change.
Another piece of my make up is the need for some kind of control. It is that type A, analytical business analysis that I spent most of my life being speaking up here. To satisfy that need to plan and have some control I still use a planner. In my planner you will still find a to-do list, though I will freely admit it looks much different. No longer is full of things my employer needs from me. My day is no longer driven by the obligations I have as an employee. Instead it is full of ideas that pop in my head, people I want to call, appointments I need to make for myself or the animals, things I want to learn more about, places I have wanted to visit and other things that are on my personal wish list. Each morning over that first cup of tea I look at the list and decide what on my list I want to do today. Some days it is one thing and other days it is five things. It depends on if the weather calling my name to come out and play in an early spring day in Montana, or my creative muse is begging me to spend the day in my studio space, or a book on my reading list just became available at the library, or a million other things that can make that day just right for me.
So maybe my method has not changed, but what I am doing with my time has changed. Lets see what the changes bring into my life.
As I start this next chapter of my life, I am finding that it is really all up to me what my life looks like.
I have worked ever since I was old enough to babysit and have not stopped since. For the most part I have been lucky and have had some pretty good employers and jobs. I have been been blessed to not only have a great career but one that has allowed me to have a great life and experience the changes of the world of technology. I have had the opportunity to be a rising star and a be a leader in different business settings. I thrived in that environment, thought at times it was all consuming. There were sacrifices made by not just me, but my friends and family as well. At times I became my career and it became me.
Now that I am am unemployed and of a certain age, I am looking at the idea of moving back to a work in role of a worker bee rather than a leader. I suspect that it will be hard after years of being a leader, but it is now someone else’s time to shine. I want to leave at the end of the work day, knowing I did the best job possible for that time, but the work day is over and I get to leave. I no longer wish to be at my desk at 6:00 in the morning and still be there at 6:30 at night. More importantly, I don’t want my mind to race at night mulling over business problems and wondering how I can improve the situation. It is now my time to make a contribution in ways with my talents outside of my job. Those extra hours at work have a new place to go. I have in the given past, but my heart tells me it is now time to look at more and different ways to give back to my community. My creative muse is screaming to get out and play. The impulsive person in me, who has been under lock and key is just clawing to get out, and do something spur of the moment.
So as I celebrate five years blogging here at LookingOutTheWindow, I invite you to ride along on the next chapter as I explore life looking out a new window and what I find along the way.
When we think of Valentine’s Day and Hallmark moments we generally think of our spouse or partner, maybe if you have them you think of tender times with your kids or grandkids. It isn’t usually your brother who conjures that tender moment, yet one of mine did when he sent me a Valentine. It wasn’t just any old greeting card he picked up but one with a sentiment that pulled at my heart strings that he clearly picked out for me. . It struck me as so true of our relationship, adult siblings. It was a Hallmark moment and found a tender spot in my heart and made me a wee bit emotional. I have written before how lucky I am to have the wonderful guys that they are as brothers, and they continue to show in lots of little unexpected ways.
If you are a brother or a sister, take some time to call your sibling, drop them an email, comment on their blog or Facebook page, and maybe even send them something via snail mail. I promise it will brighten their day in ways you can’t imagine.
When I look at this snapshot of my brother and me it makes me smile. I am not sure what was going on in this photo I was too young to remember when this photo was taken. I think my life was full of big sister-little brother moments so this was likely one of many and nothing so special about this particular moment it has stuck in my mind for over 50 years.
What in the heck was this snowsuit all about? It looks like our mother thought my brother was going to be outside for hours instead of the few minutes that she took to photograph this moment.
I was likely two and my brother six months or so old. I was holding him tight with my little mittened hands and watching over his shoulder to make sure the world was right for for my baby brother, whom my mother had entrusted me with. It was the beginning of a lifetime relationship of caring about my brothers. Though much of our lives my brothers and I have lived half a continent or more apart they are still my brothers who I love and care about as much today as when this photo was taken with the middle brother. I don’t think about my brothers most days, I am busy wrapped up in my life I hate to admit. But then I come across a photo like this and am reminded that I have some pretty awesome brothers.
P.S. To my other brothers who are not in this photo, you rock too. I love you all, but this was the snapshot I found today, so it was the one I used to remind me of what a great bunch of guys I get to call brother.
Yesterday my Aunt Arnie lost her courageous battle with cancer. My heart breaks for my cousins and their families who lost their mother, grandmother and great-grandmother who they loved so much. It makes me a little sad to know that I can not be there when they hold her service, but geography, work, and economics make that impossible. That is one of the unfortunate realities of being a grown up and living so far away.
My Aunt had been a widow for many years and lived in the house she raised her family in. No return visit to the Midwest was not complete with out stopping by her house. We would visit around the kitchen table catching up with her.. It was always wonderful to spend time at her house hearing how things were going and sharing with her what was happening on my end of the world.
Last night with my husband, we reflected on all the things that made her special. There were so many things I remember about her, but the thing that I will always remember most of all is her smile. I can’t remember a time when she did not have that smile that wrapped you with warmth. To go with her smile she had a special kind of eyes that twinkled and went perfectly with her smile. I am not sure what it was about her eyes but they truly did twinkle with little crinkles around her eyes that some joined up to go perfectly with her smile.
Somewhere in heaven today, Aunt Arnie sits with those who have gone before us, looking down on us as each of us figure out how life will go on differently now that she is gone. She is enveloped in love with those she is reunited with, and smiling down on us with love, because she knows we will be ok and some day she will see us all again.
I recently gave notice to my employer of nearly seven years that I was leaving the organization. It was not a decision I entered into lightly or without nights of loss sleep. The analytical side of my brain was calculating and recalculating the impacts on my life, personally, professionally and financially. There were tons of pros and cons to my decision that rolled over and over in my mind with no clear winner. For the first time I was leaving a job without a clear plan of what I was going to do next. The only sure thing was that I needed to close one door before I could move to the next phase of life. Both RangerSir and I knew it was the right time and the right thing to do for me and for us. We knew this was the time for me to stop procrastinating and see what could happen if I tried a few of those “what ifs” and explored some of those tucked away dreams.
I spent the last week in Great Falls, Montana working my last conference for the organization. It was a great to be able to see my board of directors and many of the members of the organization one last time. It was a full of questions from folks about what will you do next? The honest answer was I don’t know yet. It felt sort of lame when I said it out loud. It was another moment of second guessing a carefully weighed decision.
I got home yesterday. I was catching up on all that had happened while I had been gone; reading the newspapers,stopping into my favorite local craft store for creative supplies and catching up with some of the women who I teach card classes to. In just six days, two friends had lost their wives and another had lost a son-in-law who was only 43. A beloved local doctor continues his fight against an aggressive cancer, and my dear aunt was once again hospitalized l fighting the same disease. A friend who has been struggling with symptoms and was seeking a diagnosis finally got one, ALS. It was a reminder that time can be short or long we don’t know. When it is within our reach we should risk it and seek what is possible and not assume that there will be plenty of time. Circumstances don’t always allow us to take the risk, but when the stars align and it is possible to do so. Don’t let yourself be caught up in regrets, what if’s or die wondering. Time and health are both finite. We have no idea how long with have of each, but the supply is not limitless, don’t waste it. For me the time is right to take the risk and see what is possible.