And they did for a time – birth of two wonderful children, professional success and good health. Until, one day I realized I wasn’t the same person I once was.
My marriage had not become the partnership I had hoped it would be for many reasons – simply a case of two people not meant for each other. However, ending the union was not the quiet goodbye I had hoped. The less-than-amicable parting led to several years of struggle -- financially, mentally, physically and professionally.
I felt I had no control over my life. The future I once embraced with a full heart was now heavy with fear, restlessness and doubt.
Much of this journey is chronicled in a book I just published: Everything is Fine, But I’m Not Worried -- both a cautionary and inspirational tale.
Like you, I wear and, have worn many hats over the course of my 50+ years on this planet. For much of my career, I worked on the people-side of change management in many industries as a problem-solver and public relations counselor for companies, communities, individuals in the nonprofit world, and in the specialized skin care and foundation markets for women.
However, my favorite hat is the one I wear when I am listening to a personal story. A story that needs a next chapter, but the person sharing the story doesn't know where the story should lead. This is when my head and heart begin to hum with possibility.
I found strength, wisdom, courage, and inspiration through many people in my life. What became clear is that my story is one of many women. This understanding led me to my new professional focus -- taking my madcap experiences and the best parts of everything I've done professionally, to help women like you live your best life.
As Arthur Schopenhauer wrote:
"We spend the first half of our lives thinking all is chaos, and the second half, wondering who could have orchestrated such a perfect assemblage of life experience."
I came out of the shower at an inn to find a tall, furry animal with its face pressed up against the bathroom window. After recovering from my initial alarm, I opened the window to get a closer look. I was nearly swallowed whole by a tongue the size of a watermelon that had latched onto my face. Grateful for the kiss instead of being thought of as a chew toy, I learned my hide-away was a neighbor to an alpaca farm...
I once attempted to break up the ice that had formed on my gutters by sitting on a window with a hammer in my hand, dressed only in in my underwear. I swung for the fences only to fall two stories down into a 12'' snow bank. I remembered thinking that I won't be found until the spring thaw. And, in that moment. I began to imagine how my obituary would remember me.
I am completely fascinated by the sheer volume of content that birds share outside my window in the wee hours of the morning. Cloud formations that give the illusion of the ocean or mountains in the distance. The curve that appears out of nowhere on a woman's belly with the loss of estrogen. And, how fast the years go by.
Best ways to decompress? Sitting in a recliner at a movie theater with a huge bucket of buttered popcorn. Being in, around, or on a body of water (bath tub do count). Glass of wine with friends or family. Mowing the lawn. Visiting consignment shops. Getting on an airplane. Walks with Lena and my sister.
+ Sense of feeling "stuck"
+ Restless or bored in current situation
+ Loss of loved one
+ Loss of income/financial stability
+ New living dynamics
+ Changes in workplace
+ New role
+ Health or health of another
+ Life purpose
+ Anxiety about the future