Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Life is not SO short

Yes, life is short and we must make the most of each day. On the other hand, it is not so short that we don't have second and third chances, many chapters in our lives, or opportunities to change.

At 57 and 3 days, I can look back at so many past chapters in my life, each with experiences, friends, activities, and challenges. Unlike many people, I have had several editions of my life and each of them have been different as to my roles, my lifestyle, and my goals. Perhaps it is that fact that makes life seem long to me. Anyway, it does.

I think each life can have chapters and each chapter can have new choices, experiences, occupations, and so on. Adventure! Change! Life is long enough to allow you to experiment and grow.

Here is an example of changing chapters in my life:

1) 25 years with major corporation - the working woman in a major metroplex
2) retired, raising adopted babies - same major metroplex, same spouse
3) still retired, pursuing art, still raising children, living on a corn farm in the Midwest (following same spouse's work)

Go for it!

Thursday, October 4, 2007

Think, think, THINK!

Think about your lifestyle. Are you seeing the world you live in? Are you experiencing the people you meet? Are you feeling your own feelings? Think. Are you happy, satisfied, proud, inspired by the way you spend your time? Are you really? Stop, be still a while, listen to your inner self. Can you be quiet with your self comfortably?

Are you rushed, out of breath, out of time, out of patience? Too much to do? Too many priorities? Why, really, why?

Do you remember how you spent yesterday, a week ago, a month ago? Is it just a blur, or is it a real memory?

I don't have specific solutions or recommendations other than to think about it, decide what you want from life, make plans, be intentional, and notice what is going on with you and others.

I spent so much of my late teens and early to mid adulthood in a busy fog. I was always busy, sometimes quite successful at doing my job, meeting my needs, keeping myself busy. Sometimes I was lost, saying why am I here? What is it all about.... but having few answers and no real changes in my life.

In my fog, I was momentarily happy, unhappy, angry, elated, driven, asleep, married, not married, and always working my heart out at a job. I loved to work, more than anything else. I was good at that and helpless at living a life.

I didn't have an enlightening moment. Over the past 6-8 or more years, I just decided to be more intentional, purposeful about how I spend my time. I began making assessments of my actions and paying attention to life. I started thinking about how I wanted to live, what I wanted for me and for others. I wasn't very comfortable with what I observed. It was very hard not to drift back into drifting through days.

I had some great opportunities that helped me get some living life skills. I studied at Learning as Leadership (LAL) through my company. My church studied A Purpose Driven Life. At LAL I made goals for each area of my life. That work led me to tell my husband I still wanted children - that blank area of my charts (children) first shocked me and then haunted me.

As a result, we adopted twin newborn boys. My heart grew more sizes than the Grinch's and I discovered areas and layers of feeling for the first time. Motherhood is a new world, a wonderful world.

Then another providential event allowed me to retire from corporate life. I loved it, was fulfilled by it, felt good at it, had great friends there. I was worried about not working, but committed to being a Mom. After the initial disoriented feelings, I began to notice how much of my brain I had available to listen, look around, day dream, plan, love, enjoy, and on and on. I had spent so much waking and sleeping time on work that I had shut out many of life's ordinary events, thoughts, and feelings.

Anyway, through lots of learning experiences, being a retired, fledgling artist Mom, I want to shout to the world - think! think about how you spend your time. Don't let your life go by. Be deliberate about what you do. You'll have a much much richer life for it.