I took some time off this summer to think. You could say it was a reward or a sabbatical, but really it was me curling up into a ball (like a pill bug!) to think about the direction I want to go with the rest of my life. I needed a reset. As we settle into autumn, I find myself emerging from my time of reflection with renewed focus and hope.
Maybe you can relate?
I’ve reached the mid-point in my life. It was time to ponder what I have and have not achieved; what might be possible going forward; and what contribution – if any – I have made to the world. With my daughter moved out, the daily care stage of motherhood has ended. I am surprised at how much mental space that gives me. I marvel at what appears to be freedom. Since I am not in a romantic relationship, I am also at complete liberty regarding what I do, and how and where I choose to live the rest of my life. Freedom feels odd and as it sinks in that it’s my turn to live, I feel wonderment.
Have you too reached a place where you ask, “Now what do I do with my life?”
It’s fun and scary at the same time, like being at the top of a roller coaster just about to start the fast swish down the slope. Who knows what lies ahead?
I remember realizing after my first two children died that my life was completely reset. I recall after the fire burned our house that my life was completely reset. And now, here it is again. How many chances do we all get to take a different path? And why do we take or ignore them?
My friend Rick demanded but didn’t get a promotion he says is long overdue. So today he began looking for a new job. Reset!
Another friend Jeff called today to tell me his credit score is so bad he didn’t get approved for the third house he tried to rent, so he’s living in someone’s spare bedroom. He’s 54 and the father of two young children from his second marriage. Worst, his third fiancee left him two months ago. She was the one with the steady money. Reset!
I just got back from a visit to see my stepmother Rita, shown in the photo with me. She and my biological father moved to Panama ten years ago. My dad moved back to the USA about a year ago, leaving Rita to clean up the details of selling their real estate there. Several buyers have fallen through. Rita’s chirpy line? “It will all work out perfectly!”
And so it does. Time and again, although Plan A goes awry, it turns out Plan B is as good or even better.
If your life is going through a reset, may I suggest you take whatever time you can snatch from your schedule to reflect on what options you have left and what you’d like to do with them? Sometimes, we’re so frantic, so busy, so panicky or so scared that we grab onto the next thing that passes by, in hopes it is our salvation.
I’ve seen people do that as they are leaving a marriage, for instance, when they “fall in love” with the first person who is nice to them after their spouse calls it quits.
I’ve seen people who know they will soon be laid off scramble for any job they can find, as opposed to thinking about how to take a step up in their careers.
I’ve seen (and been) a person who looks for familiarity, safety and comfort to keep myself steady during turbulent times. But if we approach the resets in our life with questions and compassion instead of fear, we have space to craft a better future; to learn the lessons the reset might be teaching; and to take stock of where we’ve been so far. And as Rita says, life has a way of working out perfectly.
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