Sunday, August 12, 2012
In Like A Lamb, Out Like A Lion
This month I will be turning 39. I do not feel 39. In fact, if you were to ask me how old I surmise myself to be, I would not be able to answer that question. I feel like I transcend age. Honestly, I just feel like me. Whatever age that may be, I do not know. I do appreciate that I am blessed with age defying genes from both sides of my family. However, blessings alone are not enough to achieve the life you want.
I realize from my twenties that it is up to me to make life happen. I cannot be a tourist in my life. I missed too many chances because of my character. Loyalty to a fault, fear of becoming a burden, lack of self confidence, not believing in myself, playing it safe: all of these afflictions had starring roles in the story that was my life during the decade of my twenties. I was miserable. I had grudgingly settled into the bed I made. I surrendered myself to the fact that this was going to be my life.
It was in my early 30's that the universe presented me with the biggest gift one could possibly ask for. That gift was a second chance to live the life I wanted. I was reluctant to accept this gift at first. Old habits die hard as they say. I was petrified to leave the comfort zone I had surrendered myself to. I had more responsibilities and challenges now in my 30's than I did in my 20's and facing them as a single parent terrified me, but... life knew I was up to the task. My twenties prepared me for this gift. I just needed to understand that. So I began to reflect. I recognized that I needed to seize the opportunities that fate presented to me and decide what I was going to do with them. I could no longer afford to be afraid of failure. I could also no longer afford to be fearful of succeeding.
This was my second chance. This was fresh start. You see, I do not believe in coincidence. I believe everything and everyone that crosses my path has a reason and a purpose, however big or small. It was on me to figure out what that reason or purpose was and how to incorporate it into my life. It's not always an easy task, we still miss lessons along the way, but if they are meant to be lessons for you to learn, fate will present them again. The lesson I was focusing on now was how wisely and unwisely I had used my time. I knew I had entered my thirties a sad, naive little lamb. With this second chance, with the personal growth I had procured, I knew there was no other way to leave my thirties but like a lion, roaring to the 40 yard line. It was time.The metamorphosis is under way. Hence the purpose of this blog. I want to share. I want to inspire. Here is how it all came to fruition.
I started the process of reflection concerning my nearing forty a few months back. Those that know me well know it is something I do often with almost every topic, situation, emotion and scenario that crosses my path. I reflect for many reasons. I do it to ponder the lessons that I have learned from futile endeavors. I muse over the accomplishments I have earned from taking risks, chances and stepping outside my comfort zone. I envision what my state of mind was at those points in my life. How much have I evolved from the experiences life has given me? What can I do differently? What am I doing right? How can I become the better me?
As suggested by my best friend, I started looking at time as if it were currency. Placing a value on my time has brought my life into true perspective. I understand no one is promised another tomorrow. The recent passing of my grandfather reinforced this. By taking the mantra "live each day as if it were your last" and incorporating it with the hope that there is still plenty of life left for me, the currency thing makes perfect sense even if I am not. It's hard to explain but I will try. Allow me to give you a little background.
At the beginning of the year I made a list of goals. I just started jotting anything and everything down. It was strange but I was overcome with this sense of urgency. There were loose ends that I could no longer afford to avoid. I realized this sense of urgency was the universe telling me something big is on the way. It was telling me "You need to prepare for this change by shedding the remnants of your past life because a new one is on the horizon." What that is...I have no idea. I do know it is coming though. I can feel it in my bones.
I began reflecting (surprised?). There were a few situations that were lingering. Situations I had pretty much ignored for 6 years. The universe had begun forcing my hand concerning these scenarios. My blood pressure was not going down despite upping my dosage twice. I was feeling out of sorts all the time. I was starting to feel ill on a daily basis just like I had through my marriage. My stomach problems were coming back. My headaches were more frequent. My anxiety was still manageable but creeping closer and closer to the edge of the cliff.
I had worked so hard to keep my GAD (General Anxiety Disorder) under control. I weened myself from medication years and years ago. I have not had a panic attack since then despite the challenges of being a single parent. I did not want to go back to that now. I needed to take control. On top of this, I was also hesitant to admit that over the past two years I had begun to feel a slow depression sinking into my soul. I was never a depressed person. Unhappy yes, but never depressed. I could not risk losing the person I had worked so hard to become.
My best friend had given me a link concerning metaphysical symptoms last year. I found it very interesting to say the least. Some of the ailments I had in my twenties all but disappeared in my thirties. It made so much sense. Psychologically, we can control a lot of what is happening to our bodies. So when some of these ailments started creeping back into my life...I looked to this link again to see what I, personally, could do to rid myself of them. I needed to take responsibility for my health. Time was still on my side but for how long before something serious happened? I needed to stop looking for band aids and overnight cures. There was no quick or easy way to become healthier. I knew I was going to have to make some alterations to my lifestyle. This was going to take work. With the help of my doctor, support from family and friends and my own determination, I have been on a steady road to a permanent healthier me. I have my moments, but I refuse to go back.
The link to metaphysical conditions.
In addition to my health, dealing with my financial situation also could no longer be avoided. I am a somewhat stubborn woman. I believed somehow, I would find a way to pay the debts acquired during my marriage as well as pay my normal house bills. I also wanted to pay for both kids colleges, buy them cars and also accomplish the items on my bucket list. It took a few close friends to point out gently but firmly that I was attempting the impossible. I was spreading myself too thin in too many areas of my life to be effectual. I would not be a bad mother nor a bad person for waving the white flag.
Did I have responsibilities? Yes I did but...I also had a responsibility to myself. I chose to finish raising my children before seriously contemplating another relationship. That was commendable I guess but was it in their best interest to hand them everything too? What were they going to learn from that? What was I teaching them about real life? Would they be able to survive if god forbid something happened to me?
They were both over the age of 18. My responsibilities to them have changed. I can still shelter them, feed them and guide them. I would never allow them to suffer needlessly and my home will always be their home, my door will always be open to them no matter where life takes me but...they needed to start taking the initiative for what they wanted out of life just as I had done. I couldn't hand them everything even if I wanted to. Financially, it was impossible. I was making myself sick over this. They were becoming more and more concerned about my struggle.
I was nervous about this abrupt change. I sat down individually with both kids and poured my heart out to them about the reality of my situation. I offered my wisdom, my love and my guidance, but I also explained that they were going to have to make their lives happen for themselves. I could not do that for them. Honestly, they were excited that I had freed them from my reigns. They are amazing, intelligent, understanding kids. I know that. I had to let go in order to allow them to become the amazing adults they are meant to be. They know I will be there for them when life knocks them down. They know I will be their biggest cheerleader when they take on their own endeavors.
After my talk with my children I took on my next financial hurdle which was a big one. I needed to face the fact that I could barely afford my house and food bills let alone the outstanding debt acquired during a time when the income was almost three times what I earned now. I had gone through a divorce and a downsizing. I had remained on unemployment for nine months before I was even granted an interview to one of the 54 companies I sent resumes to. I am very thankful the company that granted me an interview hired me because I do love my job, but I also took a significant pay cut. This too was making me sick. I needed to balance the love and low stress level of my job with the goals I want to attain.
This is my current project. It's also the toughest goal I set for myself because of the negative emotions involved in the process. Not only am I fighting off my creditors, I am also fighting off my own negative inner demons. Demons I put to rest a long time ago. Bitterness, anger, and resentment from long ago continually try to punch through the surface. I have kept them at bay, but mentally, just this alone has become exhausting. All I keep thinking is this cannot be over fast enough. There is a bright side though.
Many of goals I listed in that little notebook at the beginning of the year were coming to fruition. More than even I expected. Some took much hard work on my part, while others have fallen into place naturally. My health is improving greatly. My anxiety will also return to a normal level once my bankruptcy is complete. The negative emotions of the past will be put to rest once and for all.
I will be given a fresh financial start in a month or so. I will rebuild. I know how to do that well. As for that slow depression that has been sinking into my soul, there are a few goals I am not going to mention that will hopefully assist with that but my Bucket List will also be of great assistance in ridding the depression from my life. My Bucket List gives me so much to look forward too.
This leads me back to the currency that is my time. I am still young enough to have a fresh start. Anyone at any age can have one really but it becomes harder as they years go by. Our bank of currency known as time is more diminished as we age. I need to spend wisely now. Of course I am not credulous, I will always have challenges, it's part of life. We need them to evolve. But, as long as I take my lessons and truly learn from them, I will be able to spend less currency dealing with each challenge than I am now.
And... while I am still young enough to have a bank full of time, I am experienced enough with life to apprehend what really is important to me. I know what is worth my currency of time and what is not. I am beginning to see how much currency I spend on hopeless situations. I need to spend less on them. It's healthy to take risks and chances, I just need to recognize when something just isn't going to happen and move on to the next venture rather than throw more time at it.
I am becoming more responsible with my spending. I know who I am. I would rather spend my time and money traveling, experiencing new adventures, pursuing my true passions, dining out, attending concerts and events, enjoying the hobbies I love most and relishing the company of friends and family than have a house full of material possessions as I once did. I do not need an outfit for everyday of the year, a closet full of shoes, jewelry boxes that can barely contain their contents, televisions for every room in the house, the latest cell phone, brand new cars, the most popular new gadgets, and an attic filled with household goods to match every season and holiday. There is nothing wrong with that. To many people those above mentioned things are their passions and they should indulge in their passions. Why shouldn't they? They work hard too. It is their life. I do not judge. However, it just isn't who I am. Not anymore. This is who I am. My Bucket List is who I am!
Anyways, I am a wordy woman that digresses quite a bit. Ultimately, this blog is all about checking things off my Bucket List. I want to spend my 39th year checking off as many items as possible within my means since I still have my yearly goals to attain. I would like to at least check off one goal per month. I want to leave my 30's at the top of my game. I want to leave them with a roar! I want to enter my 40's like a lion! I want to check off some of the bigger things on my Bucket List in my 40's.
My new found health has opened even more doors to me. It's so exciting! I want to write about all of them...in as least amount of words as possible. LOL! I want to share my adventures but also prove that anything is possible at any age! And on an ironic note, my Bucket List has inspired me to write again. Maybe it will lead to more writing. I sure hope so!
Below is a link to my list that I have online. I also have my handwritten list because I am an old fashioned girl who requires a hard copy. There is just something about handwritten...well anything really. As always, any suggestions for new adventures are always welcome. I love any type of input! Maybe I will inspire some other thirty somethings, forty somethings, fifty somethings and sixty somethings to start their own list. It's never too late.
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