Discovering….what’s next?

I have had many jobs in my lifetime.  I was always searching for the calling that I read others had found.  When I was younger, my occupational move from place to place felt embarrassing, yet, I couldn’t talk myself into staying.  I refused to settle into a safe, but, unfulfilling job.

So, I have worked in retail, production art and editorial at a famous card company, teaching, a year’s stint with a talent agency, ten years as a wholesale business owner, as a real estate agent, and back to teaching.  During that time, I earned two master’s degrees in education. Can I just say that while I had moments of true enjoyment with each of these positions, I missed the sweet spot of knowing that who I was and what I did really fit.

During all of that time, I knew no one who felt the way I did.  Most of my friends and relatives went to work each day with no thought of looking elsewhere for that magical fit. My yearnings made me feel different.  I wondered why I couldn’t find contentment.

As time passed, though, I began to feel grateful for my experiences.  I realized that comparing my thoughts and desires with others only led to disappointment.  I learned to treasure the variety that my choices in life have given me, like a gift from a friend.

Now, I continue to venture into new experiences, with my sight on community service.  I completed training to be a CASA (court appointed special advocate) volunteer for abused and neglected children, and have just received my first case.

I don’t plan to stop here, though.  I have the urge to see more, do more, and give more.  I feel that my experiences have carved a path for me to serve in some way.  I plan to show up to see what is next.

Sometimes you hear a voice through the door calling you…  This turning toward what you deeply love saves you.   –Rumi

 

 

 

 

 

A Few Random Delights

Cold weather calls for a little warm artistic pleasure!

I’m freezing.  We have had beautiful weather here for the last few weeks, but today is cold, rainy, and gloomy.  Then, I opened a link, and suddenly I’m feeling spring!

I attended a National Geographic Live program at the gorgeous Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts. Photojournalist Amy Toensing has documented Aboriginal Australia over the past 3 years and transported us there through her stories and slideshow. Fascinating!  If you are ever in Kansas City, be sure to include the Kauffman Center on your agenda. You’ll find various events to suit your taste, and the venue itself is magnificent.

I’m loving this soul-stirring video by Sam Smith and John Legend, Lay Me Down.

At a local church, there is an annual event called Prom Boutique that has become a huge success.  The purpose of the 4 day event is to provide (free of charge) dresses, jewelry, shoes, purses, and nail polish for girls who might not have the opportunity to buy these items at a retail store. It allows prom to become a reality in their lives.  Last night, I volunteered for the first time, and helping girls select accessories to match their chosen dresses turned the rainy, gloomy evening into all things bright.  I will not forget their beaming faces anytime soon.

A quote that caught my eye:

What you do makes a difference, and you have to decide what kind of difference you want to make.  — Jane Goodall

And this from the wisest of wise:

Don’t cry because it’s over, smile because it happened.  — Dr. Seuss

To Re-Purpose Life…All Things New

My daughter will be leaving for college in a few months, and I watch her prepare for a new direction in her life.  As most parents probably experience, I have mixed feelings about this upcoming change in our lives. I’m excited for her, and I look at this time in my life and realize that I, too, will be moving into new territory.  She has been my top priority, and soon she will be away from home, which will create a huge shift in my daily life.

I vacillate between excitement for my daughter’s new experiences and feelings of loss for myself, and I’m beginning to reexamine what I want my life to look like.  I’ve always loved to try new things, and I embrace change (usually), but I realize that I have neglected that impulse until now.  So, I’ve begun to look at ways to actively engage in unfamiliar territory.  Now, more than ever, I’m checking out new blogs, movies, books, events, travel possibilities, classes, and anything else of interest.  I’m also looking at how I can contribute and give back by volunteering.  It’s about creating a life of meaning and purpose on a daily basis.

In future posts, I will be updating you with what I find, and I’m hoping that some of my discoveries will inspire you, too.  More to come…

She loved life and it loved her right back.  (live-inspired.com)

 

Women Baby Boomers are Ready to Bloom

Do you find yourself surrounded by change?  Maybe your children have left for college or are out of the house and on their own.  Perhaps you have ended a career or even retired. Or maybe through divorce or the death of a spouse, you are now on your own.  Are you looking around and thinking that you’re not cut out for an ordinary or quiet life that you might see others settling into? If so, you are not alone, and this blog is designed to bring like-minded women together with stories of interest and inspiration.

I recently retired from teaching and notice that most of the people I see who are in a similar place have chosen to take it easy.  I get that, I really do, but there is only so much cleaning and organizing or strolling around the neighborhood that you can do in a day. Please understand that I’m not criticizing their choice if they are content with what they are doing. My husband is one who absolutely loves retirement, so I see up-close how it can work.  It’s just not for me.

I love to read, so I am drawn to articles about people who are playing outside the norm, those who are discovering new or hidden talents and loving the path that brought them there.  I recently read an article by Laura Sydell at NPR online about Barbara Beskind.  Barbara is a fascinating 90-year-old woman who is designing technology for the aging population at IDEO. As a young woman, she wanted to be an engineer but was told that women couldn’t pursue that field. Instead, she joined the Army and studied occupational therapy.  After the Army, she had a private OT practice and invented devices to help children with equilibrium issues. Later, she saw the founder of IDEO on 60 minutes, talking about the need for hiring a team with diverse perspectives. She contacted him and was hired to do the very thing she had wanted to pursue as a young woman.  I love stories like that.  She is staying vibrant and relevant and says that her age gives her an advantage. But, what if Barbara had thought that IDEO wouldn’t give her a chance at her age? Did it enter her mind that it was a risk to try? If so, she obviously fought through the doubt. It’s life-affirming to know her story.

I wonder how many women are feeling restless for adventure and fascinating learning opportunities, whether that means enrolling in a class, exploring your city, or checking out sights and cultures far away.  Maybe you have a lifelong desire to investigate a creative path that you haven’t had the time to explore until now. Let me know!  Share your story.