The great thing about getting older is that you start to hone in on what really matters. If you’re seeking answers and determine to live authentically, that is. Because you could definitely chase poop that doesn’t matter, right on until your last days. But if you are truly seeking to live out your best life, I think you find with time, that some things just don’t matter anymore. And sometimes that means you’re okay looking like a fool to everyone else – while doing, saying, and living as you feel compelled to.
The older I get, the more certain I become about what I do & don’t want to give my time to anymore. I also know that I can’t stomach regret. Through therapy and some tough knocks the last couple of years, that is becoming even more clear. I’ve promised myself to live a life without regrets.
Recently, I went down a rabbit hole of regret when I was second guessing sharing my heart openly, with someone I cared about. I shared my heart with him and there was no response, (which is a response). It sucked. That’s the thing though, I don’t want to make space in my heart or mind for regret. I told him because I promised myself I wouldn’t live with regrets. I didn’t want to figure out what came next for me, without telling him how I felt. And while that didn’t really work out for me, what’s worse is always wondering. I have my answer through his silence.
We can trick ourselves, when things don’t work out the way we’d hoped, that maybe we’ve made the wrong call. But the truth is, sometimes the gift is in the practice of trying, stepping out onto the limb, or trying something we’re terribly afraid to try. The more we exercise this muscle, the stronger it becomes, and the easier it is – when those moments of self-doubt pop up – to squash them. We only have this one life to live. I can’t fill it with regret. You can’t fill it with regret. None of us should.
At 45, I’ve spent the better part of 20 years around a young crowd. I haven’t had kids of my own. And something about those two things, has kept me feeling pretty young in many ways. But where I am happily feeling my age is in figuring out what matters and where to focus my energy and time. Now more than ever, that means to live and love without regret.
So – as I look toward my future, there is freedom in choosing each day to live my one, wild and precious life. If I’m focused on living fully – no matter where it takes me (even if it’s in the city I least want to be in), I’m able to see the beauty in each day. Life is not some far out thing that happens “someday.” It’s now. I refuse to look back someday with the realization that life was happening all around me and I missed it. I just won’t do it. The older I get the more certain I am that our opportunities for the life we want are in the every day choices we make now.
“Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?” —Mary Oliver
In April, I wrote this post about dreaming about what comes next. In the months since – I started thinking about the future, dreaming, and applying for jobs. But, without any job offers and only one interview, I grew a little discouraged. At every turn I felt like I missed opportunities to move out of the area and into my next career. Beyond what I hope it means for my career – I also hope this change opens the door to meet someone. As in – someone to build a life with. The pickins’ are slim up in this joint (haha).
Now that I’m nearing the end of a work “project,” I truly have the full freedom to pursue a move out of state – or even the country – I’m nervous about taking the first steps. But I’m ready for something new. Have you ever felt that? Maybe I’d describe it as being certain that you need something new, but the path you’re taking to where you want to go, isn’t quite certain.
What I know for certain is that I no longer have a passion for what I’m doing. I once did. I probably still would. But with changes beyond my control, to the program I’ve given much of my adult life to, it’s not the same. But I’ve felt the pull to move on to something different, for some time. I found the dream in 2019. It was the right job, but the wrong place. That is what I dream of now – getting back to that place. I’m going to follow my passion. And while I don’t know exactly how all of this will come together, I do know the pieces will fall into place soon.
What has helped you gain clarity, when you’ve been on the precipice of major change? What advice have you been given or used, for planning major life change?
I listen to Being Well, a podcast by Dr. Rick Hanson and his son Forrest, often. Recently, they aired an episode that is helping form the foundation for how I will make decisions in the near future. I’ll be listening again this week. The title is, “How to Make a Big Decision.” If you are interested, you can find it here.
Here’s what I’m listening to this week. In many ways, this has been a hard week. But it’s also a good week. It was one I needed to make more changes and push me further in the right direction. There’s a whole wide world out there, friends. And there’s a lot left for me to do in it. So music this week is a random mix. I’ve been listening to the playlist for my novel, A Thousand Years, which I’m editing, as well as some playlists that are older favorites.
Another Spotify playlist that’s on repeat is, Road Songs. These songs were inspired from many a road trip. That’s just something I don’t do (road trip) anymore and need to. This is a crazy mix of country (like classics from George Strait – like Carrying Your Love With Me), classic rock, instrumentals from the amazing guitarist Phil Keaggy, and a personal favorite – Fernando Ortega.
Another favorite, Sunday Nights if You Were Here:
What are you listening to these days? What’s inspiring you or keeping you motivated?
The cat is out of the bag. I don’t need to hide it anymore. My employer knows that later this summer, I will begin moving on to the next phase of my life. While I actually wanted to do it sooner, I let some things get in the way and then it seemed to be too challenging to find what I wanted. As such, my plan is to aim for summer with the expectation that the economy will continue to get better and opportunities in the field I’d like to move into, expand. I’m dreaming about what comes next.
But whatever happens, I think I finally feel the freedom and the ability to dream again. I am ready to hope again – about what might be possible in the future. After a couple of painful years, I had to get to know myself again. And while the delay has frustrated me – to the point I have been just freaking angry at God, I think I get it all now. Or at least part of it.
Last summer, I started working toward some things and then let those fizzle. But as I prepare for my 45th birthday, I know what I want. I know the type of life I want, the dream I have, the career I’d like, and yes, even the type of relationship I want. I know what I want. It’s not just that I want these things, I think they’re part of what I should be doing with life now. Not pursuing those things I’m meant to, just isn’t going to work for me any longer.
The thing is, I’ve got things to do and a lot life to live. This afternoon, as I think about what lies ahead, as I enter my 45th year, I’m thankful I’m ready to dream again. I’m thankful I can hope again. And I know that what’s meant to be mine, will be mine.
Between my temporary role opening an event venue, past events I’ve planned, recipes, decorating inspiration, novel inspiration, and about a million other things, I adore Pinterest. I use it all of the time and sometimes like a search engine – especially when searching for something related to events or novel writing. I used to do this very thing when I was a kid, using my favorite magazines to collect vision boards and design inspiration. I only have one scrapbook of images left. If you can believe this – it’s from Victoria Magazine and is largely event, entertaining, and wedding inspiration. Now instead of magazines, I use Pinterest for my inspiration and vision boards.
Do you use Pinterest? I’d love to follow you there. Share a link to your profile (or follow me and I will follow back).