School has started and from the window of my house I can see the red brake lights of cars lining up to drop off their precious cargo. The teachers have, more than likely, been there for weeks setting up their classrooms and have been in school this morning for an hour or more, after getting very little sleep the night before. This is the first year I’m not there too.
I wondered how I would feel today.
As the new business begins to get a little busy and the nonprofit begins to take shape, I can say that I made the right decision. I’ll miss the kids today. Some of them knew they would have me as a teacher this year and I think they will be disappointed. Some of the students that return to tell me how their summer was, or show me that they grew into young men or women, will wonder where I am. I’ll miss some of my colleagues too. I’m going to need to create a new work community as I also try to stay in touch with people I have known for years.
Deep in my heart I know that I’m doing the right thing. I have something else to do in this life and in the infancy of this nonprofit I am creating I can see it taking shape. It’s the meshing of all I’ve done before coming to together. I continue to meet other woman that have started nonprofits in the oddest ways. I pick up just the right article or book. I mention what I’m doing to a person who knows someone who can help me. It’s just all falling into place. It feels right.
So there is a bit of melancholy, but more so an overwhelming feeling of having made the right turn in search of my mission. What a relief!
Once you make a decision, the universe conspires to make it happen.
~Ralph Waldo Emerson
I am desperately trying to establish a routine. I have my “to do” list broken up into manageable parts and my date book filled with upcoming appointments. After years of teaching I’ve learned to allow time for each task on the list, prioritize them, and then schedule them on my day planner. I need that structure to my day or I get lost and then I get nuts.
So, why am I fighting getting back in this routine? Don’t get me wrong. I know that life happens and things need to be changed but I know myself. I know that unless I can manage my day nothing gets done. I won’t write, I won’t exercise and I won’t work. Then I won’t allow myself time to time to think and imagine and be creative.
This past Monday was my first day of the new work schedule. Accountable to only myself, I can see if will be easy to mismanage my time. So, if you get a message from me between 10 am and 5pm EST, do me a favor, tell me to get back to work!!
So much of our time is preparation, so much is routine, and so much retrospect, that the path of each man’s genius contracts itself to a very few hours.
Ralph Waldo Emerson
I’ve been away from home for a little over a month. It has been wonderful and mind clearing. I’ve spent a lot of time thinking abut what I wanted the life I live every day to look like in places I’ve never been to before and may never see again. For me, that is when I do my best thinking. In my own home I see the past, the things I should be doing, and all the future events on the horizon. In another space all of the good, the bad, and the ugly is cleared away and I can focus on decisions and directions. So, the first thing I learned is that I know myself. I feel much clearer and my priorities are in order. I have a plan and I’m a person that loves a plan. I’m never happier than when I know where I want to go and I have mapped out my options and am on the brink of starting something new. In June I was overwhelmed and confused. In August I’m a force to be reckoned with. Travel as therapy. Do you think I could get my insurance carrier to pay for that?
“It’s a funny thing about comin’ home. Looks the same, smells the same, feels the same. You’ll realize what’s changed is you.”
-The Curious Case of Benjamin Button-
Starting today I am intent on spending as long as it takes re-evaluating the many ways I define myself. It’s not as easy as it sounds. I am mother, partner, teacher, friend, and neighbor. Then of course I am my strengths and weaknesses, my hopes, fears, triumphs and disappointments. I’m sure there are more. I want to weed out all of the labels that don’t work anymore.
As a single parent of four children I have spent most of my adult life defining myself as a provider. I did whatever I needed to do to support my family in any and all ways. The last of my four is finishing high school and the rest are making their own way. I know from experience that they don’t stop needing when they turn 18 but it certainly changes.
Who am I without all of those definitions? Who might I be if I could be empty of all preconceived ideas and recreate myself? What will I keep and what will I find doesn’t serve me anymore?
I’d love to know if anyone has travelled a similar path. I’ll let you know what I find.
“When I let go of what I am, I become what I might be.” – Lao Tzu
Listen to me. We’re here to make a dent in the universe. Otherwise why even be here? Steve Jobs
Kris Carr, who I absolutely love, asks: Do you know your life’s purpose? If so, what is it? If not, here’s an exercise: what do people compliment you for? What are you really good at? Let’s start there…
People say that I am the world’s best cheerleader. I can make a person feel like anything is possible and am able to dig the only shred of confidence a person may have hidden somewhere and drag it to the surface, nurture it, and help it bloom. I see things differently than many people and can get to the root of a problem where others may have given up. I’m tenacious. “No” isn’t an answer I accept readily. I believe anything is possible and if you hang around me long enough you will believe it too.
I’ve used all of these skills, talents, or personality traits in my work as a special educator or when I worked with the homeless or mothers recovering from addiction or surviving abuse.
I still feel like there’s something more to do. What is my life’s purpose? Such a huge question. How can I use all that I am to make that dent in the universe? Big questions. What’s your answer?
Does this path have a heart? If it does, the path is good; if it doesn’t, it is of no use.
When I was 5 years old my mother told me that happiness was the key to life. When I went to school, they asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up. I wrote ‘happy.’ They told me I didn’t understand the assignment. I told them they didn’t understand life.
Today’s assignment is to sit on the beach and think about what makes me happy and how to get to a place that I can be useful and still be me. I’ll let you know if I figure anything out. Happy Friday!
You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself any direction you choose. You’re on your own, and you know what you know. And you are the only one who’ll decide where you’ll go.
Yesterday I was reminded of the scene from the movie The Godfather when Al Pacino says “Just when I thought I was out, they pull me back in.”
I gave my resignation at work and I knew that no one was going to be very happy about that. What I didn’t expect was shock and (no, not awe) meetings. In the meetings all of my concerns were addressed and immediate plans were made to correct some of the problems. So I caved and agreed to think about my decision.
So, here I am again wondering how to stay in the present moment while making a decision that so affects my future and where I must consider the past. What would Buddha say about that?
Do not dwell in the past, do not dream of the future, concentrate the mind on the present moment.
When we are no longer able to change a situation – we are challenged to change ourselves.
Viktor E. Frankl
I created this blog in order to journal the events surrounding the starting of a new business, as well as an affiliated nonprofit. I thought I could show others that reinventing yourself is possible, but as I write I can see that it’s also helping me to see the same thing.
The business will allow me the opportunity to start an organization that provides loans and grants to woman, who have previously lived below the poverty line, so that they can start their own businesses.
To be a part of someone realizing their dreams or giving them the encouragement to change their perceptions of themselves or what is possible in their lives would be an incredible gift. I’m looking forward to the process. Thanks for following along!