Sometimes A Word Can Change Your Life

 All journeys have secret destinations of which the traveler is unaware…..

Martin Buber


“Mission” is a word that has the potential to change your life. Sometimes you immediately recognize that you are fulfilling a mission, sometimes you are further along before you realize the road you are traveling is indeed your mission and sometimes your friend Louise points out that seeking a new “mission” might be one of the reasons you are writing this blog!

Having stepped down last January after serving for 14 years as the Executive Director of a non-profit whose main purpose was helping families cope with the imminent loss of a loved one from a dehumanizing disease it seemed totally absurd to think of writing this blog as anything more than a fun and creative outlet.

That thinking changed when I agreed to participate in a free Life Coaching session with my aforementioned friend Louise, a very accomplished artist, marketing expert and Life Coach who needed to conduct and record a test session with a client in order to qualify for her next level of Coaching accreditation.

“Of course I would love to participate”, I replied, especially since it only involved a phone call and not traveling to a warehouse studio in a deserted section of Brooklyn to model clothing for a fall fashion portfolio (which was the case last time I agreed to accommodate a friend). Modeling clothes could not be further from my comfort zone but I couldn’t think of a reason to refuse other than blurting out the truth, that I completely recoiled at the thought! However I discovered, as I had many times before, it sometimes pays to take risks, lo and behold that is where I met and became instant friends with the stunning Louise!

But I digress….

For our recorded session Louise asked me to prepare an agenda consisting of  areas in my life I felt I needed help with. The first challenge was narrowing the field! I finally settled on help sorting out my feelings  as I completed my first year as a “retired person”. Having spent much of the year exploring many of the incredible options available in New York City I knew it was time for me to focus. After listening to me ramble for what seemed like a long time, Louise helped me understand that I appeared to be struggling with a way to define this chapter of my life, especially after such a clear and focused previous chapter.

The epiphany occurred when she commented that  to her it it felt that I can function better when I am “mission” oriented. Wow, she nailed it! Thinking about our conversation I also realized that by adding one more syllable the full context of my struggle became crystal clear.

In addition to a “mission” I needed to give myself “permission” to enjoy the creative process writing a blog brings and to embrace this very different time of life.  I hope my blog will provide a smile, maybe conjure up a sense of recognition as I write about my experiences which, in some instances, created unusual learning curves and who knows, maybe I can even help a few fellow travelers discover their own “secret destinations” (assuming one or two people read this and join the conversation as opposed to only family members and close friends who are obligated!).

A one hour session with a trained, insightful listener helped to clarify my vision for this new life. Thank you Louise, I am truly grateful!!!

And So It Begins……

I was looking forward to starting this blog in partnership with my pal Renee on January 1st, 2015 my first day of retirement… life got in the way for both of us and it is now December (almost January 2016) are we finally ready?!

I loved my work as the Executive Director of a non profit and learned so much about the human spirit (more about this later) and spent two years planning my “stepping down” (notice avoidance of the word “retire”). I was positive I was going to be the first person who ever said “what am I going to do to fill up the days” rather than the ad nauseam “when did I ever have time to work?”.  My inner scream was constantly being activated by well-meaning people telling me how much I would love this next step. Full disclosure, I didn’t step down until I was almost 70….ish, how did that happen? When did people stop looking at me in amazement when I said I was a grandmother and when, despite adopting my youngest looking stance and expression, did young “upstarts” begin offering me their seat on the subway?!

What do I plan to blog about ?

  • Filling the days without just filling the days
  • Meeting new and interesting people
  • Tips on discovering how to get along with yourself, sort of.
  • Enjoying new opportunities-learning to embrace them rather than thinking of them as obligations I got myself into and can’t get out of because the tickets were purchased or because I’m bringing the wine.
  • Senior (hate that word) beauty and health tips that may not work but aren’t harmful and may even be worth the effort!