And just like that: it’s a new year

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Two days before Christmas, and all through the house (and workplace): I threw down a full-fledged menopausal meltdown. It was as if I’d been issued the challenge to: Go big, or go home. Eventually, I proceeded with both and dubbed myself the Grinch. But once I realized it was hormone related, I approached my muddled emotions with a clearer sense of direction. And that’s when I knew: my 20/20 vision and plans for “growth” aren’t about knocking out a bestseller (although at the top of my list) or greater financial stability (still up there), it’s about growing into the purpose for which I was created, and growing in the areas I mention in “…bidding farewell…”—my convictions, fortitude and peace. It’s about knowing who I am and growing in that knowledge, discovering and honing the tools I need to succeed. It’s about putting this season of all things menopause to work for me vs. against me. 2020, here I come!

How do you plan to grow this year?

Empowered vs. embarrassed: becoming your biggest advocate (encouragement for women)

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In my post, Resigning ourselves to embrace each season, I share my new normal: menopause. Since then, I’ve consulted with myriad health professionals, researched countless treatments and, in reality, become my biggest (health) advocate. PSA: I urge everyone to assume this role, whenever possible. But, because I cope with a few uncommon medical issues; e.g., a blood clotting disorder and congenital heart defect, I’ve learned that several potential solutions prove riskier to manage hormonal imbalances. This simply means heightened due diligence on my part. And, because no medical expert is perfect, nor every woman created equal, a trial and error mentality is key. Throughout the process, I’ve also discovered my voice—not only by asking questions, but by being transparent with others. Rather than suffer embarrassment, I feel more empowered than ever. Stay tuned for upcoming posts that include tips for managing this new season, from common symptoms and natural remedies for relief, to encouragement that we’re not alone.

How do you manage the new seasons in life?

Image source: https://transforminglifenow.wordpress.com/.

It’s not too early: start attracting what you want in 2020

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Ever get struck with an epiphany that pumps your blood with excitement? The kind that makes you want to smack yourself on the one hand but high five the other? Coming off the tail end of one of these ah-ha moments, I shared it with a close friend and I think it’s worth repeating. For countless years, I’ve been playing a self-imposed “waiting game,” while subconsciously casting blame on other major players (aka main characters) in my life for the place—or season—in which I find myself today. Newsflash: first, there is no one to blame but myself. Second, just as I mentioned in my post, “How to make a happy life…,” the choices I’ve made thus far belong to me alone. And third, no blame necessary. I simply must remind myself that no experience is wasted if I learn something that prepares me for the next season. Because watch out New Year: this girl is on fire!

For tips on attracting what you want, visit https://chopra.com/articles/7-strategies-to-attract-everything-you-want-in-the-new-year.

Time is running out: make it matter

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There are three months

left in this decade.
In. This. Decade.

If you’re on social media, you might’ve seen the above words pop up in your feed. Now tack on the phrase: “Take that risk” or “I think you should go for it.” As humanity collectively stands on the cusp of a new season, I’m reminded of the patterns that accompany the inevitable changes, whether in nature or our own lives. A well-known Bible scripture begins: For everything there is a season, a time for every activity under heaven. A time to be born and a time to die. A time to plant and a time to harvest. Once trapped in a cycle of repetitive behavior and thinking that prevented me from moving from past to present, over the last year I’ve experienced both loss and gain—culminating in acceptance, forgiveness and blessed freedom from bondage. I’m ready, now, to take that risk. To go for it. To make it matter before time runs out.

Are you ready?

Image courtesy of krishna arts at FreeDigitalPhotos.net.

Resigning ourselves to embrace each season

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Live each season as it passes;
breathe the air, drink the drink,
taste the fruit, and resign yourself
to the influences of each.
~ Henry David Thoreau

Over the past few years, I’ve learned a little something about “Club 50.” It comes with a tiny downside called menopause. While I’ve been navigating this new season of empty nesting, adventure seeking and pre-retirement planning (the countdown is on!), the sneaky little “M” visitor swooped in under the radar and stole my life as I knew it—leaving behind a lack of ambition, fatigue, mood swings, hot flashes, excess weight, acne breakouts and an outcropping of coarse and curly sparkles. And that’s just the beginning! Thankfully, there’s hope. Or so I’ve been told. Because I still have a lot of living to do, embracing each moment even on the days when I must dig deep and fake it until I make it. Or the days I simply laugh my way through because it beats the alternative.

What season must you embrace?

Image courtesy of Simon Howden at FreeDigitalPhotos.net.

When all the butterflies die: look forward to new growth

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While scrolling through Facebook recently, I stumbled upon this quote: “That feeling you get in your stomach when your heart’s broken. It’s like all the butterflies died.” I know a few things about broken hearts and dead butterflies. Hope deferred. Unmet expectations. Loss and emptiness. But during this new season, I am compelled, now more than ever, to make sense of my path. To reclaim that feeling of contentment I talk about in “Try it on for size…” To don happiness as a daily accessory. To welcome new growth. For far too long my attention has been fixated inward on my needs and wants and disappointments. And it’s time for me to look outward and focus on those around me.  To take a break from the distractions and agendas and whatever else thwarts, rather than advances, my purpose. Hopefully, in time, as I breathe and pray, I will discover what makes me tick and who I’m supposed to be.

How do you know you’re on the right path?

7 truths on and off the trail

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As I often do while hiking, I pray. I meditate. I search my soul and ask what it longs for most. I plot my goals or a story outline. While trekking through the desert this weekend, it’s as if life made a little more sense to me on and off the trail with these truths: 1) Danger is always possible: prepare for the unexpected and proceed with caution. 2) To everything there is a season, a time for every purpose under the sun. 3) Remember where you came from: embrace your roots. 4) Keep your eyes open for love: it can show up in unlikely places. 5) Obstacles [aka mountains] are inevitable: it’s our choice whether to scale or avoid them. 6) If it’s meant to be, new growth finds a way. 7) When we think we’ve made it unscathed, another obstacle looms in our path: if it’s the same one, quit going around it and tackle it head on.

Which truth(s) can you relate to everyday life?

What’s ‘in’ this season: new outlook, new you

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This past weekend, I joined another hiker for a six-mile trek through new-to-me desert terrain. As the two of us navigated the dusty trails, we discovered common interests and beliefs despite the decade that separates our birthdays. Recently, my friend quit her job because it interfered with her hikes, her yoga. Her sanity. Although she resides in a different season of her life than me—where her plans lean toward retirement—the outlook she embraces is one I strive for daily. My friend lives and breathes the old adage that there are seven days in a week and Someday isn’t one of them; that we need to do what we can [enjoy] now, so we can do it for years to come. I knew I couldn’t move the mountains ahead of me, but I could kick aside the bad habits and negative chatter that clutters my path and replace them with stepping stones—small, manageable changes—toward success. Regardless of the season.

What does your makeover look like?

 

A rebirth of sorts: happiness at last

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Re-birth
As the year draws to a close, and as I grasp tightly (kicking and screaming) the vestiges of my forties for a few days longer, I reflect on that for which I’m grateful: Those friends who have come and gone from my life—the ones who bless me daily, and those who served the sole purpose of teaching me (sometimes painful) lessons; the second chances I’ve been gifted, a new path to traverse—a clean slate, if you will. I’m energized by the possibilities, my heart lighter than ever. And as I step into this new season, I can honestly say I’ve discovered what I’ve been searching for all this time. The funny thing is it’s been right under my nose all along. Because when I finally stopped focusing on me—my needs, my expectations, my self—I understood for the first time what it means to be happy. So happy rebirthday to me… a fresh beginning to sparkle where I’m planted.

Where could you use a rebirth?

Image courtesy of Nongkran_ch at FreeDigitalPhotos.net.

A fabulous life now, not Someday

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Seven days not Someday
It’s been a while since I’ve touched my blog, my muse relegated to the back seat, my nose, instead, buried between the pages of this book or that. My mental and physical well-being atop the list of priorities. Along with volunteering. Traveling. Holiday planning. Preparing a birthday bash to usher in a new season and, with that, envisioning the life I desire on the other side of fifty. Beyond fabulous, of course. Someday, I hope, writing will be my core vocation, although maybe not enough to relinquish the other stuff I fill my days with Today: like yoga and music ministry, time with family and friends. Plus the million and one tasks that keep the household running smoother than if I neglected to do my fair share; and work, because I enjoy a steady paycheck, the camaraderie of office life, a sense of purpose as part of a team. Perhaps my life is already fabulous. And Someday is already here.

Is Today the Someday you’ve always hoped for?

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