There are just a few months until my 65th birthday and official retirement from my 30 year career. It has been a wonderful and satisfying time and now I am looking forward to what is next for me.
As with so many people entering this new chapter, I am taking time to reflect on just what that means for me personally. My children are grown with full-lives and beautiful families of their own and now it is time for me to focus on my life and what I want to do.
What I am realizing is that, I need to reacquaint myself with who I really am. Not who I've been, not who others wanted me to be, but the true authentic person that I have become. Time to shed the superficial and really let my true nature shine.
I know she's in there, I can feel it when I see my grandchildren smile, or hear a song that makes me cry, or laugh out loud about something silly. There is so much joy and passion waiting to be expressed and it's time that I finally let it out in the open.
Life is supposed to be fun - that's a message I keep hearing and yet I wonder what does that mean for me? What I've come up with so far is that it is something different for each one of us and changes at different stages of our lives. What was fun in my twenties is not fun to me today. There may be parts of it that still are interesting but in a new and very different way.
I am very fortunate in that, I don't have to do anything I don't want to do and I actually realize it! So now, it is my mission to explore and discover what it is that I really do want. Easier said than done, so I'm researching and trusting how I feel to find those things that fit. There is a lot of wisdom to be gained if you follow your heart and let the rest go.
I just finished reading "The Happiness Equation" by Neil Pasricha and I loved it. I originally picked it up while I was traveling for work but put it aside when things got too busy. Interesting that most of what he talks about in the book is how to create more space and not be too busy. As with all lessons, you get what you need when you are ready for them. When I read the last few chapters it occurred to me that this was just what I needed now, not a few months ago.
He offers 3 simple but very effective ways to find your authentic self.
1. The Saturday Morning Test - What do you do on a Saturday morning when you have nothing to do?
2. The Bench Test - How do you feel when you put yourself in a new situation?
3. The Five People Test - Who are the five people closest to you in the things you love most?
I smiled as I read it because it is Saturday morning and what I am doing is reading and writing about a new situation. It makes me happy just to type that. That feels like confirmation that I am exactly where I need to be and that the universe will always surprise and delight me with the perfect message at the perfect time.
One of my all time favorite quotes is from Sarah Ban Breathnach - The authentic self is the soul made visible.
Here's wishing that we all find a way to let our beautiful soul be seen.