It’s the nature of today’s world to be on the go and busy every moment of every day. Whether it’s checking your email, social media feeds, addressing work requests, sharing with friends, caring for children, a partner, or elderly parents, all these are demands on your time. I know, I’ve been there and experienced it.
The worst was one project where I literally started at 8:00 in the morning covering the phones to connect with customers, and realized in the afternoon my legs were crossed unnaturally I was unconsciously trying to forestall the need to put down the phones and use the bathroom. So focused and busy with what I was doing, I was trying to stop the inevitable call of nature. I look back and realize how ridiculous it was!! Nothing, just nothing, is that important.
Today, my life has changed dramatically. After 30 years of working in the corporate arena and caring for an elderly mother, I realized my life was not on the track I wanted. At about the same time my mother passed, my husband was laid off from work. After 35 years in the work world, he decided to call it quits. While we weren’t exactly rolling in dough, according to our long-time financial planner, we did have enough for my husband to retire. Those two events, my mother’s passing and my husband retiring, were my sign that I needed to rethink my life. To consider the road ahead and what hidden alleyways I wanted to explore.
Whether you believe in a higher power or not (I do!) is up to you. I also believe that life gives us signs that point us in different directions. Sometimes we’re stricken with illnesses, weighted with responsibilities or perhaps it’s a friend’s urging that indicates we need to slow down, re-examine where we are, and sometimes even completely change our life course.Life gives us signs that point us in different directions #ClearPathForward #Women #Change #midlife Click To Tweet
Ask yourself, are you tuned into the channel, listening, and aware of the opportunities to slow down or change course? If not, here are some things to consider:
- Tuned In: Are you taking time to consider what’s happening around you? When I was covering those phones and fielding customer concerns, the answer was that I was not in the slightest reflecting on anything other than the task at hand. It wasn’t until I actually allowed myself some breathing room that I really began to analyze what I was experiencing. When do you allow yourself time to reflect, to think about the day, to process what’s happening?
- Listening: Many of you may have answered yes to being tuned in. I know I certainly would have. Yet the reality is that what you’re thinking about and reflecting on is the coming day, what you accomplished, or what still needs to be done. You may, if you’re like most women, be thinking about how you could have handled a situation better, been more proactive, should have remembered something, or some other thought that really boils down to diminishing you. By listening I mean — are you examining your actions, not with a negative connotation, but with an understanding of how you are feeling, if this is really what you want, and with the understanding that if you want to change something, you have the power to do so? Call it listening with an “I Can” attitude.
- Aware of Opportunities: There’s a classic line from the sitcom “Frankie and Grace”where Grace says to Frankie, “Are you aware that man is flirting with you?” Of course, because Frankie is so in knots about something else, she doesn’t even realize the opportunity of a future date being proposed. Are you like Frankie, being presented with opportunities, but not even being aware of their meaning? I remember a client I was working with who opined that her boss was just not interested in, or helping her to advance her career. But when I asked her boss, his response was, “I have surfaced several different opportunities, and each time she responds with she loves her job. What more can I do?” What opportunities have you been presented with, but did not avail yourself of because you didn’t even know they were opportunities? Have you ever been so focused, that you were oblivious to the opportunities around you?
ACTION: Take some time to make space for reflection in your day. Maybe it’s following a gratitude practice or just a recap before you go to sleep at night. As part of your reflection, consider how you are feeling; what’s drawing and what’s repelling you? And consider, what opportunities might you not be even aware of which could change your life completely?
Kathy Hart’s driving passion is human change and transformation. Her goal is to provide professional women in midlife (ages 40 – 65) with the support and resources needed to re-imagine and lead even more abundant, joy-filled and purpose-driven lives. If you are a woman wanting to reclaim your voice, realize a long-held dream, or just live your life to the fullest, take concrete action by contacting Kathy at email@example.com. The choice is yours!
Services that Kathy offers:
- 1:1 coaching to support the next journey into your midlife transition
- Trusted advisor for leaders navigating work changes and requiring an expert guide
- Speaking and workshops on human change and transformation
- Small group work and team development to boost the group’s performance