Sunday, March 20, 2011

Mice, Lemons, Limes and Master Plans...

After my previous blog a couple of you have asked me if I’m changing my day job. I can see how that post could have been interpreted that way since the examples that I gave were of people who did so. Other than the normal ebbs and flows of being self employed, my day job is settling back in to where it was prior to leaving Canada, including the speaking and teaching engagements. There may be a little work on the side unrelated to my profession that could develop but all in all, I’m where I need to be right now work wise.

My midlife ponderings and plannings have more to do with other areas of my life. Those of you that know me know that, due to circumstances beyond my control, the better part of last 4 years have been focused on financial and physical survival. How well do I know the truth of Steinbeck’s phrase in Of Mice and Men when he says:"The best laid plans of mice and men oft go awry." I have learned to loosely hold on to any plans that I make knowing that His plans are not always my plans. And I also know that He can help me make delicious lemonade of those lemons in life’s situations. It's a good thing that I LOVE lemonade…actually lime-ade is my preference.

Much of my life is getting back to ‘normal’:

* I am back to doing respite with a lovely young lady that used to spend time with me before I left for Mexico.

* I’ve been involved behind the scenes in a theatre production again and plan to pursue that on a more regular basis.

*The writer’s block is gone, and besides my posts here there are many partially completed writings in my writing file.

*I’m getting into redecorating my home in a way that reflects who I am. When I returned to BC in 2008, my place was initially a mishmash of donated furniture and items thanks to friends and their families.

*With this home, I inherited a big ole cat. I’ve always wanted a dog, and I got a cat who thinks he’s a dog instead. It’s all good.

*I have a huge patio where I’m getting back into doing container gardening again.

So, as I attempt to expand on the statements at the bottom of my previous blog, I seek prayerfully to redefine my life, to bring out my creativity at this stage of life, to build on my uniqueness, my gifts and abilities. A new dream has been emerging…and it continues to emerge…it just needs to be flushed out as they say. Or in keeping with the lemon/lime theme…perhaps squeezed out would be a more apt description.

I want to choose to live in the moment and plan for the future. And that plan includes listening closely to what the Master Planner has in mind for me.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

What We've Learned so Far:


A stage of life that conjures up various images and stereotypes: The man that buys a red sports car. The woman who is dressing way too young and ‘cougaring’(going for younger men) around town. Both seeming attempts at recapturing or holding on to their youth.

It’s a time of life where external beauty is beginning to fade for some and where younger people are often chosen to fill vacancies at companies instead of the more experienced middle aged person.


What’s a person to do? How does one age gracefully? At this point it’s easy to slip into resignation and coast into the golden years. Or it can be a time of reinventing ourselves and pursuing passions that have been pushed aside at busier times of life…perhaps even using them as a means of income as we develop them.

Two individuals come to mind immediately when I think of the latter.

One is my younger brother who had a heart attack a couple of years ago. Soon after that he quit his job in kitchen design and started pursuing his passion for photography. He still has a day job as well, one that is less stressful than the one he held previously, but he is beginning to make a name for himself in doing what he loves. Aside from having his works displayed at a local gallery and selling online, he’s been commissioned for several larger projects for local professional offices. And so it grows…

Another person that I know left her law practice a number of years ago and opened up a dog kennel on her property. It is not without it’s challenges but she’s happy about her choice and enjoys working from home.

I was perusing my library the other day looking for a book for a client when I came upon one that I’d been given awhile ago but had never read. What We’ve Learned So Far: Thoughts on Turning 50 is a compilation of writings by today’s Christian women leaders.

I turned to a chapter called “Pursuing Authentic Dreams” by author/speaker Brenda Poinsett. She suggests putting your dreams for the future into writing. Put what’s in your head onto paper. Several statements may help you flush it out if you have trouble getting started:

~In my 50’s or 60’s I want to be….or I want to do…

~By the time I’m 75, I will have wanted to…

~In my mind I see myself as a person who is…and who will…

~Over the next 20 years I want to commit myself to…

If your vision is God given it will allow you to be true to yourself and it will build relationships with those around you. Define it, refine it, let it bring out your creativity, your uniqueness, your gifts and abilities. There will most probably be some challenges along the way and the usual opposition from some but will be well worth it as you discover meaning and fulfillment at this wonderful stage of life.

I have to confess, I've had times of leaning towards coasting but I have a renewed excitement. I'm going to spend some time contemplating the statements above and go for it!!

How about you? What's your story? How are you choosing to look at mid life?

Friday, March 4, 2011

An Old Friend

In 1977 I bought an NASB (New American Standard Bible) while in Bible school. Now in 2011, the pages are disengaging from their binding faster than I can tape them and I’ve purchased a leather cover to hide how worn the original is. But no matter how tattered it is, I have difficulty reading only from the new Bible that I purchased a few years ago.

This old Bible has red markings at certain verses. It has blue and pencil markings at others. At various places it has dates noted in the margins...dates that remind me of what the LORD was teaching me at that part of my journey.

Someone posted a Psalm today and I realized that I could write a whole chapter of my life just based on the various dates that were written in the margins of that particular place in the Bible.

I like my new Bible, it keeps my eyes from being drawn to only those verses that have been underlined or dated. But my old Bible is like an old friend…it tells the story of my life. The story of my spiritual journey.