Like many of you, I’m on a journey. A journey to truly experience and understand who I am. It’s a journey to find and live my passion; to trust my heart; the wisdom within; and in the guidance of the Universe.
It involves taking risk, being vulnerable, and tapping into and listening to my intuition. It involves confronting and battling my fears, and courageously stepping through them.
At 63 years old, I’m still growing and learning. I push myself to step out of my comfort zone and challenge myself, whether it be with mind, body, or spirit.
I’ve consciously made many changes these past years. I work out five times per week and I’m in the best shape of my life. I’m on a mission to get my black belt in Tae Kwon Do, taking up martial arts at the ripe age of 59. I competed in my first sprint triathlon, signed up for ballroom dance lessons, and love swimming Michigan lakes in the summer.
My passion is photography and travel. My goal is to be able to travel anywhere at anytime, pursue my love of photography, and run my business from my computer. That’s what I’m working towards.
I love exploring and experiencing new places. I’ve visited all 50 states and traveled abroad many times including Africa, Asia, Europe, South and Central America. I’m always up for an adventure, whether it be scuba diving, backpacking, kayaking, rafting, and so on…it really doesn’t matter.
I’ve swam with sharks, parachuted from an airplane, and backpacked 200 miles of the Appalachian Trail. I hiked up to 19,000 feet in the Himalayas to see Mt. Everest, rafted wild, untamed rivers for multiple days in the Alaska wilderness, and touched a wild polar bear on the nose at Churchill, Manitoba. I shook hands with Sir Edmund Hillary, experienced a full moon at Ngorongoro Crater while surrounded by stalking hyenas, and was stranded for hours on a train due to a landslide that took out the tracks en route to Machu Picchu. I’ve photographed wild sea horses in the waters of Belize, breaching Humpback Whales and Killer Whales in Alaska, and camped above 8,000 beached walruses on Round Island on the Bearing Sea.
I was married for 34 years, helping raise and educate four wonderful children whom I adore. I owned and operated a profitable business for 31 years before selling, almost giving it away, out of my determination to create a new life of my design. In the last 3 years I’ve gone from owning a home overlooking Lake Michigan and a condo in Florida, to living in a 750 square foot home by myself. Some might say I’ve created financial suicide. I see it as leverage. Leverage to take action and create the life I’m after.
Life’s just too damn short to play it safe!
Recreating myself is my focus. Sometimes I feel like I’m a living, walking, and breathing experiment in action. I’m out testing and challenging myself and trusting the Universe, betting all that I own, am, and have on my conviction and belief that I can create the life of my dreams and the Universe will help me obtain it. My determination keeps me going. I will not give up until I achieve my dreams.
Sometimes I think I’m on the edge of insanity, wondering if I’m crazy to be doing what I’m doing. Evidently, I’ve purposely created, both consciously and unconsciously, a huge test for myself, virtually starting over in life from ground zero while in my sixties. I should be scared to death-terrified!-yet deep within I have this knowing-ness that all is happening just the way it’s supposed to. It’s all going to work out great someday soon.
I don’t pretend to have the answers to life and how it works. I’m aware that I don’t know, what I don’t know, acknowledging that the Universe works in ways we cannot yet understand. This keeps me open and receptive to new thoughts and ideas. I pay attention to what lies within me, and I’m working on letting it all come out. Sometimes it seems like an incredibly slow process, but it’s something that can’t be pushed. There are no shortcuts.
As I travel this path, these are some of the truths, my truths, I have recognized and identified with along the way:
The Universe works with you when you set out to find your passion and path in life. It happens in many, many ways; the people you meet, books that come to you, articles you read, emails you get, and the thoughts that come to you. These come from the grace of the Universe working with you. I have learned to be open, aware, and receptive to these moments.
Simplicity is a gift. It is gratifying to have less “stuff” in my life. The amount of material goods in my life had become stifling and a burden. In my case, less is more. There is a certain cleansing and relief that comes with starting over.
Personally, I need to be on this journey of self discovery. To finally confront and walk through my fears, work towards something that is truly meaningful and has purpose to me. To be consciously involved in the creation of my life is priceless. Life is about growth and awareness and I’m willing to risk everything to find that internal fulfillment that I’m after.
Becoming physically fit and developing healthy eating habits has been the best decisions I’ve made. They’re essential to a successful and healthy second half of life. Without your health, everything else becomes secondary. It’s never too late to start.
Risking, and a willingness to step out of the “comfort zone”, is essential to growth. A successful reinvention/rewirement of yourself doesn’t happen overnight. It’s a process. It involves pushing yourself everyday to try something new, to risk, even if it’s just talking to a stranger, sharing your truth with others, or reading a book that helps you grow and see life in new ways. Get used to being uncomfortable: It challenges you.
Avoid negative media and thought as much as possible. Don’t let yourself be influenced by how others think you ought to live and act. Learn to focus on what is great in life, not what isn’t.
What you focus on, you create. This is significant, and mind-boggling to fully grasp. We each create our own reality and are totally responsible for ourselves and the life we have. Give up blaming others or being a victim. We all make our own decisions. Take responsibility for the life you’ve created for yourself.
Having great relationships with others is essential. It doesn’t matter whether it’s your children, core family, ex-spouse, siblings, friends, or co-workers. Everyone that enters your life brings a gift. It may be as simple as an opportunity to learn from this person. All learning experiences are beneficial whether you judge them good or not. Openly appreciate and be thankful for these people in your life.
Be grateful for what you have. It doesn’t matter whether you view life’s happenings as positive or negative, they are still gifts. Life’s greatest lessons and opportunities come from the struggles we encounter and the growth we experience in overcoming them. Remember: We don’t know, what we don’t know. What you judge today to be good or bad may, with time, totally change. Embrace gratitude and appreciation every day.
Lastly, let me leave you with a quote that has inspired and given me hope:
“Every single thing that has ever happened in your life is preparing you for a moment that is yet to come.”
May you enjoy your journey…
Welcome to Thrive After Fifty. I am honored that our paths are crossing. Be sure to download the free book Thriving After Fifty: Six Essential Elements To Making The Best Half Count if you haven’t already!