Phil, six more weeks of winter? Ugh.
I am grateful to see the blue sky through the windows in my bedroom this morning. It has been days since I have seen the sun. This winter is the longest, coldest, snowiest one I can remember. It is the first winter I have spent working from home and doing what I love.
Three months ago, I left my job. I felt like I was suffocating. I didn’t want to recreate another experience like the one I was walking away from. I knew I wanted to write, travel and heal; I didn’t know how or where to start. As a single mom with debt and responsibilities, it seemed too risky to follow my dreams. Two things happened to change my mind.
First, I went in for my annual gynecological exam. My blood pressure was 159/ 92. I practice yoga, I don’t smoke, I meditate, I eat well, I sleep well; how was it possible that I was on the verge of stroking out? It was the first time I felt my mortality deep in the pit of my stomach.
Second, I met with a financial planner to set up a plan to get out of debt and build my savings. He asked at what age I hoped to retire. I asked him to clarify what retirement meant (as I never intend to stop learning, creating and exploring).
“When do you want to stop working for money and just focus on doing what you love?” “Right now.”
He laughed but I was serious. At that moment I knew what I needed to do. Years ago I had picked up books on how to write, why we write and the business of writing. I love research and learning. But it can also be an effective way to avoid action.
I made the decision to write, fearlessly, every day.
The last two months have flown by, a blur of snow days and new beginnings. I am no longer afraid; I just get up each day and write. I am amazed and grateful for all the unexpected opportunities that continue to surface as I continue to actively pursue my goals and live my dream.
Yesterday, I thought about the direction I am moving in. For the first time in my life, I am completely confident I am doing the right thing—an amazing feeling! And my blood pressure is slowly returning to a healthy level.
1. Embrace the final weeks of winter, with its slowness and stillness.
2. Take time to dream.
3. Make a list of goals for 2014.
4. Choose one.
5. Take action… fearlessly.
Don’t sit around making a long list of New Year’s Resolutions. Believe in dreams, choose a goal and take action. Grab the reins and fly!
Retirement starts now.
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Editor: Catherine Monkman
Photo: WikiMedia Commons