I have a friend who is thinking about making a major life change. She confided in me recently about this idea bouncing around in her head and asked for my thoughts. I responded to her immediately, but I have been thinking about what she asked me for days now. It’s always easy to say, “go for it” when it’s someone else who is ready to take a leap of faith. It’s not always easy when it’s you. I wanted to give the idea some more thought and ask myself if I would be willing to make a change.
I know, right now you are asking yourself, “what is this life change I am talking about?”
It doesn’t matter what HER life change is, it’s what you would be willing to do to find YOUR happiness, live out YOUR dream or just take a chance on changing YOUR circumstances. Maybe you think you don’t have anything you would change, but I find that hard to believe. I feel like we all have something we could change if given the opportunity. For example, would you want to change jobs, move to another state, get married, leave your partner, have kids, adopt a child, adopt a pet, simplify your life, or even upgrade to a bigger life. The possibilities are endless if you think about it.
I have a lot of friends who have done all of the above in the last 5 years and I can tell you that they are all happier because of the changes they made. It wasn’t easy, but they have all said the risk was worth it. Not all of them ended up where they thought they would, but life rarely does.
When we are young, these things feel more natural. In our 20s and 30s we often take more chances, move across state lines for school, our careers, for partners, and make big life choices about our families. It’s an acceptable time for major life changes and constant upheaval. These years often set our course for decades and our lives remain a constant until one day we wake up and wonder how we got here.
Where is here? A place where our kids are mostly grown, but not all have flown; a place where once again we are faced with the reality that we could do something different. It’s a place where we have to ask ourselves what we want the rest of our lives to look like? It’s a place where we get to ask ourselves what we enjoy and what we don’t. It’s a place where we have become aware of our own mortality and the reality that we won’t live forever. It can happen at anytime, but for those of us in our late 40s and early 50s I think we are ripe for asking the questions, “what do I want to do with my life and what will make me happy?”
This friend who is thinking about the major life change has spent her whole life asking questions and trying to figure out who she is and where she wants to be. She has dreamed of something different and for the first time in her life, she has the opportunity to act on that dream. I told her last week to go for it, but what I didn’t say was, “if not now WHEN?”
We all have a tendency to put things off until we have more money, things feel more stable, until the kids are settled, etc… What I have come to realize is that there is never going to be a time that things feel settled. Life is constantly moving and if we want to make a change, now is the time.
Sunshine & Sarcasm,
Lowi & G