Nurture Your Light
SAVE TIME FOR THE GOOD STUFF.
What did I do when I first retired, when I badged out of the Federal Service for the last time and drove my hour-long commuting route no more? What did I do? I went nuts… I said YES to everything. I signed up for classes, for volunteer slots, interviewed for possible new jobs in areas I thought I would love, took on babysitting commitments, moved my 90+-year-old mom into an assisted living facility nearby so that I could care for her. I planned trips with my husband to see our out of town kids, and adventures with my sisters that challenged us physically and mentally, and I even accepted an initiation into a philanthropic sorority, hoping to have a new vehicle through which I could make a difference. Oh, I was working hard not to become invisible now that my work-related purpose was gone. I could do it all, right? After all, that had been the frantic pace I kept while working. What would stop me from keeping that pace now?
Nothing really would stop me, except the nagging suspicion that I was working overtime to fill the void that was left when my work identity no longer served me. If I kept on filling that hole with busy, so-called important activities, how would I ever know what elements of my new life adventure would allow my own inner light to shine? How would I know what other untried adventures and exciting challenges were more closely aligned with my own spirit if I kept filling my time with everyone else's expectations for me and my time?
I needed time to pause, to do some reflecting, and rethink my daily plans. I needed a new routine, and I needed to give myself space and time before I found just the right light that would illuminate my spirit and enabling me to re-engage more deliberately and purposefully. And so, I said no to many of the activities I had taken on. I didn't fault myself for this false start – testing out new things felt like a good way to choose what fit. But over time, I backed out of all but those that really resonated with me and my new identity.
It felt a bit like walking in the wilderness at first. But soon I found a new daily pattern that made sense to me. I rose early to ride my bike or work out in the gym, I spent time in reading and studying, I allowed myself to write from the heart, and I sought and nurtured relationships with a diverse group of friends, some friendships familiar and some newly minted. And, I carved out time for meditation, prayer, grand kids, my husband of 42 years and our family. The rest would have to wait.
And so, I challenge you today.
What have you filled your life with that nurtures your spirit and lights up your soul? What are you still doing that just needs to be jettisoned because it is blocking the light from shining in your Second Life?
I'd love to hear from you. Send me a note at Kathy@KathyFlora.com. Maybe we can figure this out together.