Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Life Under Construction: The Inspiration

The only constant is change.  My children are now college graduates with lives of their own.  Like it or not, my life is changing again. I am facing the "mid-way point" I wrote about in my last post.  The challenge of the mid-way point is getting beyond the "tiredness, lack of motivation and loss of vision" for the future and forming a new vision.  I'm not in a position to make huge changes.  I'm not going to explore the Amazon or take a year to try some stunt then write a book about it.  But I do need to get out of my "mom" spot.  I don't remember where, but I read years ago that moms stand still so that their children can hang onto them and grow.  That's a beautiful word picture and I believe I did that for my children (and loved it!), but they are strong enough to stand on their own now and I'm an empty trellis.  It's time to move and rediscover me.

One of the joys of aging is the ability to know and accept myself.  I'm not there yet - that's what this project is about - but there are areas where I can say "This is me, deal with it."  I don't mean that in a mean-spirited way, but in the sense that I have stopped apologizing for the things I like or don't like.  Life Under Construction is a journey further down that road - to create a life where I'm comfortable.

I spent some time considering what I really want in and from life in this next phase and I concluded that, for starters, I need a physical and metaphorical closet cleaning to rid my home and life of the things that no longer serve a purpose, and start fresh with only those things that add value and beauty.  I thought about the "things" I have and want to keep, those I want to add, those I am forced to give up - willingly or not - and those I can't wait to throw in the trash.  Unfortunately, there are some areas that are beyond my control.  As much as I would like to do a Reverse 360 Double Pump Slam Dunk into the dumpster with them, that's not possible. So, my plan needs to include a way to cope with those things without derailing everything else.  I laid out a general "blueprint" for constructing the life I want, divided into five areas:  Faith, Family, Home, Self and Fun. 

I am reading Never Too Late: Your Roadmap to Reinvention by Claire Cook as part of my
life re-do.  The book is mostly career focused and, heaven knows, I'm not looking for a second (or first) career.  You will notice that work did not even make my list.  That's because my job falls into the "wish I could slam dunk" category, but at the moment that is not fiscally responsible, so I show up, I do my assigned tasks to the best of my abilities, I go home, rinse, repeat. Obviously, it eats up a huge portion of my time, without contributing much in return except money.  One of my challenges will be to find the value in my job. The advice offered by Ms. Cook applies in other areas as well, so I'll be sharing tidbits as I go along.  

Remember, this is an ongoing project, not just a series of posts that will be over in a week.  I will be sharing my starting points in each of my five categories in the near future, but I will continue to post updates as I learn and change . . .   Watch for posts with the Life Under Construction banner.

For starters, the blog got a new look that I'm excited about. A custom blog theme has been on my wish list for several years.  The blog content is getting a makeover as well.  I have let the creativity drain out of the blog until even I didn't want to read it.  But, writing falls under Fun, so we'll get back to that later. 


  1. Nice post, Tami! I'm looking forward to seeing what you have in store for us...and for you!

  2. Many of your posts resonate with me. I have been retired just a little over a year now ( I am 61) and have found that it is not easy to adjust to a different lifestyle. It is not easy to answer all those 9-5 working well-wishers who grin at you broadly and assume you are just thrilled to be retired. I'd always said that I wanted TO retire to something not FROM something. Trouble is while you are in the thick of it it is hard to define just what the TO is! I applaud your efforts to define what you are going TO while you are plodding through with your useful but uninspiring job. I married right out of college and worked as a mechanical engineer while raising a family of three kids, the youngest of which is special needs. There was not time to think about me and anyway, wasn't my "career" supposed to be fulfilling me? (I DID like my job, most of the time, but I thought of it as a job and not a career.) The older two are married and each have a child so thank goodness for grandchildren. They are a great distraction while you search out yourself. Do not judge me for using the word distraction. I love my grandkids dearly but just as I need to be myself outside my kids I need to still be myself outside my grandkids. After all, they are not local and even if they were, I need to find my own interests. Reading and introspection helps a lot. Collecting quotes helps, too. They make you think. I like how you have a section of quotes on your blog. I collect quotes and use them as a last line in my e-mail signatures. Gretchen Ruben of the Happiness Project blog is a great source for my quotes. As I pick out one I think about its meaning and is it at all appropriate for the -email. And blogging helps a lot too. Just as I like reading your blog I find I enjoy writing my own as an outlet and way of expression. That is why I have one blog for my crafts and other for my travels and thoughts. Even if no one read and comments it helps me re-live events I enjoyed and gather my thoughts on where I want to proceed in other things. I apologize for rambling. So many of your topics hit home. Cleaning out all those things you were going to do "when you retire". The key thing is, the second half of our lives is not a time to clean up from the first half or just remember the first half. It is a time to LIVE the other half. As babies we were not confronted with how to live the first half of our lives. As middle aged adults we have enough awareness that we do have to decide and the task can be daunting. The trick is to not let the uncleaned slate from the first half determine it.

  3. Excellent post. I am trying to find myself right now. Ever since I turned 60 (almost three years ago) I wanted to make sure that I make the most out of the time I have left. I definitely need to get rid of the things we no longer need. We will most likely be moving in a few years when my husband retires so it's time to simplify our life. Problem is I have no ambition to do it. It seems so overwhelming. I'm also feeling a little sad about the fact that at this point in my life I thought I would have grandchildren. I know God has a plan for me so I must trust in Him but I get a little jealous. My sister has had grandchildren for 18 years now! I just signed up for FlyLady in hopes of finding motivation! http://www.flylady.net/d/getting-started/

  4. Great post Sis! I love your new blog look and even more your new OUTlook on life and the things that are important to you. You have a great start and the next phase of family life is one of the best I think - you get to be our kids's friend! Looking foward to your posts in each area.