This version  of me

There are 11 things on my To-Do list for today. Most of them were there yesterday, too, and some of them were also on the list Tuesday and Monday.  I should have come back from my trip home relaxed and refreshed and ready to do things. I came back with a handful of powerful questions AGAIN.

Should I pack up and move back to where my siblings are? Should I move closer to or very near to my children and grandchildren? How would things be different if I moved? What will my life be like if I stay?  Can I do this on my own? Now that I have stepped onto the path of The Next Thing, I should be more certain, right?

ramsey-falls roadside-lake small-town

The good news is that “powerful” questions are those that empower you when you can think about them without getting overanxious, or that you can live with even when you don’t have the answers. Powerful questions propel you deeper and wider into discovering who you are, so you can BE even when you DO. This past year and a  half have seen a lot of times when I was feeling lost, which I now think means that my feelings were lost. Slow-motion is not the same as slowing down. I was on autopilot way too often, and I didn’t honor my feelings. I just tried to wait them out, until I couldn’t anymore.  When I realized I had to express them, and that I could express them, and I did express them, I let go of so much anxiety, fear, insecurity.  At the same time, I took in so much calmness and freshness, and lightness.

Here is what it’s been like to feel my feelings just in these past couple of weeks. I was enchanted with the farmlands and the peacefulness of the Minnesota landscape. I was joyful to be riding around with my sisters, going for tats, shopping, and birthday dinner.  I was proud to have my brother show me around his workplace, and I noticed I missed male comraderie (admit it – they just think differently than women do). I was very happy to spend an evening with Kevin’s kids and grandkids and to feel the peace of being connected to him. I felt like the old me again when I had dinner with two former co-workers who “knew me when.” And I laughed again with two good friends who knew me before I was with Kevin.  In all those ways and more, I was the old me again, and it felt good.

Then I came home Friday and jumped right into a packed schedule.  I went to an educational class on Sunday night, and I got pumped up because I learned something new, something that made sense, something that will definitely work for me. On Monday morning, I had breakfast with a good friend here, and I came away feeling so positive about myself. I spent that evening in a speaker academy class, and I was actively engaged in the discussions. Tuesday I stayed in bed with dogs until 11:30, and I loved every minute of not having to get up.  I spent part of the afternoon at the library, loving the freedom to go in the middle of the day. Wednesday I went to a networking event for women, and I met some fabulous new people and participated in a Wisdom Circle. It’s a forum I have been looking for, and I was completely satisfied I had found it.  Last night I went for ice cream with another friend and again felt a certainty about The Next Thing. I’ve read two books in two days, once sitting on my deck for an afternoon in the warm sun.  I was just doing what felt good to me.  Both here and while on my trip.

So what I know is this.  I cannot give up the wonderful flexibility of working from home, for myself.  I am willing to work hard to keep that. I have love in my life, and blossoming friendships, and intellectual stimulation…all things I need and will not give up on. I have learned to appreciate the moment, and I am pretty good these days at catching myself while in that flow as it is happening.  I have learned to slow down even while keeping busy.  I have an abundance of wonderful people and things and experiences in my life.  It doesn’t matter where I am, because this is the real me, the me I want to be.  So I will stay a little longer because I like this version of myself.  I’ll just make sure to visit Minnesota (and my families) more often.

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