I sat in my living room at four in the morning five years ago and wrote my first entry for How To Make A Life. At that time, I was in the midst of shock and grief over the death of my Mom and preparing to leave my job (and work family) of almost 12 years. My desire for this space at that time was to share the grief journey from the perspective of a grief counselor. I felt it was important to share that an “expert” in grief experiences grief no differently than others. In fact, I sometimes think I was harder on myself.
As I wrote that first post, little did I know that my grandmother would also be gone in less than three months. I spent the next year and a half dealing with cleaning and selling houses where my loved ones had lived for over 30 years. I wrote when I could and hoped to provide some hope and inspiration along the ways to others. I’ve been fortunate enough that many friends have shared my posts helped them during the illness and deaths of their own loved ones. That alone has been worth the time I have spent. How To Make A Life has always been intended to serve as a form of guide in dealing with life’s transitions and changes.
Just as life ebbs and flows, I’ve seen the changes in my own focus in this space over the years. Did I want to continue my focus being on grief? Sometimes I became tired of talking about loss. Was this space to become more lifestyle focused in regards to being healthy and well? How much of my own life did I really feel comfortable sharing with the world? How often did posts need to occur? As I dealt with these questions, my life went on. I taught and was adjunct faculty at a local University. I began presenting professional trainings and began a small part time practice. I decided to stop teaching and was fortunate enough to return part time to the hospice and palliative world at a local hospital. I started taking on life coaching clients.
During this time I also taught myself coding, updated my blog design several times and became decently proficient with most social media and photography. I watched fellow bloggers branch out in regards to their blogs but also watched some become obsessed with statistics and Instagram likes. It saddened me when I spent a night at dinner with someone and all she wanted to discuss was getting on LikeToKnowIt. I wanted to be real and make a connection with her. What I discovered was she spent way too much time working on how she wanted to be seen rather than living. (A pattern I have discovered with many.) At times I have wanted the same success of what some have in this social media world but the truth is – my life was going on outside of this space.
Life goes on….. There have been weekends with my girlfriends that I didn’t share and weren’t sponsored. Spending time with my husband on a Sunday afternoon and evening has won out over spending time writing. I have also had to make decisions in regards to my professional life with clients and blogging/social media events. My autoimmune issues have increased despite following the right protocols. As a result, I’ve failed at my gluten free diet and struggled sometimes with working out. I have been successful and failed more than I have shared with anyone.
As I remembered sitting in my dark living room with only the light of the laptop – I truly didn’t know where I was going to be the next week much less in five years. Five years later, I continue to love this space and miss it greatly when I am not here. Just because the posts have been limited does not mean I haven’t had the intentions….
“Do you know the direction your parade is going?”
As we celebrated Palm Sunday, our Rector asked this question of the congregation. Many times in life we become caught up in the flow of the greater crowd and forget that we have a choice. Life goes on and happens to us and we forget even though we may not like our choices, we still have one. I’ve been thinking about this question even before it was asked this morning during the service.
In some ways I have simply allowed life to go on over the past five years. I sometimes see that in the postings I have written and shared. Grief and loss, hurt and pain are exhausting and recreating a life takes energy and focus.
I share all of this to inform that How To Make A Life is going to continue on. There are changes occuring in my life that I do intend to share here as I want to return to the days of using my own life as a blueprint of helping others. There will be changes here and I hope my readers will continue on with me.
On a final note, I challenge you to think about your own life. Is it going on with intention? Are you daily making changes in the areas you are unhappy with or is it easier to complain?
Life is going on….is it going the direction you want it to?
The latest edition of the How To Make A Life Newsletter is coming out this weekend. Make sure you are on the list!!