August 29, 2016

Redefining priorities: Week Two

Winter Warlock's first steps
I feel much like the Winter Warlock from the
1970 Rankin-Bass Christmas movie,
Santa Claus is Comin' to Town.
It is now a full week of an empty nest under my belt. After a day or two of over-the-top pity partying (yes, I confess, I really overdid it), I took a deep breath and started moving forward.

A strategic plan was needed. When I last blogged, I recounted many of my past accomplishments and activities. Things that somehow were shelved for the past 20+ years. I revisited those dreams and thought about whether those were still goals I had.

It turns out, while I still have the same values that motivate my choices, I really don't care to go to Washington DC and lobby our government about anything. My youthful idealism has been replaced with healthy skepticism. I feel like a lot of my ability to affect change will be better realized locally, not nationally.

It's also important to say that many of the issues that sparked my interest when I was in my 20s are much different now that I'm in my very early 50s. I care deeply about education and children. Much more so than the 20-something who still took much of my upbringing and zest for learning for granted.

tree brancesThis has me narrowing my priorities moving forward. Though this is specific to my own experience, I think the bigger takeaway is that the first step is to remember what you always enjoyed and the next step is to determine if that is still something you would enjoy.

It's okay to realize that your goals change with time. It's easy to think like Terry Malloy from 1954s On the Waterfront, and think "I coulda been a contender" , but it's not healthy to think about things you cannot change.

I could have been a lot of things, but I chose to be a parent. I've got a lot of time left to figure out all the other things I still can be.

The spark of inspiration is that the nest isn't so much empty as the tree has many branches.


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