Happy Tuesday everyone! Or maybe not so happy?
Have you ever had one of those days when you just feel stuck? I’m sure you know the feeling, you feel stuck in your routine. You want to change things up, but you can’t. You’re so busy and you have work and a family to worry about. The last thing you have time for is adding something else to your list of responsibilities.
It’s because of thoughts like these that I give you today’s quote. Take a moment to read it:
It’s a pretty radical thought. To be completely free from your past decisions? To not be locked in by the choices you have made? It seems like a bit of a daydream. But what if I told you that it’s not a daydream and that you just need to be open to the possibilities?
Most people feel like they are stuck with the choices they made when they were younger. I’m here to tell you that’s simply not true. Try thinking of the first half of your life as research and development for your second half of life. What have you learned about what you enjoy? What do you hate? What are you curious about? Take all of this knowledge and build yourself the future you desire.
It’s not too late, actually, you’re right on time! It’s time to create your future based on the knowledge you have gained in your first half of life. All that’s left is to take your first step!
“Clutter is not just physical stuff. It’s old ideas, toxic relationships, and bad habits. Clutter is anything that does not support your better self.”
It’s amazing the amount of physical unconsciousness that can surround us in life…simply because of the wild card of “sentimentality” that we can often play.
I have to admit that I’m one who can fall into that trap, either by abdicating responsibility and claiming my upbringing as shaping me that way (mawkish “stuff” all over the house; Dad’s shed full of everything he “might need one day”) or my zodiac proclivity as a sentimental Leo. Yet, sooner rather than later in moving into midlife, I’m onto the seductive design of the trap and at least on the way to one day claiming “that gig is up!”
I can be grateful for both a partner coming into my life who leans toward the practical and dispassionate as well as a growing sense of what it will take to become a true Back Forty Freedom Flier.
Whether my mother encouraged me to hold onto items because I might want to “look at them when I get old” or my father was the garage and shed black-hole filler does not determine my Big Game Back Forty Future…if I get and remain conscious.
To live inside of the philosophy that “the best is yet to come and, babe, won’t it be fine” as well as the belief that “I have yet to do what I came here to do” means that my eyes, ears, environments, mind and heart must be forward-focused vs. rear-view-mirror fixed. Living in that paradigm requires being nimble, quick, light and bright…without the weight (physical, mental, emotional and spiritual) of past, past, past globbing onto me at every turn.
I don’t need to watch 10 episodes of Hoarders or even to memorize and recite all passages of “The Japanese Art of Tidying Up” in order to awaken my need for Back Forty above-the-surface oxygen. These tools may serve to initially inspire me, but the critical and necessary ocular redirect toward what is in front of me (in life, purpose, passion, play) vs. what has taken place behind me is the key action to take.
Dropping past-based ballast and replacing with future-focused environmental influences creates lightness and directional guidance. Exchanging the diploma for a dream board? Substituting an old picture with a graphic plan? Swapping a souvenir for a framed list of intentions? All are ways to detach from the lines so that our Back Forty Balloon can gain the altitude and attitude for a second half/best half impact.
“The true heart of organizing is about gaining your freedom.”
As Thanksgiving draws closer, thoughts of turkey and stuffing are beginning to fill our heads. For me, another dish that comes to mind is scalloped oysters.
As I was growing up, my parents made scalloped oysters every year for Thanksgiving. Imagine my surprise when I realized that oysters were not a standard dish at everyone’s Thanksgiving table.
So this year, I thought I would share my family’s tradition with all of you. Maybe I can even inspire you to bring something new to your family’s table this Thanksgiving!
Look through the recipe below:
“If nothing ever changed, there would be no such things as butterflies.”
Things are going to change. Jobs will be gained and lost. Loves will be embraced and released. Businesses will thrive and dissolve. Residences will be moved into and out of. Health, finances, plans, will go this way and then that.
Change is the thing we aren’t naturally programmed for because the internal, stay-safe, survival mechanisms are geared to kick in when “different” shows up.
Let’s say you usually spend all day in an office. Boom! Layoff, and you’re now home. Or you’ve been in a relationship for years. Boom! It breaks up. Or, yes, even those who haven’t been in a relationship for years…Boom! You’re in one!
We can go through the above scenarios for any aspect of life. The question is: how to adapt most effectively.
The first hurdle is the commitment to actually adapt. Many hold onto the old system, pattern, situation like a child attached at the hip to a parent on the first day of kindergarten. We’ve probably all read “Who Moved My Cheese?” and yet a commitment to embrace and adapt to change isn’t always our first reaction.
The second element is to understand and embrace agile. Agile is not only a descriptive of someone nimble and quick, but a term used in the world of software development where the focus is on quick adaptation based on short and regular reassessments of the situation and what is wanted and needed. But they get the product out NOW…not when it’s perfected.
There’s a lot of relevance to this concept for our own lives in The Back Forty. Guess what? Shift happens! And it tends to take on greater seeming impact and significance as we move into the second half of life.
Taking on the agile way in which those in the first half – the 18, 20, 25yr olds – simply play and learn and play and learn some more can support us who have “been around the block a few times” loosen up, commit to adapt, and by God even start to have fun with it!
Giving up the expectation that anyone or anything will stay the same or that, in adapting, we’ll “get it right the first time” allows us the patience to stay on the playing field…with an emphasis on “play“.
Try a new approach? Conduct an experiment? Design a new context within which to hold it all? Any of these can be forward-falling directions to take so as to flow with the shifting winds of life. And falling forward fast is what will get us doing what we came here to do…not waiting until everything is stable.
Where can you bring playful and agile adaptation to changing plans, people and places in your Back Forty world today?
“Success today requires the agility and drive to constantly rethink, reinvigorate, react and reinvent.”
The other day I stumbled across a unique ad and immediately decided that I needed to write an article about it. It was a relatively new way to solve an age-old problem.
For thousands of years, families have lived under one roof. Children, parents, grandparents, and sometimes even aunts, uncles, and cousins used to live in one home. This tradition evolved into the “in-law suites” that were so popular in the early 1900s. However, in-law suites lost their appeal in the late 1940s, after WWII, which has added to the increase in retirement homes.
More and more often families are thrown on opposite sides of the country, and when the older generation gets too old to take care of themselves they are put in a retirement home. It seems that the days of many generations living under one roof is gone.
Enter Next Gen Homes. These homes took the idea of the in-law suite and brought it into the 21st century. These homes are literally two homes under one roof. There is the main residence which is connected to the smaller home with a wraparound porch. The smaller home includes a kitchen, living area, bedroom, bathroom, laundry room, and even it’s own garage.
The company selling these homes (Lennar) are trying to show the flexibility that comes with this style of home. One family turned the smaller residence into a music studio, others invited parents or children to live with them. Click here to find out more.
So this leads me to my final question, and I hope that you comment below! Would you live in a Next Gen home? Would you invite your parents? Your children? Turn it into a workshop/business? What do you think of this re-invention of the in-law suite? Let me know!
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Today I’m on a mission. I’m on a mission to change your life (and my own)! How many times do you catch yourself saying “I wish I had time to…” or “I miss doing…”? For me, it is quite a bit. I say, I miss reading. I wish I had time to journal like I used to. I really do want to get through that list of magazines on the coffee table.
Everyone has a list like this. A list of things that you want to do, but feel like you don’t have the time. Well, earlier today I was watching a TED Talk by Matt Cutts and, as TED Talks often are, I was inspired.
What was the message of this TED Talk?
Try something new.
Now, here is the best part. You don’t try something new just once, you don’t try something new forever. You just have to try to do something for 30 days. I’m a numbers person, I survive on being organized. So when I heard this idea I immediately thought, “30 days, I could do that”.
You can do something little. You can cut your sugar intake, read for 15 minutes each day, go for a walk after work. Or, you can do something huge. Write a book, remodel that bathroom, train for a 5K. Whatever you choose to do, it is guaranteed to be memorable. And as a bonus, if you do something small, it might just turn into a habit.
What is my personal challenge for this month? I think I am going to journal for at least 5 minutes a day. But I’m already thinking, “What if I forget? What if I don’t have time?”
Well, here is my plan (and maybe it can be your plan too). I have downloaded the Morning Routine app to my phone. When you add a new alarm you can choose the “sequence” option. This way you can scan a specific bar-code (I scanned the one on the back of my journal) and until you scan that specific bar-code, the alarm will not turn off! Okay, maybe you aren’t as stubborn as me, but I need this!
So what is your challenge for the next 30 days? And how will you accomplish it? Comment below and tell me about your plan!
So this month I challenge you,
Often when we step off the non-thinking train that’s been running since…
…we started in a particular career that we never left
…we had kids and then spent 18yrs giving them wings
…we began a relationship or marriage that got caught up in the swirl of the items above
…we developed financial security that disappeared in some recession, depression, transgression or repossession…
…there’s a questioning period of what we coulda/shoulda/woulda done had we been more aware and alert. Along with that questioning can come a seeming lack of confidence to step out, take a risk and/or play big again.
The adage “youth is wasted on the young” doesn’t necessarily apply to daring because young folks have no real experience of “failure” yet…and therefore they swing boldly (and sometimes blindly) at balls coming over their plate, making each new swing a learning experience (whether they would call it that or not). They are “daring” if simply by the lack of knowledge of what can and can’t be done.
In The Back Forty, however, there can be so much protective gear weighing us down that our ability to swing is hampered…if we’re brave enough to even get up to the plate again at all. After a few fast balls clocking us in the head or heart, we can become skittish to stretch out and unprotect ourselves for a good, honest swing. Relationships, careers, building businesses – taking risks in all of these can get over-thought to the point of inaction.
For example, having built a home and family in my late 20’s, two-car garage with Mercedes, backyard with hot-tub, and extra room with crib, I experienced the non-thought of simply doing what people do as they get married and settle down.
Yet, within 10 years of such natural, life progressions, a divorced-and-co-parenting relationship had been in place for years, the house was owned by another, and a two-year custody suit was just starting.
I doubt I’m the only one who has seen the “little pink houses for you and me” picture burn to ashes.
In the wake-up call that gets termed “midlife crisis”, however, we have an opportunity to actually begin thinking vs. being scared to move or make a mistake (again).
One new way of thinking is to reframe all of it as having been for our highest and greatest good and to look for and see our evolution possibilities that arose from it. What have I been through that I can help others with? What gifts, talents, abilities, new superpowers did I develop as I went through the crucible and/or chrysalis of all that stuff? How can I consciously use daring to grow and no longer be weighed down by victim stories of what he/she/they did to me?
Perhaps it’s this second wind of evolution – our Re-Evolution – that is the real game to be played in this span of time called a life…and what if, at midlife, it’s only beginning?
Hopefully, in the unfoldment of a project or new initiative, there is a phase where things really start popping, happening fast, and there is lots to manage and stay on top of.
We aspire and dream of the new-venture train gaining momentum once it has slowly and laboriously picked up speed out of the station.
And it can be then that the stomach doesn’t feel the same way, there’s an ever-present edge of discomfort…perhaps occurring as a constant feeling of heartburn, upset stomach or indigestion.
That’s a good sign.
I walked around for a few months with what felt like a bowling ball in my gut when starting my first business.
Many will avoid the discomfort…and yet for those who are willing to choose it over the medicine cabinet, the pace of growth can be profound.
Into what area of conviction or dream creation can you choose to upset your stomach today?
“If you have the guts to keep making mistakes, your wisdom and intelligence leap forward with huge momentum.”
– Holly Near
When we are young we are asked what we want to be when we grow up. When we are a little older we are asked to pick a career. Then life happens. We find a job, work our way up in the company, raise a family, get settled in our routine – and get stuck.
When was the last time you thought about what you enjoy doing? Even more importantly, how often do you do something to make YOU happy? Chances are you don’t focus on your own happiness nearly as much as you should and, at this age, you SHOULD!
Maybe you’re thinking, “It’s been so long since I’ve been selfish and just done things for me, I don’t even know what I want to do!” If this sounds like you, have no fear! I’m here to help.
So how do you find your bliss? Start by just sitting down (with a pen and paper) and thinking about it. What did you used to love doing? Reading? Writing? Creating art or crafts? What have you always been interested in trying, but have never seemed to have the time? Yoga? Skydiving? Meditation? Water Skiing? Traveling?
Make a list of all of these things, and then try them! “I don’t have time” you start thinking.Make time! Schedule an activity for yourself in your calendar. Just do one activity a month if you have to, but start exploring your interests and find what you love.
Once you find something that makes you truly blissful, don’t stop! Make sure that you keep going. Slowly start scheduling it more and more often until it becomes a habit. But don’t stop there. I’m sure there is more than one thing that causes you bliss – keep looking! The more activities you find that make you blissful, the happier you will be.
Just remember to always be open to new opportunities and experiences. Never stop being curious of the world around you. Be willing to try new things and appreciate the joy they bring you. Don’t get too stuck in your routine, be proactive and schedule the time you need to find and follow your bliss. Step outside of your comfort zone every once and a while. And, most importantly, trust that everything will work out. If it seems like everything is going wrong, it just means you haven’t reached the end of your journey. You have the ability to live your bliss, now go find it!