Chasing Inspiration

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Contemplations on Goals and Birthdays

I turned 40 today. Don't worry, I'm not about to jump off the edge of reality and fall into the mire of midlife crisis. I'm actually looking forward to this milestone birthday. I hear from many friends that they really started to shine in life when they reached 40. I'm hoping this is true for me, as well.

While I'm excited about 40 I'm feeling reflective today. 40 is an exciting age to be. I'm excited for it. I welcome it with open arms and a huge smile.

I also approach this new decade looking back. I was thinking about this yesterday. I'm at midlife, unless I live to be 100. I haven't accomplished some of what I hoped to by this point in my life. Some of that is because goals and wants and needs changed over time. Some because I realized the goals I had set were not in any way realistic.

40 also means that there is less time to do some of the things I had wanted to do by now. Since I'm in that reflective mode and want to see opportunities rather than loss, below are my thoughts on a couple of the big items.

I am not published - by a formal publishing house or self published. I wanted to have several published novels under my belt by this time in my life. I don't. I have several unpublished novels under my belt so while I'm mildly disappointed I don't feel I've missed the mark with this goal. Until the last year or so it wasn't realistic to self-publish in any way that would allow the author to actually make money. As for a traditional publishing house, that is up to the whims of the powers that be, not up to me. I will continue to pursue traditional publishing but I think I will also find a critique partner this year or a mentor so I can grow as a writer. If I'm good enough I may pursue self-publication. This is not lost time. This is the right time and I firmly believe that.

I haven't traveled beyond North America. I want to travel to Tuscany, Venice, Ireland, Scotland, London, Bath, New Zealand, Thailand, Japan, and many additional places. I haven't. We bought a house that needed much fixing up and that is where our money and time has gone. I had hoped that by now we would have at least one trip under our belts but no. In the next 5 years my goal is to have at least 2 overseas excursions beneath my belt - with or without the husband.

I wanted to have a coaching business by now. I recognize that a couple of things have stood in my way. I'm not certified by any of the BIG certification programs and that makes me feel I should get certified before I build my business. It's more a CYA thing than a competency thing, but it does keep me from moving forward. Choices around where to spend money have continued to bump this down the list but the husband and I have an agreement that once the house is done (please let it be not too much longer) we will have the funds to pay for certification. Yay!

I also know nothing about running my own business and honestly am a little freaked out about not having a consistent paycheck. In the next couple of years along with a writing mentor I want to find someone who has been there and built their business to see if they would be willing to mentor me. Knowledge is power and my fear is based on not knowing. I may always have at least a part time job but it would be nice to remove the fear and barriers to see if I can really make a go of coaching.

Those are my big items and as I approach 40 I can see with clarity what I need to do to move forward with these dreams and take them to the next level. I don't think that has anything to do with turning 40. Or maybe it does. Maybe with age comes that crystal clarity and as I approach a milestone marker in my life I recognize that life isn't forever and if I want to take dreams into reality I need to make conscious and actionable goals. Or maybe it's just I needed to grow up more in order to really truly reach for these goals.

Either way, I'm now 40. I'm excited and while a lot of life has been lived, there is so much more life waiting for me. I'm looking forward to seeing what doors open.

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