I used to think turning 50 was going to be the trigger for my midlife crisis! While that milestone is still a few years away for me, it seemed to be sneaking up on the edge of my psychic radar.… That is, until about six months ago, when something else took me completely by surprise.
Well, maybe not “completely by surprise.” I had known it was coming. I’d even anticipated it in my annual reflections at the end of 2017 and included it in my intentions for 2018. What was surprising was the depth of the self-redefining impact the long-foreseen event would have…. You see, in 2018, my son graduated high school.
Looking ahead to that amazing rite of passage, I had included among my 2018 intentions to “help make his year magnificent.” We certainly celebrated in style, but my commitments for 2018 included sharing more of my stories with him, teaching him a little of what I’ve learned since I was his age, and encouraging him to spread his own wings, dream boldly, and liberate his potential. It’s been an amazing year for both of us — and for all our family.
What took me by surprise, though, was the dramatic shift his rite of passage caused in my self-perception: I have an adult son. I guess that makes me an adult, too!
Isn’t self-awareness a funny thing? Obviously, I’m an adult! I’ve been one for nearly 30 years! And yet I see now that it has always felt to me like an unfolding process… a becoming. Oddly, perhaps, there was never for me a moment when I felt like I’d quite arrived in adulthood. Until now…. On life’s journey, 2018 felt like arriving at a destination.
Some moments are like destinations on life’s journey.
Maybe you’ve had one of those moments? A point in your life when you looked around you, seeing yourself and your situation clearly, as if with new eyes. Perhaps you felt empowered to make a change you’d been thinking about? Maybe you felt able to give yourself permission to speak out about something important to you? Or possibly, you felt new courage in old convictions?
When was the last time you let yourself dream boldly?
Last week, I spent a day reflecting on 2018 and looking ahead to 2019. It felt like a turning point. In previous years, I’ve felt that sense of becoming—like each year was building on the one before. This time, I felt a deep demarcation. A time both of completion and beginning. It felt liberating. It was a moment to let my imagination run toward possibility, purpose… potential….
Will you let yourself live your capacity?
Here’s another p-word: Permission. Do you have one of those friends that by their very way of being inspires you to show up as a better version of yourself? Maybe you’re funnier when they’re around? Or smarter? Or more complete, somehow? What if you gave yourself permission to show up like that all the time? What would that look like for you?
That’s what I asked myself last week. And I landed on three answers. The first was focused on my family, about which I try to keep private—notwithstanding this post’s mention of my son! The second is personal—about fitness and fun, in body and mind. (Call me if you’re getting stuck balancing health and career. Or join me at Business Inside Out in May.)
The third answer is the one for which I needed to give myself permission…. Looking around me today, just a few years shy of 50, hard work, consistency, and a fair dose of serendipity have brought me to a unique moment…. It’s powerful. It’s just beginning to unfold…. And it will be the subject of these Reflections throughout 2019….
Are you dreaming boldly?