Has someone ever given you what was thought to be the best advice, and you dismissed it because you either didn’t want to hear what was being said at the time, or you thought it was plain stupid?
If you have been following my journey, you know that I am on a mission to try different things now to figure out what is my present purpose in life. At my age, I do not want to have many “hit and misses”, or trial and error, even though these are all a part of the process to find my sweet spot.
The conversation with my friend who has the same birthday as myself, was on a day when I was feeling a bit overwhelmed with the prospect of finding a job to please my husband. Nothing was panning out and I felt that ageism played a role in my lack of success. I called her because I knew she would be very candid with me.
She listened while I spoke for a while, and then she asked me to tell her how I was feeling in regards to the hitches I was encountering in the job search, and how I also felt about my husband telling me I needed to get a job, and stop working on my “hobby’.
Processing the question sent me back to the day many years before when I realized I wanted to be an entrepreneur, and not really work for anyone but myself. Time freedom and flexibility have always been my desire. It was this time freedom and flexibility over the years that allowed me to be a full time caregiver for my Mom and Dad for many years until they passed.
Deep down I had the unsettling feeling in my heart that if I got a job, even a part time one, it would distract me from the plans I was putting in place to accomplish my dreams and desires. I tell myself I am a multitasker, but have been discovering that I am not very good at this, and something would suffer if I tried to do both.
I expressed my feelings to her, and I guess she felt my pain because her next words were the ones that stopped me in my tracks. She asked me:
Val, what do you want to do? Do you want a job? Maybe you just want to do projects around your home to make it beautiful, and make some money on the side? Maybe at your age after coming out of a full time caregiving job, you probably need to be chasing your dreams now.
These questions and statement did it for me. What she said resonated with me. She was correct- this is exactly what I wanted. I wanted the freedom to make my home beautiful and welcoming, and entertain friends and loved ones- something I was not able to do while caregiving and dealing with feeding tubes, emergency rooms and all that. Making money alongside this for vacations, retirement, some expenses, was the perfect combination for me.
So how did this advice help me? How did it affect my future thinking and actions?
- It helped to reduce the doubts and anxieties about my present and future success because I was settled in what I wanted to do.
- I am becoming more organized at home so I better manage my home and business.
- My self-esteem is growing because I am seeing results from my actions, and success systems are in place.
- My husband is seeing a more self-directed person who is working a business, not just tinkering with a hobby.
- I am excitedly learning different methods of monetization without feeling pressured about a regular 9 to 5 job.
- I am also learning to take better care of myself because more and more I am in touch with what is happening in my body and I can focus on better health.
Knowing What You Want
As women trying to figure out what to do in the midst of pressure and uncertainty, and how to do it, I ask you like my friend did. What is it that you really want to do? What is it that burns in your heart? It is only after you answer these questions will you be able to start on your journey to discovery and the accomplishment of dreams and desires.
I am not saying this will solve all the hiccups we encounter, but it is a start. I am so happy I accepted my friend’s advice and received value from it. I am more content, and I am more focused on the really important things in my life. It is not every advice we should embrace, and sometimes the advice might not seem to make sense, but the person giving it makes a world of difference.
“ In giving advice, seek to help, not to please your friend.“- Solon, Greek Statesman. I believe this was the case with my friend that is why I listened to her. I pray that when I do offer advice, this too will be my motivation.
I always keep my promises!