For the past year, I have been joking that I am having my mid-life crisis. Perhaps it’s true.
In the last year, a lot has changed in my life. I moved into a new home, went through a divorce, closed a struggling retail business, endured two surgeries brought on by the work I do as a painting contractor, and started the ball rolling on a career change. Through all of this, with unhealthy stress levels, my goal became clear -slow down and simplify my life.
I have always been an active person. I love the outdoors, adventure, sport, travel. I studied education in Madison, WI, where I developed my love of learning. After school, I took a summer to work as a painter, while I decided what to do with my life. Now in my 40s, I am still painting, still deciding what to do with my life.
In my 20s, the painting business was my “permanent, semi-retirement plan”, as I affectionately called it. Clearly, not my life’s passion, but a means to an end. The end being the freedom of self-employment, which allowed me the opportunity to take as much time off as I wanted to travel and play. This brought me many of my best experiences and memories, and was a really happy, carefree time in my life. In my 30s, feeling unfulfilled, I went back to school to study architecture, where I developed a passion for historic preservation and a desire to rehab old houses. I continued to run the painting business, studied, renovated my first house, opened a second business with my husband, and started a family. As you may imagine, life became a balancing act, and sadly, the scale was turning to “all work and no play, makes Sue a dull girl”. When people would ask me, “how do you do it all?”, my standard response became, “not well.”
Now, with a divorce under my belt, one business failure behind me, two surgeries, and, now cancer, I have decided that NOW is the time to simplify and return to the things that make me happy on this planet. It is a work in progress…