GOALS AFTER 40, REALLY?

GOALS AFTER 40, REALLY?

MIDLIFE CRISIS

Today I got on the elliptical and plugged in 4-1 for the last time as my age. Tomorrow marks the start of a new year on this planet for me. Another trip around the sun. I’m now approaching the “in my 40s” language, not the “I’m just 40 or 41.” Semantics… maybe. Even so, a TOTALLY different vibe nonetheless.

Despite this, I can’t help but reflect back on the last two years. The years some would term my midlife crisis, as it can be for so many when hitting milestone birthdays. It should be noted, I didn’t buy a red corvette, get a bunch of plastic surgery, and leave my husband for a 20-something surfer in California I met online.

Nevertheless, I made some BIG life changes. Arguably some of the boldest decisions I’ve ever made in my life. I quit my job of almost two decades. Not only was it my ONLY career, but also had become so much a part of me, my identity was absolutely lost within it. In addition, I left this job without a plan.

While clearly some people do things like this, for the record… I do not. Conversely, I have a plan for the plan with at least one back-up plan.

I don’t jump out of airplanes without a parachute. In fact, I don’t jump out of planes PERIOD.

So, what are goals after 40, really?

THE PLAN- GOALS AFTER 40, REALLY?

First, I started writing. I honestly have no idea why, but it just felt right. Second, I put myself out there with a blog. Absolutely one of the top 5 scariest moments of my 41 years and 364 days on this Earth.

Full disclosure, I had NO IDEA what I was doing. Arguably, I still don’t. On the other hand, I find myself in this weird place of being comfortable with the uncomfortable. With age apparently comes some lack of GAFs about vulnerability.

I, without a doubt, recommend you try it!

Even so, I enjoyed the writing and thought it might just be the platform a career-driven mom needed because Lord knows I did. So, I jumped. I even contacted Linking Indy Women about writing their blog in a liquid-courage moment one evening. Now I’m their monthly re-cap blogger. WTH?

Next, after some additional self-reflection, I took another leap and enrolled in a program to become a certified coach. Undoubtedly, an interesting sidestep from Sports Marketing and PR, but what the heck? Why not?!?

About 5 months into the program, it became apparent to me I really wanted to do this on my own. Have a business. Be an entrepreneur.

WHAT???

Yes, this realization really threw me for a while.

40- One could argue it was the age suddenly giving me different perspective on what I wanted out of life. On the other hand, one could say I finally came to my senses and said, “enough is enough, I’m going out on my own!” Whatever the case, I did it.

Furthermore, I’m telling you this for one main reason. I have not a single regret. None. Zero. Zilch. Conversely, ask me this two years ago when I was less than a month away from my leap out of the airplane and I likely would have faltered.

“I think this is the right decision, but I’m sure there will be things I will regret or wonder why I did them.”

Nope.

YOUR GOALS- 40 OR NOT

Let’s turn the microphone over to you at this time. We’re approaching the end of the year. Historically a time people all over the world look at life and hit a much-deserved reset button. Subsequently, even set New Year’s resolutions or fresh, new goals.

Company goals unquestionably get discussed, but also personal metrics are analyzed. Maybe you decide if you are on the “right” path or need an audible.

What is the big decision you are mulling over? Is there an unsettling feeling you just can’t get rid of, but at the same time you aren’t making any moves or adjustments?

Maybe you’re scared. Maybe it’s easier to talk about what you WANT to do. But if you START, in fact, take even one step… it becomes way too real.

Guilty.

Well my friend, take the leap. Jump out of the airplane. Parachute or not, go.

It’s totally cliché but I don’t care, it’s a great quote. As the hockey Hall of Famer Wayne Gretzky said, “You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take.”

If you want accountability, support coming up with your plan, tips on overcoming blocks to achieving your goals, and more, I’ve got your covered! Not from a place of, “this is what you should do” or “this is how I did it.”

We’re all unique individuals, have our own lens through which we view life, and need to take steps in our own time and in our own way.

THE RIGHT TIME

Even so, what I do want to share with you is this. There will never be a right time.

Think about when you were contemplating having kids. I remember Jeremy and I mulling over what was the right time for kids. When would we be ready? Finally one day (in a very Yoda fashion), he said, “I don’t know that I’ll ever be able to say I’m ready. Are we ever really ready for something like this?”

Wise 29-year-old Jeremy quote right there. LOL.

Actually, if we’re doing this like Yoda, it was probably more like, “Ready, one finds themselves never.” (you did the Yoda voice didn’t you?!?! LOL.)

But for real. Right time + Ready = Never.

Full disclosure, it took a miscarriage for us to realize how excited we were about the possibility of having kids. But that’s a story for another day.

Regardless, you don’t have to do this alone nor do you have to feel ready. But at the same time, don’t miss the shot simply because you didn’t take it.

I’M “READY,” BUT HOW?

For now, I’ll leave you with this. Spend some time over the next four weeks brainstorming. Write down all the things you think you want to do or achieve, no matter how outlandish they may seem to you in the moment.

Easy my friend. SLOW DOWN THE NERVES. You aren’t signing on to do them, it’s just a brainstorm. Get your mind open to possibilities, even the crazy ones. Think about these eight areas of your life:

  • Personal Development
  • Spiritual
  • Fun & Enjoyment- SO OFTEN WE DISCOUNT HOW IMPORTANT THIS IS!
  • Relationships
  • Health
  • Finance
  • Career
  • Family

Next, think about your satisfaction in each of these areas on a scale of 1-10, 10 being highest. Finally, what would need to happen to move it up one notch on your satisfaction scale?

See what I’m doing? Small steps. Repeatable changes. But the whole thing first starts with figuring out WHERE you want to go.

If you don’t know exactly where you’re going, how will you know when you get there?

– Steve Maraboli

GOALS AFTER 40, REALLY?

Happy brainstorming my amazing friend. Until next time, let your mind roam in the infinite possibilities out there for you. But promise me one thing. You will allow yourself to dream!

One question I often ask clients, “what would you tell your daughter or your son if they were in your situation?”

Stay unfulfilled but safe.

Don’t chase your dream, it’s too big.

At 40, you are too old to be thinking of making this kind of change.

Obviously, you see how ridiculous this sounds. Nonetheless I ask you this, why are you doing it to yourself? If you come back at me with excuses like time, money, obligations, spouse, kids, lack of clarity, etc., etc., I’m going to challenge you.

That’s right. Excuses are like… well, you know the stinky reference I’m making here.

The point is, our minds have been trained to protect us. Keep us safe. That’s great for things like a bear attacking a cavewoman. Not so great when we feel unfulfilled but find ourselves too scared to make changes. We also get caught up in thinking about the end result and how it seems SO FAR. Guess what? It probably is REALLY far. But if you stay stagnant. Furthermore, not changing even one little detail in your life by the next year. I can promise you this. You are going to find yourself exactly where you are at this time next year.

Yoda: Unfulfilled find yourself you will. (I couldn’t help myself!)

Dream. Brainstorm. Take some time to contemplate what it is your subconscious has been trying to tell you for a while now.

Who knows, by the end of this, we may all be convinced to jump out of that airplane… with a parachute of course.

 

Your present circumstances don’t determine where you can go; they merely determine where you start.”

– Nido Qubein

 

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THE INNER MEAN GIRL

THE INNER MEAN GIRL

INNER MEAN GIRL

A portion of my job is to support people through mindset shifting. Admittedly, the irony is not lost on me that sometimes, I myself, need to simply LOOK IN A MIRROR and adopt this concept. Let’s talk about the things we say to ourselves. More specifically, our inner mean girl.

I read in my 100 Days to Brave book this morning an excerpt on speaking kindly to yourself. To be honest, this is like the fifth time the effect of our inner messaging has popped up for me in the last week. Clearly the Universe is trying to tell me something. Because of this, I sat on it for a while this morning. Then I started to write.

We likely could all use a little dose of putting the inner mean girl in her place. For instance, I recently had surgery on a herniated disc in my neck. (Yes, the cover pic which I’m SHOCKED I am letting out in public… yikes!) I promise the surgery not quite as dramatic as it may sound. Even so, my inner mean girl was ON FIRE after the fact.

MY INNER MEAN GIRL

Everyone has their own topics their inner mean girl can’t seem to let go of. Mine typically centers around weight and probably more specifically body image.

I can’t work out for at least 6 months, so as you can imagine, my inner mean girl topic for discussion…

BODY IMAGE

She first started in on what surgery would mean for any progress made in the exercise realm recently. Second, she pointed out how she could literally FEEL my arms and belly getting bigger as I laid there in the hospital bed. (I told you, she’s not very nice!) Then the “little b***h” began attacking my business and questioning my foot off the throttle for new clients while in recovery.

“Rest? Get your butt going, you have clients to talk to,” she demanded.

Funny how quickly I forgot the SHE was in fact, ME. Ouch.

Nonetheless, I kept wondering what the “speaking kindly to yourself” message smacking me in the face over the last week meant. As a result, I think someone else out there needs to hear this:

YOU ARE NOT ALONE.

Your thoughts and feelings, as well as the little inner mean girl trying to tear you down, it’s normal. Furthermore, just like me, maybe you are needing a dose of medicine for your inner mean girl, too.

What does she like to point out to you? Motherhood shortcomings. Of course, she does! And probably in the weakest of moments too. Career woman issues and trying to climb the ladder, be a “good wife” (whatever that means), and be all the things we “should” be? Yep. Body image thoughts? This Girl Is On Fire! And no, not in an Alicia Keys song kind of way either. Ugh.

Mine? Oh yes. All of the above. She doesn’t like my arms, my toes, my thighs, she’s frustrated with my mid-section of late. Her messaging in the mirror even on days when I do wear make-up and put on something other than tights or yoga pants (hello quarantine?!?!) has not been kind. Additionally, she even attacks my motherhood skills or lack thereof. Check and check.

Is she right? Maybe at times. I bet you didn’t think I was going to say that!

I’m not going to lecture you on a message of “love yourself exactly as you are in every moment.” It should be noted, I don’t think this approach creates growth. Of course, you want to love yourself. However, SOMETIMES, we need to take a good hard look at the inner voice and see what she’s trying to tell us. The catch is, balancing the truth in the message as well as how we let it affect us versus challenge us.

The inner mean girl is just the mask. Under the mask of the mean message, maybe, just maybe, there is a more important message to unearth.

BALANCING THE INNER MEAN GIRL

I’m an instant gratification person. How about you?

Frustrated when the internet is slow? Check.

Triggered by kids and want them to behave IMMEDIATELY? Check.

Take the inner mean girl message at face value? Check.

How often do we face the mean girl message and think it through? I’m probably at a zero out of one hundred average in the last week alone. You too?

So, let’s chat about it. Body image messaging for me is typically not as loud when I MOVE my body. Ironically, it doesn’t have to be a long run or a really tough workout. In general, when I move (walk, work in the yard, busy day of errands and house chores, etc.) it equates to me feeling better.

With this in mind, it makes a lot of sense my inner mean girl was on fire as I lay in a hospital bed for about 24 hours straight. She’s trying to remind me, albeit in a not very kind way, body movement is key for my sense of well-being. When I don’t have this, my mental state is a slippery slope of pointing out ALL THE THINGS wrong with me physically.

And while my arms and belly likely weren’t growing at a rate where I could physically SEE this (um, gross), the thoughts in my head manifesting the physical feeling is understandable. Irrational on some level? Of course. However, thinking it through makes me understand my inner mean girl wants me to move because she knows I’m going to feel better.

With this rationale, are we then able to manifest positivity if we have the ability to manifest a negative feeling? I’m thinking YES.

Heather Lowey- Inner Mean Girl quote- thank, question, challenge her, Move on.

Let’s start with this… What is the first thing you said to yourself this morning?

MANIFESTING POSITIVE FEELINGS

Who grabbed the phone first thing this morning and started scrolling? If you answered yes, I’m going to scream this through your screen:

STOP IT!!!!!!!!!

Terrible idea. I don’t like to tell people what to do, (okay, my fraternity house would disagree) but I’m ripping off the band-aid… Not only is it a bad idea, it is a TERRIBLE idea.

Three reasons:

COMPARISON, SHAME, WORRY

Why didn’t I get up and work out this morning?

What am I doing to wear THAT bikini to the beach?

When is the last time we took family pictures and all coordinated outfits?

What did my loved one post that I don’t want to be associated with?

Enter in the inner mean girl and BAM, our morning is shot before our feet even hit the floor.

Add in some kids rushing around for school and no coffee, well frankly, it’s not going to get any better.

Why don’t my kids listen to me?

I just yelled. Geez, I’m a terrible mother.

We have all this s**t to do tonight. I don’t know if I’m coming or going. I SHOULD be appreciative of all we have but I’m so freaking tired and annoyed!

This negative self-talk continues for the day and by the time you are home in the evening with your take-out and feeling guilty, the night continues to spiral. Um, hello- NO WONDER!

AFFECT OF SPEAKING KINDLY TO YOURSELF

Consequently, I have an idea for you to try.

Gratefulness exercise. I know, maybe you read this with a giant eye roll, but hear me out. Additionally, I PROMISE I’m not trying to add more s**t to your already full plate. Nope. Not only is this one easy, it also creates a shift in your mindset.

The minute you wake up in the morning, despite the habit, don’t grab your phone. You can either continue to lie in your bed or do this on your walk to the bathroom. Think of three things you are grateful for. That’s it. 3 things. To clarify, they don’t have to be big, crazy things either. 

For example, here are mine from this morning:

First, finding the perfect spot in my bed and realizing it was only 4 am so I still had a couple more hours in THE PERFECT spot. You know what I’m talking about, right!?!? The perfect softness, firmness, temperature, all the things. Just right. Man, it’s great!

Next, my son, Jake, being so helpful and happy last night. (He is pre-teen and the emotional roller coaster is LEGIT!)

Finally, a day with fewer calls and obligations so I could do some writing and planning.

Ladies (and gents), I am telling you, THIS creates a shift in you. Maybe not day one or even week one. Nonetheless, when you know you are going to wake up in the morning and have to think of something you are grateful for, your mind automatically looks for things. You re-train your brain to be on the look-out for POSITIVE things. Simultaneously, you move your head from negative self-talk to speaking kindly to yourself.

Energy flows where attention goes.

 

– Tony Robbins

#truth

SUMMARY- INNER MEAN GIRL

We all have the inner mean girl. Even when you re-train your brain, she’s likely going to find something else to give you flack about.

However, what if you took a little time to shift? Acknowledge what the inner mean girl is trying to tell you. There may be a message under the mask of mean if only you break it down.

Then you shift. Moving to a place where our brain automatically LOOKS for the positives. A life of practicing gratefulness and empathy once we understand this inner voice maybe just wants to be heard.

Give it a try. I’d love to hear how this process or an evolution of this works for you. We can work with our inner mean girl and shift her from a bullying voice, to someone looking out for our well-being.

Finally, don’t forget the little voice is YOU. When you peel back your inner mean girl, what are YOU trying to tell yourself?

 

Step away from the mean girls… and say bye-bye to feeling bad about your looks. Are you ready to stop colluding with a culture that makes so many of us feel physically inadequate? Say goodbye to your inner critic, and take this pledge to be kinder to yourself and others.

 

Oprah Winfrey

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Epic Story of Biscuit the Dog

Epic Story of Biscuit the Dog

AN EPIC DOG STORY

We are going to veer off a bit from my theme of motherhood for a different type of post. However, I think you will still enjoy this epic story of Biscuit the Dog. For me, this story is one of those tales I’m pretty sure my grandchildren will hear about one day. Think of this post as the adult version of show and share for some laughs.

I was reminded of this particular story today because of two things. First off, I was literally at the scene of the crime in the same car headed to the same place I was when it took place ten years ago. Second, at the exact moment a segment on the Smiley Morning Show came on asking listeners for true stories that are so crazy they just have to be true. Consequently, I called in to the radio show and told the highlights of my Biscuit the dog story. The show hosts were in disbelief and laughed pretty hard throughout. It ended the segment as Smiley said this story would not be topped that morning.

In my story on the website,  I reference my nickname, Murphy. What can happen will happen. Exhibit A.

YOU DID WHAT? 

A bitter cold January morning, I made my way up Keystone Avenue taking my car in for repairs and an oil change. Keystone is a four-lane road running north and south on the north side of Indy through a pretty busy area of the city. I made my way north in the passing lane during rush hour morning traffic, and saw brake lights on the cars to my right. Suddenly, the car just a little bit ahead of me on the right SLAMS on their brakes and I instinctively hit the brakes as well. Too late. A HUGE white flash darts out barely missing my neighbor’s driver’s side bumper and I consequently DRILL the white dart.

Hard.

A direct hit.

As in front right tire, bump. Back right tire, bump.

OH MY GOD, I JUST KILLED A DOG!!! I looked in the rearview mirror only to see a large white heap on the ground. In other words, not moving. Done. HE GONE.

PREGNANCY HORMONES AND A DOG

It was rush hour and I desperately tried to get over to the right side to pull over while everyone rushed around me. While it felt like an eternity and the miles to match, I finally got over to the side. At this point, I’m sobbing. I should also mention, I was 8 months pregnant with Jake at the time. Then in a moment of complete confusion, I sat there on the side of the road, cars flying around me, thinking, I have NO IDEA what to do right now!!! So what any confused, super pregnant woman does…. I called my husband.

Jeremy answered and is quickly confused and probably a bit rattled with my crying (hello…. pregnant wife!!!).  I finally spit out I killed a dog on the way to get my car fixed (correct, the irony is not lost on me). Hence, I’m pulled over to the road side and now I’m not sure what to do. He then asks a keenly astute couple of questions, “why are you pulled over? What are you going to do, drag the dog out of the middle of the street in rush hour traffic eight months pregnant?” Touche, oh wise one.

Likewise, I had no idea. To begin with, it just seemed like the thing to do, but when you put it THAT way….

Jeremy agreed to look up animal control or some other number for getting the dog off of the road and text it to me while I waited for my car.

CAR REPAIRS

I pulled into Tom Wood Ford next (still crying) and talked to the technician. It was clear I had been crying, so the kind man asked if I was okay. I asked while they were making the repairs and giving the oil change, could they also check the front as I had “just hit a huge dog.” He tried to sympathize and asked me when I hit this dog. Through snotty sobs, I told Phil, “less than five minutes ago!!!!!” (cue more crying!) He walked to the front of my little SUV and I kid you not started to smirk and tried really hard not to laugh as he started pulling white hair out of the cracked bumper and broken headlight.

Good Lord ladies, please tell me your hormonal beings understand this!! I started CRYING again. He tried hard not to laugh, as any smart man would. I mean… hair in the bumper and headlight! Next, Phil said they would get started on the bumper and light as well. #thanks #animalkiller

Ordinarily, this would be the end of the story. But if you haven’t been paying ANY attention, I’m Murphy. Furthermore, this is only the beginning of a very long and comical story. In short, get your popcorn.

LOCAL COVERAGE OF AN EPIC DOG STORY

While waiting on my repairs, Jeremy sent the number for DEAD ANIMAL PICK-UP. For the most part, I would normally feel this is an insensitive name. However, it probably makes the google find pretty easy for someone. From the lens of this being someone’s pet though, coupled with all of my pregnancy hormones, you can imagine there were more tears. I left a message on the hotline with the location of the giant white dog in the middle of Keystone.

Next, I called my boss, Carl, to re-hash this story while sitting in the waiting room. He laughed at my emotional state. Furthermore, made comments regarding my farm girl roots and in general his surprise over my emotions on this one.

Flash forward a couple of days and I’m at work no longer thinking about the misfortune of the dog. Carl sent me a text, “the dog you hit the other day, was it by chance a Great White Pyrenees?” I quickly googled the breed because I couldn’t think of what they looked like.

Epic story of Biscuit the dog- Great Pyrenees image

Great Pyrenees – Biscuit the Dog


As the image filled the screen, I had a flashback to my rearview mirror from a few days prior. YES!!! IT WAS! WHY ARE YOU ASKING ME THIS???? 

“Go to Indystar.com, Mission of Mercy is the story.” I could not get the website to pull up fast enough. What on Earth?!  There it was. The story of the dog I hit and his miraculous survival.

DISBELIEF OVER BISCUIT

Incidentally, the dog lived. He was apparently knocked out by the direct hit just north of the White River bridge, but awoke later. Afterward, he somehow made his way down to the shore of the White River. Lying on a piece of ice, likely to pass away from his injuries peacefully by the water. The ice broke free from the shore and started floating down the river with him on it. Families living on the White River saw the floating dog and called the Indianapolis Fire Department. As a result, there was a rescue mission to save the dog floating down the river on a piece of ice. #can’tmakethisstuffup

All of the local news outlets were there to cover the story.  The IFD saved the dog from the water and got him to a local veterinary clinic to gauge his injuries. Incidentally, this included the need for hip surgery from “what appeared to be injuries related to being hit by a vehicle.” #foreheadsmack

I sat at my desk in disbelief and apparently made some noises to match. Therefore, my co-workers started to gather to see what was happening. As I shared the details from the local paper, one of my co-workers, Dawn, bursts out laughing. She saw the rescue mission on the Weather Channel that morning!! “I had no idea it was the dog you hit the other day!! I was just intrigued because it happened in Indy and they were covering it!” Hence, tons of laughter and disbelief.

THE STORIES START TO ROLL IN

Another co-worker, John, immediately got on his computer to find out more about this. He announced indystar.com had a donation fund started to help cover the cost of the dog’s surgery. There were lots of comments, including one who saw the accident. While they did call out it was an accident, they also said “I thought the person would have stopped though.” I DID STOP!! UGH!

The dog’s name was Biscuit and he lived in a Great Pyrenees rescue located in Broadripple. He had been with the rescue volunteers at the local dog park, gotten spooked, and ran away, making his way out of the park the day before I hit him. After a number of dog owners at the park and other volunteers tried to catch him, he disappeared into the woods near the White River. As night approached, search attempts were paused to resume the next morning.  Therefore, why he was by the White River and ran up on Keystone only to find the right side of my Ford Edge.

Have you ever been so shocked about something, it makes you almost dizzy? This. This is the feeling I had. This dog was now a local celebrity and had even made it’s way onto the Weather Channel. In short, I was in a state of shock and also laughing pretty hard about the randomness of all of this.

I also jokingly asked why no one had considered starting a fund for my car which had $1500 worth of damage! By the way, for those curious, I did not donate to the dog fund online. Before you judge me, the fund grew quickly and more than covered his surgery and injuries. In addition, I figured the damages I had to pay for my car served as a good compromise.

THE REST OF THE STORY

Biscuit needed to be adopted in addition to his surgeries. With all of the local coverage, a number of people were interested. Particularly, the fireman who rescued him. However, he ended up with a family in Carmel, IN. Why do I know this? The follow-up story on Channel 13 news A YEAR LATER, of course!

By the way, we can’t forget about the Today Show. A couple weeks after the incident, we received a call from our friend shouting, “TURN ON THE TODAY SHOW RIGHT NOW!!!” There was Biscuit, his rescuing fireman, and a veterinarian being interviewed. The vet said multiple times, “based on the injuries sustained he was clearly hit by a vehicle before being rescued from the ice.” I screamed at the TV, “I KNOW! I hit him… It was an ACCIDENT!!”

Subsequently, a number of stories from friends emerged after the fact with connection to Biscuit. For example, friends driving through Broadripple the day Biscuit escaped the dog park. They saw groups of people running around and stopped. After hearing people were trying to help catch a rescue dog, they joined the search party.

On a weekly conference call with my counterparts in our Boston office, I shared the epic story. One of the guy’s expressed complete amazement. In shock, he re-hashed coming home to his pregnant wife crying on the couch. She had watched the rescue of Biscuit on the Weather Channel and was super emotional about it. “I can’t tell her you are the one who hit that poor dog!!” To this day, I still don’t know if he ever told her it was me.

In summary, stay tuned as you never know what Murphy will encounter next. I can assure you though, it’s bound to be entertaining!!

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