This morning I was pondering, and actively avoiding, diving in to write a blog. Then I had an interesting thought. To those who know me, my writers voice has changed over the past year. To others, who may be reading this as I guest blog for Driven for Life, you have absolutely no idea who I am. So, let me introduce (and reintroduce) myself.
I am you. I am not, but then, I am. Ok, here’s the quickest version I’ve got. I am 57 years old and I am a God-loving, tea-drinking, medium-aged, foodie who madly loves her husband, is obsessed with gardening, addicted to succulents, loves to cook for big groups of pretty much anyone and passionate about people’s growth.
Who have I been? • I’ve been a civil engineer specializing in sewers … and yes I’ve heard all the jokes. • I owned and operated a large and prominent New Age/Metaphysical bookstore taking it over from my mother. • I was a co-founder and managing partner of a successful giftware company based out of Beijing China. • I was the Director of Assimilation, Database, Volunteer, Classes, Military Ministry and Special Projects for a large multi-site, mega-church with a weekend attendance of 12,000 people. • I am/was a co-founder and managing partner of a start-up company specializing in vehicle graphics and wraps, signs, banners, decals, etc. • I am a freelance writer/blogger.
I only recently realized that I change careers every 10 years. Not just jobs, but industries. We can call it career A.D.D. – but I usually hang in 10 years or so.
So what does this have to do with Driven For Life? Roughly 18 months ago, my husband attended Driven For Life’s BOLD training. He went to “analyze/observe” it to see if it was a fit for his company. “Analyze/observe” – yeah that’s hysterical. Go ahead try, just try, going through a Driven program as an “observer.” It’s like observing a swim meet by jumping in the deep end and thinking you are not going to swim to survive. Though it might be more akin to an Iron Man competition and the ocean.
Anyway, my husband came home said his life had changed and he was a new person. He hoped, “I liked it/him.” Wait! What?? I’m sorry I didn’t ask for a new husband. I kind of liked the old one.
Five months later, as his company was sending manager after manager through BOLD, his team of directors went through FORGE: Team Engagement. To which, he came home and again shared his new mindset/focus/passion/his why. Who is this man and what did you do with my husband?
Hmmmm…great, we are cruising along in marriage and now this Driven For Life company is changing both my husband and the language of my marriage! Ok yeah … I guess I need to see what’s what. In the course of my 4-5 careers, I’ve been through a lot of these management/leadership programs – seriously how different can this one really be?
So a year ago, off I went for 2 ½ days up in the San Bernardino mountains. Quick sidebar: I had recently changed careers (shocking, I know) and was working with my husband in a sign shop. For the first time in 40 years of working, 4 careers, 3 industries – I was not happy.
So I find myself sitting in a lodge with 13 other people listening to opening night, and thinking I’d just observe/analyze and see what this thing’s all about. Honestly, I’ve faked my way through plenty of these “leadership/be all that you can be” trainings. I got this.
What sound is it you make when you are thrown into the ocean and make no attempt to swim? Glug?
I am 57. I have been successful. I have been on top. I have made money, and lost money. I have built companies and lost a couple companies. I am bright enough to understand that my career / title / job description doesn’t define me. I know I am defined by my character, integrity, and passion. I am known as forthright, honest, transparent, prudent, and giving with more than my share of sarcastic (though I am working on that one). And, I am much more of a thinker than a feeler.
Look, I just came to see what this program is all about. 2 ½ days later, I came home a new person. I hope my husband “likes it/me.” Since then, I too have now gone through FORGE (more on that later) and I now, yeah, I get it.
See, I am you. I’ve had my ups and downs, but for the most part, life is good, often great. Business is good, often great. Marriage is great, sometimes only good. I came out of BOLD knowing deep within me that “great” is not good enough. I choose to live my passion, in my case full-time writing. I choose to live all-in. I choose to give life my absolute best. Waking up each day to be the best that I can be. That, my friends, is a BOLD life. A life you choose to make. A life you choose versus a life that chooses you.
All this is to say, nice to meet you. I am a regular guest blogger for Driven For Life. You will hear my voice dispersed among Eric’s dynamic voice of leadership and Mary’s profound voice of passion and drive. From me, you’ll get the inside scoop, random thoughts, transparent observation with just a touch of sarcasm on top.