A few months ago I had a milestone birthday. Yep, the one that many mark with the middle of middle age or humorously, “going down the other side of the hill. Fifty. The 5-0.
Some of you might ask, what was I doing on my 50th birthday? Those who read my posts might remember I was speaking my truth and passion about wellbeing, authenticity and resilience at a conference in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. I hope this is only the beginning of what is to come for the next decade.
In my reflections since then, a theme emerged about time. I learned many years ago that time is finite. What matters is energy and where I put it. When we all talk about "how time flies" or "how fast time seems to slip by" or "gosh I feel so old and how fast time is passing" or "old-man time is seemingly cruel" it can, in essence, make us forget about the things that truly matter: making memories and living experiences in real time.
Time isn't as "fast" as we think-- especially when you give yourself credit for the experiences you build in your life. I can now recognize that we CAN pack a lot in (in time, or ten years, or a year, a week, etc.) to live a life of joy and wellbeing. I KNOW I did. So, as I look at the last 10 years since my last big milestone birthday (40), here is the evidence of things proving that my time matters in living with intention and taking experience from the energy I invested.
Please don’t be as exhausted reading this list as I am writing it all down (for myself, mainly). Rather, please consider to be inspired by what you can do when you put your mind, energy and purpose behind your intentions. Again, it’s not about being accomplished or “getting things done;” no. It’s also not a comparison of lists; no. It’s about reflecting and showing yourself some self-appreciation for the experiences that you’ve had in your life over the last ten years of time.
I also challenge you all to do this "time-audit" and look deeply and lovingly at the things you did while time was passing over the last ten years. You will see a lot of experiences that demonstrate how you focused your energy. Give yourself some credit, too.
Here goes my list. In the last ten years:
-I changed companies 5 times
-I moved house/apartments 5 times
-I relocated my home/lived in three countries
-I met my husband and got married
-I adopted two doggie daughters
-I went back to school for a Master's degree
-I got trained & certified as a Coach
-I visited China more than 25 times
-I traveled to more than 20 countries around the world
-I suffered from learned helpless and burned out from work-stress
-I was hospitalized for kidney issues related to burnout
-I grieved heavily, suffered (and recovered) from depression
-I made a huge career comeback at what seemed impossible odds
-I wrote and published a (best-selling) book
-I started a business
-I repatriated back to my home country and started a new chapter
Indeed, I wear a lot of priviledge in order to have done many of the things above. But I don't begrudge or mistake that priviledge for my own desire to live deeply, whole-heartedly and with intention of my own wellbeing. In fact, I look back at this list and marvel at how focused my energy actually was even in the hardest of adversities. And in a deeper view, many of those adversities were related to the big life events that cause major issues for people. (Change of job, moving house, marriage, death, etc. *) In the moments I wanted to give up, I still used “time” to make it count. Living a life of joy is about looking at the things that make your life count — to you.
Our experiences matter. The energy we invest in experiences is also key to unlocking our truth and, importantly, our wellbeing. When we find space to reflect on our focus, really intereting things can emerge about how we made time count!
Energy drives the wellbeing in life. Not time. Time is just a number. So is age. Whilst I have 50 years now under my belt, I am ready to invest energy into the next 50. Buckle up. Here. We. Go.