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My life is not an adventure, it’s a JOURNEY

I’ve been doing a lot of reflecting lately. Time well needed and well spent. One of the things that I thought about is a phrase that so many people have said to me since I decided to temporarily leave the country. ” Wow, your life is an adventure” or ” You are going on an adventure!”  I honestly cringe when people say that to me. Now I know exactly why…….

“Living life in another country is no walk in the park.” 

When you are visiting another country it’s all fun and games. It’s exploring, relaxing,  and eating good food. It’s all about finding the beauty in a place with a limited amount of time to do it. It’s about making connections with yourself and what’s familiar and unfamiliar to you. Ahhh, now that’s the life! That’s the dream some people must imagine my life to be like. NOPE! Not exactly. It’s a little more intense…..

  • Like walking around hungry for hours because I can’t find a restuarant to eat at that I can actually understand what’s on the menu. Can I have SOME English, pictures, ANYTHING! I’m hungry!

  • Not having a good day? Too bad, the stares don’t stop, the sad attempts to have basic conversations in English don’t stop, the jaw dropping expressions don’t stop, the questions don’t stop!

  • Have banking needs? Good luck getting English assistance and don’t be in a rush to send money home, it’s going to take time. Lots of time.

  • When are my clothes gonna dry?? In southeast Asia, most people don’t have dryers in thier homes. I’m apart of the “most” group, so that means sometimes waiting countless hours and days for clothes to dry in the humidity and in the cold.

  • Mold has completly taken over my life! Moisture is such a big problem due to humidity and climate that you just have to surrender to the Gods!!

  • I don’t remember what life was like without google translate! I use it to talk to people in the stores, read my mail, read street signs, read posters on the street, and the list goes on! It has become a way of life.

  • Grocery shopping is like “Pick and Pray!” Sometimes you get it, sometimes you don’t.  When in doubt, leave without!

I must admit that the major struggle comes with the language barrier. I have found that even if you know the language there is still a barrier if you are not a native. Some things just simply can’t be translated. Everyone’s experience living abroad is different based on the country you live in and the individual situation.

“THE JOURNEY”

I view life in general as a journey. What I am doing by living abroad is apart of my destiny. It goes far beyond the “adventure” of it all. Sure, I expereince some adventures along the way but there is a method to my madness. An order in which things have happened and will happen. Each step is calculated, considered, and contoured to directly influence myself and others. I want to be responsible for conducting a life that I can be proud of. A life that will inspire those around me. Each day is different, each expereince is motivating, each cycle changes. It’s a series of ups and downs, ins and outs. Through the happy times, the sad times, and the devestating times I find strength. I’m choosing to live life on my own terms. To navigate the path that God has given me, as he leads and guides me along the way. I’m loving every minute of it! I couldn’t always say that, so I’m grateful I can today. This journey, with some adventures, is the best of life as I know it. I stand proud and accept the challenge!

 

I’m searching…..and I won’t stop!

My life has been interesting. It has taken many curves and turns. Some expected, some not expected at all. The best thing about my life is the unexpected. The things that take my breath away. The things that remind me daily of why I’m happy to be alive!

I am very grateful for my life the way it is right now. I am so close to living the life I’ve always dreamed of. So close, but I’m still searching……

I’m examining carefully every area of my life. Why am I here? What is my purpose? What steps should I take? What do I want? What can I live with? What can I live without? What’s truly important? All of these questions and more! I’m still searching……

searching

I’m acutely observant to the things going on around me. The things that are happening in my life and to my life. The lessons I’ve learned and the lessons I’m still learning. The people I meet. The places I go. You guessed it, I’m still searching…..

What I’m searching for is FREEDOM! Freedom to live life under my own terms! Freedom to come and go as I please. Freedom to “call the shots.” Freedom to explore all the possibilities. Complete financial Freedom. Freedom to love. Freedom to be loved. Freedom to trust. Freedom of fear. Freedom to live this one and only life I get just the way I want to.

While searching I use wisdom. I use patience. I grow from my experiences. I never give up. I remember to stay consistent. Those years of waiting, hoping, and praying that someone would let me ” out of the box” that others tried to keep me in are here! The time is now. The goal is today. The hope is the future. Are you searching?……….

5 Things you should do after 40

Let’s be honest. There is nothing that you should wait until you are 40 to do. However, as I approach this mature age I have begun to reflect on life. It’s typical, these milestones cause you to review your life and critique your choices. When you understand that life is limited and that time waits for no one, you set out to be everything you always wanted to be. This newly found wisdom pushes you to the edge of your seat, where you finally stand on your two feet and you see your life through different lenses. This my friend is the moment you have been waiting for, the moment you have lived to reach. It doesn’t always happen at 40. Whatever stage you are in your life understand that the time is now! Here is my list of things you should do after 40…….

  • Take time for yourself! Invest in you!We spend countless hours being parents, best friends, sisters, brothers, co workers, bosses, etc. When are you going to invest in yourself? Even if it’s something as simple as taking yourself out to dinner, GET IT DONE! Learn to enjoy your own company. Treat yourself. Discover what makes you happy and do it. This is the best thing you can do for you. Take care of you. It’s time out for putting everyone and everything before you! YOU.DESERVE.IT!

 

  • Put value in family time

Some of us are just going through the motions. We love our families! Some of us even like our families, but we need to be more intentional! Go the extra mile. Make that phone call even if they don’t. Take time out of your schedule to visit, plan trips, and spend quality time. Put away your devices and talk, listen, feel the heartbeats of your loved ones. Remember what I mentioned about time, it’s limited. Cherish each moment you have. You can’t get time back so make the most of it. We all grow older; we don’t get younger so keep that in mind. What you can do today, you may not be able to do tomorrow. Family can be more than just blood relatives. Family is where your heart is.

 

  • Love unconditionally

Most people won’t understand unconditional love. When you truly know how much God loves you, you will understand unconditional love. We need to practice loving unconditionally. Loving beyond expectations and circumstances. Loving beyond what you will receive. True, raw, love. Love for people you know, people you don’t know, people you encounter. Love that’s underserved. I truly believe that at a certain point in your life, you come to realize that this is the only way to survive. I use to recite the title of the popular song “What’s love got to do with it?” My response would then be, “Nothing at all!” Well, today I stand corrected as I stare my 39 year old self in the face. Love has everything to do with it! Love conquers all!

 

  • Forgive

This one is very dear to my heart. Forgiveness is a skill we must practice daily. It’s not a onetime thing. It is a consent work in progress. Forgiveness frees you of all the hurt and pain that may be associated with your situation. It allows you to look ahead and know that you did your best. Forgiveness starts with YOU! You have to forgive yourself! Some might ask “Of what?” Of whatever you are holding on to from your journey of life. We all make mistakes and bad choices, its human nature. Very seldom do our lives play out like we thought they would. If you still have breath in your body, you have the unique opportunity to shape your future! Forgive yourself and everyone else. Release that negative energy and turn it into something positive. You have no more time to waste!

 

  • Travel

For some of us, this will be simply to the next state over! Make it a priority to get out of your comfort zone. Change your surroundings on regular bases. Discover something new. There is so much to see and enjoy outside of your everyday life. Travel will increase your knowledge, allow you to experience culture, introduce you to new people, and allow you to see the beauty of this world we live in. There are so many wonderful things to see and enjoy. Get out and make it happen!

 

 

5 steps to organize your life

Everyone has a desire to be successful in some way. One thing that determines if you will be is how intentional you are. What determines your intentions is how you organize your life! Yes, that’s right! Organization is a key factor to reaching and accomplishing goals through goal setting. I learned this very well some years ago after taking a class called “5 healthy habits of high effective people” That class changed the way I viewed myself and my life. It wasn’t just about organization, but about developing who I was and who I wanted to become. I am excited today to share with you some of those same principles that I have now developed as a guideline to my own success, the success of reaching my goals. This is my formula in 5 easy steps that will get you started on a path that you will come to develop more on your own.

  1. Evaluate who you are and what you want out of life.

The first step in organizing your life is discovering what you want out of life! Usually, there are many things we want to do but what is that one thing you have wanted and just can’t let go of? Yeah, that thing. Don’t be afraid if it seems impossible. Believe me, if there is a will, there is always a way! Let this be the time when you actually dive into your dreams. The things you always wanted to do but never really saw it happening. Always do your long term goal setting in one year increments. Let’s face it, life happens and people change. By looking ahead one year, you give yourself room to change and grow into that goal or into another one. You will break that year down further, but we will get into that a little later down the list.

 

2. Choose one personal goal and one professional goal.

When you have decided what it is you want then you can write a goal for the year that will help you accomplish it. When you focus on your personal and professional life separately it allows you to dig deeper into who you are. It lets you be free of limitations and gives you more options. So many people are defined by what they do professionally. The problem with that is usually, there is so much more in our lives we want to enjoy. This will allow you to plan ahead for the things you enjoy. Therefore, creating the balance you need in your life! If you like, you can have more than two goals. Just decide on what you can handle consistently. Keep in mind that each one of these goals will have several steps and if you are just learning to goal set, you might need to keep it as simple as possible in the beginning.

3. Get a planner!

We live in a world where the majority of our lives are spent on some kind of device. There is something very special about writing down your thoughts, goals, and plans. When you see them written down in your own handwriting it verifies that it was you! This step might seem like the easiest one of the five but it might prove to be the most difficult! I always struggle to find a planner that will meet my needs. Finally, I found a planner that is PERFECT for me! It is called the Passion Planner. Some of you may have heard of it and might even have one of your own. It really encourages life goal setting and allows you to be creative and make it your own! This planner has become my little hobby. It includes a monthly view and a weekly view. It gives you two pages of questions at the end of every month to reflect on your month and your goals. WOW! This planner keeps me on track. I am proud to say that I have met all of my weekly and monthly goals since purchasing this planner. Like everything else in your life, if you don’t stick to it, it’s not going to matter what kind of planner you have. So the key is to get a planner that works for you. Not something that you will not use. You will use this planner to detail your entire life. It is important to include your goals but also the regular ole things you do from day to day. Those are actually the things that matter the most because you have to work around them to accomplish your goals. I would love for you to become a part of the passion planner family. Here is the website if you want to look into it for yourself; www.passionplanner.com.

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4. Break down each goal

Here is where you will begin to think about how you actually accomplish these goals within one year. You want to break each goal down into two parts, what you want to do and how you will do it. Ask yourself these questions and write down the answer for each goal. Then you will break that down into a three part time frame: 12-6 months, 6-3months, and 3months-year end. You will detail the smaller goals you want to accomplish within each time frame. That’s it! It can be as simple or detailed as you want it to be.

5. Complete monthly and weekly planner based on goals.

This step is important because you want to make sure you add to your plan everything else that happens in your life. Make weekly plans based on what your actual day looks like and plug in the steps you will take to meet your monthly goals. Everything falls in place once you have it all written out. Be as creative as you can with your planner. Make sure you check it daily to ensure you are meeting your deadlines. Lastly, don’t forget to celebrate the goals you meet each week!!! Today is the best day to start, don’t procrastinate, GO!