This is my first midlife crisis, and I’m full of excitement and energy (and yes, more than a little anxiety). This phase of life has not been easy, but I’m looking ahead in hope. Why?
When I look behind me I see so many seemingly disconnected experiences: spending two years volunteering with Habitat for Humanity, remodeling my own homes, designing across the nation, traveling with my family, teaching students and professionals, starting businesses, taking classes in Sunday school and reading self-help books, filming with my sons, writing articles, lighting plays and many others.
I am hopeful today because all of these experiences led me to now. And now is amazing. Let me explain.
I was made to help others. This is probably true for all of us, it is how we attain true greatness, true dignity. We can help ourselves- and need to- but the magic of life is in extending ourselves. I was made to help my family, my friends and my local and global neighbors. In my midlife crisis I wondered “how can I help more people?”
I was also given eyes sensitive to light and a creative mind. With encouragement from friends and support of family, I followed a series of hobbies and interests into the career of lighting designer. In my midlife crisis I wondered “how can I help more people with light?”
I enjoy writing and sharing my experience and knowledge of light with others. In my midlife crisis I wondered “how can I share the gift of light with others?”
And then I rewrote the sentence.
I will help others by sharing the gift of light through writing, teaching, and designing.
Pieces began to fall in place as soon as I wrote the statement. My eyes were opened to knowledge and tools and networks already in place. Something began to build, to grow. I took bigger risks and greater leaps. I sought help from strangers and friends. The steam train gathered speed until I was holding on for dear life as it sped towards a destination of light.
Houzz asked me to write extra stories. Fine Homebuilding asked for more articles. Associations and schools reached out for education experiences and speaking engagements. And projects came pouring in. Pardon me if I sound arrogant; I am simply amazed at the good fortune, blessings, serendipity, synergy, opportunities that have come my way.
I simply want to help others by sharing the gift of light, and without the midlife crisis I might never have stumbled upon the current path. Is it a new direction for me? Sort of. But I have also been moving towards this my entire life.