Do your insides match your outsides?
In other words, are you living your life in accordance with your beliefs?
For some time now, to a greater or lesser extent, I would have had to answer, “Nope, not completely.”
There are some areas of my life where fear can still have its way with me.
Generally, this happens with issues related to money.
When I look a little deeper, though, I see that, for the most part, money fears are never really about money anyway.
Money stuff is really about safety.
Which isn’t really about safety at all.
Safety is about loneliness.
Which isn’t really about loneliness at all.
Loneliness is about abandonment.
Which isn’t really about abandonment at all.
Abandonment is about fear. And fear is lack of trust.
But I even misdiagnosed this one! I used to think that my trust issue was related to faith — it meant that I didn’t trust my Higher Power. But then I discovered that wasn’t quite right.
I trust HP.
It’s me I don’t trust.
Oh, my that’s hard to say. Plus, it’s not even logical. Why wouldn’t I trust myself? When I look back on my life, what I see is my own beautiful self responding, rebuilding, rising . . . rising . . . rising . . . .
I always rise. Except that one time that I decided it was more strategic to stay down.
But, it turned out, I was right about that, too.
So, I can trust myself.
So, here goes . . .
I’m taking a big risk. I’ve decided to put my money where my midlife mojo mouth is.
I’m selling the big house I’ve lived in for nearly 24 years and moving to a lakeside community in the country. We are significantly downsizing our lives — not just expenses, but also traffic, busy-ness, distractions, noise – well, everything.
Why is this a risk? Because it affects other people. My children will have to change their schools. They will leave the only home they have ever had. They have had the same circle of friends since they were in preschool!
I’ve been afraid to disrupt that.
My mother’s none too happy with me either.
And, we’re leaving a world-class school system and one of the few financially stable areas of this country to live in a small, bucolic, somewhat rural area.
Here’s why – For a LONG time now, I’ve wanted to live somewhere quieter. Stiller. Less over-achieving and hyper stimulated. Then, I married The Italian, and that’s the life he wants, too.
We both work from home now. So there’s no professional reason we need to be so close to the city. (Unless, of course, he loses his job — oooooh, there’s that fear again!)
My fears have kept me stuck in a life that I didn’t want.
But, beyond that, like many of you, I thought making a choice like this — one that “only” makes me and my husband happy — was a “selfish” decision. What right did I have to disrupt the children’s lives?
Nevermind that the anxiety from keeping all this afloat is starting to affect my health.
“Suck it up, girlfriend.” I’ve been telling myself that for YEARS.
Like many of you, I didn’t believe that my own happiness mattered. Even though I’ve been dying on the vine, spiritually, my own unhappiness was “worth it” if the children got what they needed.
And so, I didn’t act. I settled. I got pedicures and went to lunch with friends. I worked hard and distracted myself and told myself I wasn’t really all that unhappy anyway.
And, besides, EVERYBODY stresses about bills and traffic and busy-ness, right?
Nope, Jennifer Ann. They really, really don’t.
So, I’m taking a turn in my own life. And this time, it’s a really REALLY big turn. I’m matching my outsides to my insides. I’m claiming personal alignment, integrity, and beautiful JOY for the one and only Miss Jennifer Ann Boykin!
Plus, there’s BEAUTIFUL YOU!!!!!
I’ve decided that, other than my family, being with you is the only action I want to take. In fact, writing for you, serving you, helping you is the SINGLE MOST important work I’ve ever done, besides raise those three amazing stinky back-talking boys.
I want to build our Life After Tampons community until these two CRITICAL things happen:
1. We are the penultimate resource for ANY woman who wants to take a shot at her own life. At LAT she will find the tools, resources, humor, hope, fun, and compassionate accountability she needs.
2. AND – this is a BIG ONE – I want to completely REBRAND the idea of women and aging. Truly, we’re hot. And not just FLASHING. Think about it — The world doesn’t need another Think Tank or Brain Trust. But we do need a WISDOM TRUST. (click to tweet)
And that’s what I want Life After Tampons to be. Those two things.
Or, as my friend Karen Wright says, “This is the place where fear goes to die.”
Life After Tampons is a community where wisdom gathers, passion mounts, momentum builds — and builds — and builds. Until, ultimately, our individual and collective wisdom overflows into our respective homes, neighborhoods, communities, and nations.
We change lives. Because we can. Because we can. Because we can.
You heard that, right?
We can. YOU can.
So that’s what I see for us.
I haven’t found any other gathering place for smart, sassy, compassionate, and achieving women in their middle years. So I created one.
And now I’m going all in.
I’m selling my house where I’ve raised my babies. I’m moving to the country – a writer’s aerie even, because my heart says I want a simpler life with my husband and our boys. And because I’m fully committing to building this place for us.
Plus, my personal integrity tells me that it’s really important to live the principles of what I’m writing about here. In other words, if you’re a professional Change Agent for women at midlife, you can’t very well run away from making the decisions YOU need to make for yourself, right?
So, I’m doing it, girl!!!
Are you in?
What’s your personal Life After Tampons vision for your own life? Claim it, baby. Right now. In the Wisdom Circle comments below.
Love, Your ALL IN Soul Sister,
P.S. As Barbara Sher wrote, “It’s only too late if you don’t start now!” Sign up here for your own life (and LAT updates.) It’s time. Quit your bitching. Change your life.