Friday, July 3, 2015

Choosing the Life You Want

Yes we can choose the life we want.  Of course, it takes time, energy, and patience to get it right, but it can happen.

My life has gone through several renovations over the years. 

At first I was perfectly happy to let others take the lead.  I didn't have any ambitions to run the show, become a big shot in business, or make a lot of hefty decisions.  Dealing with my health issues was enough for me.  I did what I had to do, followed instructions, had few friends, and led a pretty quiet life.  It suited me.

Then I got to the point of wanting something more.  I was tired of working anywhere at any job just to help make ends meet.  But I was still unsure of myself.  Nevertheless, I'd had it with working outside the home.  Some of the jobs were fun and the people I worked with were supportive, but I was unsatisfied with the working environment I found myself in most of the time.  I hated to drive, to rely on rides to work, and having to deal with office politics day in and day out.  But I wanted to contribute to our income in some way.  So, I started a typing and design business at home (this was 1995).  It was a big step, and I enjoyed it.  I was able to put my creative talents to work for me, and my human services background helped me become pretty darn good at customer service.  It gave me a chance to be independent, at least in the business world.  It lasted a dozen years.  

In the meantime, another change came.  As I've mentioned before, Jim was badly injured in a fall in late 2003.  That fall was what I needed to become more confident.  I was forced to handle the bills, the closing on our house, a move, talking to doctors about Jim's care, and my own health issues.  I had talked to Jim shortly before his fall about wanting to be more involved in decision making.  I complained that I didn't know what to do should something happen to him.  Then, he fell.  And I found out how ready I was for it.  It was a huge test and, incredibly, I passed!  Was it easy?  Absolutely not.  Was it invigorating?  Absolutely yes!  Do I wish I could have gained confidence in a different way?  OH yeah.  But things happen for a reason.  Jim's fall happened to teach us both that I could stand on my own two feet if I absolutely had to.  If Jim hadn't been so badly hurt, I probably would have been doing the dance of joy all over town, I felt so high on confidence.  

That life changing experience led to the decision to move out west.  I felt closed in by my surroundings.  I hated the long, cold winters we had back in rural New York.  I wouldn't drive in the snow, which limited me as far as work and play were concerned.  I was afraid to fall on the ice, I didn't skate or ski.   The dread of winter bothered me all year.  I was tired of feeling dragged down, limited.  I could work at home, sure, but this didn't just have to do with work.  It had to do with independence and freedom.  I didn't feel as if I had it in New York.  Someone was always giving me rides.  I was always missing out on social, civic, and professional opportunities because I didn't drive.  Enough!

We hit the road in 2007 for southern Utah.  Leaving the place where I'd grown up, my family, everything I knew, was hard, but leaving my doctors was the hardest.  I had an incredible team of physicians back in New York whom I trusted.  But I also had to trust my gut.  I wanted to feel more free to do things, go places, meet people, find myself, be myself, and so on.  The moderate climate of southern Utah made that more doable.  I was ready to give it a shot.

We've been in Utah for eight years this month.  It's my home now.  I've done things out here that I never dreamed I would, met people I never would have otherwise, and become even more independent and confident.  I drive all over the place, I'm working at a job I love, I'm fit, I'm social, I'm healthy, and I'm living life on my own terms.  Life is good.

Never settle for a life that doesn't feel right.  Work at it, bit by bit, until it's the life of your dreams.  You'll get there.


  1. Fantastic journey to self-confidence, Amy. I'm sorry to hear about Jim, I hope he's all recovered now. When my husband had a fall and needed a hip surgery, I too realized my own ability to do things for myself (and him). Thankfully, he's all better now. Glad that Utah suits you!

  2. Thanks Corinne. Yes, he's doing well. He's had another blood clot since then, but he's able to work, has his wits about him, and is very active. It was something that I wish we wouldn't have had to go through, but we did learn from it. I hope you had a nice weekend. Take care.

  3. So sorry about your husband's fall. It is so scary! Having to take care of others, we find our own strength. I'm glad he has recovered.