Introduce Yourself To The World
You may ask “who am I” and “why am I here?” Back in spring of 2012 I began blogging with the desire to explore what I call “The 3rd Chapter” of my life. Having just made the decision to retire at age 55, I wanted to consciously take on the fact that this was a NEW chapter in my life, and that I get to be the one to write it.
I created a blog (versus a private journal) thinking it would be a way to share my journey with others. At that time I had no idea what that journey would entail, nor how many would read it. I envisioned a handful of family and friends would. I think I secretly thought it would bring me closer to my family.
Upon retiring in late September, I soon realized that my habits of carrying around “To Do” lists and juggling multiple projects and demands at work would need to drastically change. I had gone from someone with lots of money and no time, to someone with lots of time and very little money.
Seeing this as a big shift, and one where I didn’t just want to carry old patterns into the present, I came up with giving myself an assignment. My task for the entire month of October was to “Rest & Listen.” No longer was my life to be judged by the sheer productivity I’d been pumping out since I was in my twenties. Now was the time for remembering who I was underneath all of that. To go deep and explore my inner desires and dreams.
The whole process was very organic. I just woke up and saw what was next for me, then did that. People were asking me if I was bored, but my new projects became very rich and meaningful now that I had ample time on my hands in which to do them. In November I made a goal to “Renew” my car and my relationship with my body. In December I explored the “Unknown” and then I began to find ways to simplify my life. I started with cleaning up my house…every room, drawer and closet. Around that time I read “Plastic Free” which would be a book that changed my life and I began the long arduous task of using less and less plastic. Soon simplifying my beauty routine, doing a raw cleanse, being more frugal and walking the Camino de Santiago became my new explorations. It was like my life became this awesome place in which to try new things and to let go of practices, things and beliefs that no longer served me.
I’d like to back up a bit. In June of 2011 I had the good fortune to be looking for a restaurant on Google. I had typed in “vegan” and “Portland” to narrow my search. At the top of my search list was Vida Vegan Con, a new vegan bloggers conference that was due to happen in August that year. I didn’t know exactly what it was, and I wasn’t a blogger, but I knew I REALLY wanted to go to it. It ends up, it was scheduled for a three-day weekend that I had ALREADY randomly asked for off at work, but it was full. I hopped onto their waitlist and crossed my fingers. A few weeks before, I got moved up to be an attendee!
Vida Vegan Con was heaven to me. I met people interested in veganism, blogging, photography, and creativity. I knew I was home when everyone paused to take photos of their food before eating…these were kindred spirits. I had never realized that my choice to go vegan for my own health would give me a rich group of amazing people who over time became a very important community for me! Thank you Vida Vegan Con and Northwest Veg!
It was through meeting those people who had blogs and cookbooks and such that I realized that I too wanted to share myself via writing my own blog. As my own journey continued through various experiments such as no make-up week, having one trashcan of trash in the year, walking 500 miles, buying nothing but consumables for a month, etc. I realized I not only want to do these things that help make my life rich, full, meaningful and aligned with my values, but I also want to help others do the same.
So welcome to “The 3rd Chapter” whether you are a reader who’s been with me from the beginning or someone who just found my blog. Here’s to each of our 3rd chapters being one of our best chapters!
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Great food for thought! I’ve been working on similar things: clearing out clutter in my house and within myself, appreciating family and friends in my life, getting back on track with my diet after a recent trip and doing more with less.
Reading your posts always inspires me to do better! Thanks!
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Sounds like your 3rd chapter is going well. So glad to hear that!
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I’m in my second chapter … But learning from those ahead of me!