When I was about thirty, I sat on a patio chatting with friends who were older than me. I had a hard time connecting with their ominous warning:
“Just wait until you turn 40…then all the sh#t hits the fan.”
I remember thinking that I didn’t understand, it was so hard to put myself anywhere but with kids in carseats, and my parents seemed like they were closer to 40 than I was. Now, here I sit, halfway through that very decade I couldn’t imagine, and I understand exactly what they meant. What that conversation didn’t include though, was the follow up question that is required for anyone who looks for the best in life:
“What are you going to do about it?”
I took my optimists lens for granted until it felt like one of the few things I could take with me as I began a reinvention at midlife. It was something that was at the heart of my being, it gave me the energy to push and believe that I could always turn a challenge into a choice to learn something and make a better day. As most of us have experienced, this stay at home pause has inspired organization and a file clean out at home, and for me, that led to revisiting old memories. As I pulled out the file with my Agribusiness degree from Cal Poly SLO and articles and letters to the editor from California Farmer and The Fresno Bee on water use in California and agricultural history, my mind wandered briefly to that place that raises a question that used to really bother me…why do things in my life not relate? Why do I have these distinct paths that seem to disconnect mid run? The great thing about a mindfulness practice though is that we learn to observe our thoughts without sinking into them. So, I observe, and the message I need to hear rises to the surface. Everything I learned with my undergrad degree is connected, I just realized that my strengths are better used growing people than plants. As I listened to a lesson from a course on Flow I have been taking with the FLOW RESEARCH COLLECTIVE about working from your strengths, I remembered a lesson from a soil scientist I used to work with. His theory on productivity was the same for growing healthy plants…if we worked to improve the nutrients that had the least deficiency, the plant would thrive more quickly, and then the lesser elements would catch up after that. In short, we worked from the soil strengths. The same theory applies to growing humans…our goals and path in life are better served when we work from our strengths and there is nowhere I feel stronger than when I’m connecting my mind, body, and spirit. There are no decisions in life that are wasted when we use them to create angles for future growth. No matter what point we are in life, even when our routines and obligations feel set, when we are mindful and listen to our intuition, our strengths and our path emerges. When we do the work, we find the place where our vision and values intersect and energy is endless.
Lauren and I were having one of our deep but funny nighttime conversations this past week about whether I would live by myself forever. It wasn’t morbid, there is so much I like about having my own space and independence, but nighttime conversation, someone to break down the day with, is something that will poke at that lonely feeling, and I was being transparent with her about that. It’s ok she says, you can come live with me and we’ll drink coffee and talk and solve the world’s problems. While my heart couldn’t swell any bigger to have this relationship with my first born human (I can’t believe that she’s almost 20!), we laughed because she knows I’m not ready to cash in my chips just yet. The midlife crisis gets a rightfully bad wrap…but the midlife reinvention can do a lot of good in this world, and that’s exactly what I’m aiming for.
There are so many things I have learned to make a midlife reinvention possible, from healthy stress management, to coping with the loneliness that comes when you turn over a new leaf, to wrestling with our inner critic, and the importance of consistent habits that include proper rest and recovery. But what I firmly believe today, is that the essence of success in this process lies with my ability to be present…because with the many choices that I encounter every day, balance always evades me. My goal every week is to set aside time to strategize, then execute and maintain presence with whatever task is in front of me, without letting my mind race ahead to what’s next…a sure bet to invite in overwhelm and anxiety. As I learn more about human biology and the way our brains work, I learn to use stress to sharpen my edge, and breath to bring calm so I can focus.
I”m so excited to show you how my reinvention has taken on a new physical space this week with my latest business endeavor. Championship Performance Advantage is a sports, physicality, and mentality training facility…a place for me to spread the message of optimism and resilience through movement, consciousness, and recovery. It is never too late to become your best. In short, this place is a game changer. Over my lifetime, sports have allowed me to build strength and relationships that are a central part of who I am today. Whether the breath to movement of yoga, racing to the wall with Masters Swimming, or meeting my friends on the beach every week to get at least six volleyball games in, there has been no greater teacher for my brain or biology and no better place to build strong, healthy relationships. I’ve used the principles that I’ve learned from these places to raise kids, and now am excited to kick off this chapter with a new business for any age human looking to find their best. If you live in Southern California, or even if you are just passing through, come check us out because we are doing something special here. We’ve got something for everyone who wants to do the work. Whether it’s invention or reinvention, come see us, because there is new opportunity with every sunrise.