Who is this woman slicing lemons and placing them in a fancy water pitcher as she prepares for a dinner party with colleagues and their spouses? I laughed out loud as I set the table, adjusted the lighting, and placed fresh flowers on the island close to where I intended to serve the first course. Since when did I become a homemaker, a hostess, and someone who likes to entertain?
For as long as I can remember I’ve been working. I started when I was sixteen as a clerk at a men’s clothing boutique and went on to learn bookkeeping at a concrete company. I then joined the family business and helped my dad with his tax consulting firm. In my late twenties, I would find my passion for coaching and launch full-speed-ahead into a career that eventually had me scheduled a year in advance and on the road teaching in places I never dreamed of seeing in my lifetime.
Thanks to the Covid shutdown and the decision to take a break, things changed…radically. Now I’m searching for rugs and lamps, having pictures framed, planting dahlias and tomatoes, and becoming smitten with an Instant Pot :).
I’m living my unlived life, I realized as I sat down to have a cup of tea before our guests arrived – the life I didn’t choose when I was younger. At that moment, perched on a stool in my kitchen with a hot cup of Egyptian Licorice tea wrapped in my hands, perspective delivered an epiphany. The last few years suddenly made sense. My decision to stop, get quiet, and enjoy my home and my husband more was a midlife pivot. Having lived one life for so long, the pandemic pushed me into a new one and it’s been a surprising adventure ever since.
We all have unlived lives, paths not yet traveled that await our arrival. Not sure what I mean? Take a look at your social media feed for clues. If you love watching people paint or draw, for instance, there may be an artist in you that wants a chance to create. If you pour over animal videos, you might have a pet parent part who’s longing to rescue a dog or cat. If you marvel at those who travel the world and immerse themselves in other cultures, there may be a wanderer lurking inside who wants to be set free.
We humans are fascinating creatures with so much potential and possibility and too often we build walls of comfort and familiarity around us that keep a vibrant, exciting life at bay. In my wisdom years, I’m breaking free, taking chances, and letting new parts take center stage. So, these days I’m in the kitchen. I wonder where you’re headed next?