Posts Tagged ‘Identity’

slomo(In my daily pursuit to ignite the second-half of life, I came across this. It’s a 16-minute short film (link below) that’s turned heads at film festivals, and now I know why. If you ponder mid-life questions, you might want to watch. You’ll thank me later.)

For John Kitchin, practicing medicine no longer satisfied him. His Ferrari and his 30-acre ranch, populated with exotic zoo animals, no longer fulfilled him.

He left work each day asking himself: “How much of what I did today promoted me financially? And how much of it promoted me spiritually?”

Over the years, the answer became more and more about promoting himself financially.

It made no sense. He was working to support a lifestyle that didn’t make him happy. So he reset his priorities.

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Part 2 here of our little crash course on D4D 1.0. It follows Part 1. D4D 2.0 is when I spring into action this winter. I’ll stick around afterwards to sign autographs.

images7. Presbyterian guilt?: I used to feel guilty if I spent significant time doing something I didn’t consider either directly or indirectly income producing. That’s why I gave up writing–I couldn’t justify it on the bottom line. And I still can’t, but I’ve learned to get over the guilt and enjoy the pleasure. Everybody has a creative side. If you don’t know yours you should find it, nurture it, and let it reward you.

8. Just Say Yes to Drugs: In the last two years I’ve been on a daily, albeit mild, dose of the ant-depressant Effexor and Ritalin, the latter because I’ve been told I have an attention deficit issue. Hard to say for sure, of course, but something is working. Either the life coach, or the plan to be credit-card free next year, or the new apartment, or the medication. But I can assure you my body chemistry is more stable than it’s been in years. And if the medication is to thank, or even just partially to thank, then I’m going to keep taking it.

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22a1f54886179f63b50d250da9bd3635The only good thing about turning 50 is apparently 50 years is how long it takes to figure out a few things. Either that or my recent revelations are the universe’s way of saying, “Hey, sorry about your libido, your hairline, your patience and your eyesight. Oh and sorry you fell through the cracks of the New Economy. In return we’d like to compensate you with the answers to some of life’s mysteries.”

Which is what I’ve been doing here on D4D for the last six months, working through a lot of crap. On the Internet, no less. Apparently I’ve lost all sense of pride as well as my youth. Anyway, speaking of the ubiquitous Internet, I’d like to thank you, the electronic voyeurs in my psychodrama of mid-life. Thanks for reading, responding, and liking.

But now it’s time for D4D 2.0. (Yes, I know that might sound ridiculous–a new version of the new day for an animal extinct for millions of years. But it’s my blog so put a cork in it!) Anyway, I’m hoping the tone and narrative shift away from the self-discovery and goal setting portion of the program. Because I feel that work’s largely done. That was a time for adjectives. This is a time for verbs.

Before we move on, I’ll take a moment to review (as you might surmise this is also the skeleton of what a D4D book proposal might look like.)

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Some of you, or perhaps only one of you (God, please let there be at least one of you), may be wondering the answer to last week’s post. If that’s you, the answer is: I signed the lease. I’m staying in L.A. Now on to less important things…

Gun1Of all of the soul searching and life coaching I’ve been through in Mid-Life Reconstruction, maybe the biggest breakthrough came in the form of a bumper sticker: Danger is real. Fear isn’t.

Since 2008 I’ve been bombarded with fear. It’s been like a venereal disease that won’t go away. With the advantage of hindsight I see I was never in any danger. I never, ever, came close to dying. Or even living on the streets. (And living on the streets wouldn’t be dangerous in the right neighborhood!)
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writing art 2Writing this blog gives me a reason to get out of bed in the morning. I won’t go so far as to say it’s saving my life, but it’s very likely restoring my sanity.

And I owe it all to Life Coach Laura. It was in her office where she and I collided at the intersection of “Ah-Ha!” and “That’s it!” The fix for most of my mid-life confusion became clear to us in unison: I needed to start writing again. Even if I never earned another plug nickel doing it. Because it might very well be the long-sought-after answer to the question: What do I want to do? What is my passion? What is my purpose?

And now I know. It’s to write. Again.

Background: For 11 years I was a reporter/writer for various publications, writing about everything from cockfighting to crochet (yes, I’ve penned stories on both). In the mid ‘90s I bailed because it seemed print journalism was dying a slow death and it turns out I was right. So the last article I was paid to write was 18 years ago. Seems so long ago it might as well have been chiseled on granite.
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Identity Art 2 for identify postEarly into middle-age reconstruction my anxiety was so elevated I could barely sleep. My stress levels were through the roof and there was no credible reason for it. I’d made the decision to stop being a real estate agent, true. But I wasn’t making any money at it, anyway.

So why so petrified?

Life Coach Laura pegged it early on. The only difference was I no longer had a description for who I was. For 16 years I was a real estate agent. I had no idea how scary it would to lose that label. There was no longer a quick and easy answer to the question, “So what do you do?”

I had lost my identity.

Of course it’d been eroding for years, Laura pointed out. Eighteen months earlier I chose to leave a stable 10-year relationship. Two years before that, he and I left behind a big house and moved into a small apartment in another state. Seeking a different way of life, we downsized considerably, leaving behind a majority of the stuff we had accumulated over the years.
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