Yesterday was Mother's Day ... and I got the world's best Mother's Day present. Both my sons - and their lady loves Miki and Patty - told me they were proud of me.
Andrew said, "Mom, you're killing it. You've totally uprooted your life. You're eating healthier than you ever have. You're doing what you really want to do. I'm proud of you."
Tom said, "You're in your sixties and you're finally putting yourself in the story."
Their feedback led to an epiphany.
You know what adult kids really want for their parents? They want us to be healthy and happy.
And I am fortunate to be both.
At the time I didn't realize I was pursuing what author Paulo Coelho calls our "personal legend."
Have you read his classic book The Alchemist? Many people have told me it was their favorite book, but for some reason I never read it.
Now I know why. I was supposed to listen to it.
So it was that while driving from Florida to North Carolina last week, I was swept up in Coelho's story of the shepherd Santiago as he journeys to the Pyramids in search of treasure. Along the way, he encounters characters who embody the facets of the prism that unfold when we pursue our personal legend.
He meets a crystal shop owner who lives with regrets because he never summoned the courage to answer his calling, change his life and do what he really wanted to do..
It gave me pause.
Tom and Andrew talked about me being in my 60's. I don't see myself as a boomer, although I am, and I never really think about my age. (They always say we feel like we're in our thirties on the inside, and that's true for me. How about you?)
Many people call what I've done "brave." They see it as risky or scary.
But I don't think about it as being brave, and I don't see my travels as risky or scary.
What is scary to me is the regrets I would have had if I had ignored the nudges that were calling me to set out on this adventure to explore our country's bodies of water and write about them. The true risk would have been to miss out on the deeply rewarding treasures I've experienced in the past few months.
Are you a boomer?
Now is the time to do what you've always wanted to do. You have eared the right. You have spent most of your life serving and taking care of others. It is fair for you to put yourself in your own story. As the saying goes, if not now, when?
And in case you're wondering, I don't think it's selfish for us to do what we've always wanted to do - whether that's to go to rock and roll camp, move to Paris for a month, or take up paddle-boarding.
I'm still sussing out the part about this being "selfish," but Iv'e come to believe that the people around us want us to be happy and healthy.
They want us to take better care of ourselves.
They want us to do what puts the light on in our eyes.
They want to know it's possible to change our life - for the better - at any age.
When we do this for ourselves, we model to others that it's possible. Our example may be just what they need to have the clarity and courage to do this for themselves.
I thought of titling this post .... Boomer or Later. But then I realized two things.
#1. The message of this is actually ... Sooner, not later.
#2. This message applies to adults of all ages, in their twenties and in their sixties.
Is something calling you? Nudging you? Set it in motion.
If you're a parent or grandparent, trust that what your loved ones want is for you to love them and for you to love your life.
If you're in the first half of your life, trust that taking a job that "pays the bills" but sucks the soul out of you is NOT what you're supposed to be doing with your time and talent. Get busy finding and aligning with people who love their life and are doing work that matters that puts the light on in their eyes and the eyes of others.
You will never regret answering what's calling you.
You will never regret honoring what's knocking on your heart.
You will only regret not doing it ... sooner.