What do a couple of hair stylists, beautiful farmland and amazing animals have in common?
The answer may surprise you.
I had the pleasure of going to a B and B this weekend, in rural Ontario. It’s funny…the reason I was there with a girlfriend wasn’t because we had a great idea to get away from the city and head out to the country for the weekend. Rather, it was because our adorable 12th grade sons were heading out to a cottage with a whack of their friends, to celebrate their impending graduation. We actually trusted the group of 14 at the cottage more than we trusted young inexperienced drivers on the highway…so away we all went, to enjoy our respective weekends.
After we dropped them off at their gross little motel looking structure on the beach, we drove on beautiful country roads for about 20 minutes until we found our B and B.
We were greeted by an adorably outgoing woman, bubbly and warm. She welcomed us in with open arms. Her little Shittzu dog came right over to say hello. This farmhouse was magnificent. Completely renovated, spacious, and decorated with an appealing “shabby chic meets vintage” kind of décor.
Then she proceeded to tell us the story about how she fell in love this farm.
Five years ago, she was about to turn 50. Like many of us, she started to think about her life and if it was going where she wanted it to go. She was a busy, successful hair stylist in Toronto and was starting to feel like she wanted a change of some kind, but didn’t know what.
She saw the farm for sale…..for some reason, the farm captured her attention. She phoned the number that was posted. The number had “50s” in it. Was this a sign? Then she found out that the price had 50s in it too! Another sign. She couldn’t resist and she bought it. Yes, she “bought the farm”. It needed the tender, loving care that she was able to give. She was only the 3rd owner this century home had ever seen. She fell in love and changed her life. Interesting, she needed an external “sign” to move forward.
We were introduced to another farm gal down the road. This woman moved to the farm with her husband and kids and then got divorced. Also a hair stylist, she realized that she could never work for someone else, so she figured out how to make a living on the farm. She now raises egg laying chickens and goats. She sells farm fresh eggs and breeds the special goats. She had lots of other interesting animals, but the bottom line is that she reinvented herself in midlife. And is happier than ever. Her divorce, however, was the external prompt that opened the door for her to focus on her new business.
Why is it that we often need some outside source of circumstance to push us to pursue our dreams?
We have so much more wisdom in our 40s and 50s than we did in our 20s and 30s. And yet, it’s so hard for many of us to set new priorities and goals and pursue them.
Is it that change can be hard?
Perhaps that it’s super difficult to focus on your own personal wants?
Or is it good ol’ fashion fear?
I would argue that it’s a thought that’s getting in the way. I don’t know the answer in regards to these exceptionally intriguing women, but my guess is that they had difficulty even imagining they could dream these dreams. Perhaps there was a thought like “I could never make money running a farm” or “I have no experience running a B and B” or even “I’m not the type of person that is happy living a quieter life. Thoughts lead to feelings, and feelngs lead to behaviour. That’s just the way things work.
I was in the same boat when I received a lay off notice after almost two decades of work. I had been thinking about leaving but didn’t have the courage to make the change. Then, my employer made the decision for me. I was fearful and unable to make a plan for the future.
Is it better to have choice or be told what options you have? What do we make these types of decisions to mean? It’s so important to really think about this. What thoughts do we have that are creating feelings that don’t serve us and help us move forward?
So, you might be thinking….what do a couple of hair stylists, beautiful farmland and amazing animals have in common?
Turning 50, that’s what! This is what I really call living “midlife unplugged”!
My life coach practice is all about making the midlife chapter more intentional. If you would like to talk more, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org and sign up for my FREE mini session!