This article was written by the darling and talented, Mitzi Beach. Today she gives us all a great read and a pep talk on why we should never give up on starting over! Happy reading.
Starting Over Is Never Easy…
Oh, the awe, the beauty, and the potential the dawning of each new day brings.
Symbolically, the dawning of each new life stage, likewise, is full of awe, beauty, and most of all, POTENTIAL.
We all accept that yesterday is gone forever. But how many are accepting that our former life stage is now gone forever as well? Personally, my life has changed drastically in my new current life stage. Please allow me to share with you where I have been, and where I am going at almost 74-years-young.
Where I Have Been
In my formal life career, as a professional accredited interior designer, I had my own successful design business for over 30-years. I loved working with my clients on extremely huge projects and also working smaller projects. My career gave me purpose and income. But now what?
In my former life, my home we restored a 1930’s 3,500 square foot two-story gem to be an example of an aging in place home for us and as a teaching lab. This home was often used for functions and was photographed for its unique aging in place “hidden” features. Beautiful gardens, screened-in porch, the gourmet kitchen was what we left behind. What is next for us?
In my former community like Cheers, everyone knew my name in my design world… boutique shops, church, my volunteer organizations, friendships, which gave me a sense of belonging.
In my former family life status, my husband and I celebrated decades of marriage, our 3 children were raised, left for college, married, and started their families. We became blessed with 9 grandchildren, 8 being girls! How do I ever make community happen?
Where I Am Now
In my new location in our downsized home, exciting and needed upgrades are happening to our 2,200 square foot, free-standing, no exterior maintenance home called a villa. I continue to sort, organize, and evaluate how to live beautifully and safely in our new home with less of almost everything. After 8-months, we are now seeing and loving the fruits of our intentional time and effort as we often are heard exclaiming how wonderful our home looks and functions.
We are excited to start enjoying this new life without the burden of home maintenance and without being weighed down by an over-abundance of everything… clothes, furniture, dishes, books and on and on. But this took time with many months of feeling lost and so over it all. I can honestly say we are experiencing a wonderful new life stage dawning right before our very eyes because we never ever gave up trying.
My New Community
In my new community, I was unrealistically and unexpectedly shocked at my inability to adjust to my new life stage. But no wonder because within one year, my husband retired, I left my successful design business, sold our beloved home, left our friends, our volunteer organizations, our church, and moved 2,200 miles to another state. Whew!
After being away from Ohio for over 50-years, to be back by extended family fills my need to be with family in ways I have missed for so long. Our current challenge is that our immediate families and our grandchildren live in different states. Of course, I miss them drastically, but being our priority, we intentionally plan our trips to connect with our families with great diligence. I am already excited for our summer family visits, especially with all that is happening with COVID-19.
But finally, I am feeling at home. You see, we moved back to Ohio where Bob and I grew up with many friends still living here. Even so, it takes time to re-establish relationships and make new relationships. However, to my total joy and delight, finally this has happened, making all the difference in the world! But it did not happen quickly, this took time and many lonely days and weekends. But, we never ever gave up trying.
Why I Am Not Giving Up But Starting Over
In my new life stage, I have experienced a major loss of my identity in starting over in every single area of my life except for still being married. It definitely took a while for me to regroup, but here is WHY I am not giving up and WHY I am starting brand new goals for my current life stage. These are the questions I had to ask myself…
Where would my joy and fulfillment come from?
How would I maintain all my contacts all over the country?
Most importantly, how would I fulfill my purpose and or my legacy?
So, I am continuing to write blogs, engage with other’s social media platforms and my own platforms. Until this shelter-in-place started, I had book signing events and speaking opportunities canceled but hopefully, very soon, I will be back out there.
And a new goal that has me excited but actually intimidated is starting my Facebook Group with live videos, “Life Smarts for the 50+”. Because there is so much that I am passionate about sharing on home & design, wellness, cooking, and fashion for the 50+, I know that if I do not try, I will always live with regrets and the what if I had not tried.
New Goals & Dreams
There are other things in my new life stage bag of new goals that I will be attempting this year of 2020 with starting over again. Some of my dreams and goals may not materialize but at least I can say, “I never, ever gave up!”
This is my hope for all of you as you experience the dawning of a new life stage regardless of your age. Never ever be one of those that gave up, never ever let that be you! How incredibly sad it will be for all those dreams and goals you still have that are perhaps deeply buried but nevertheless, remain inside your heart.
So, I ask you again, what do you really have to lose by starting over other than to say to yourself, I tried. I never ever gave up!
A.S.I.D. C.A.P.S. is an award-winning Interior Designer, Author, and 50+ Demographic Marketing & LifestyleSpecialist. She’s the author of the brand new book “Design Smarts, Inspiration for Home + Life.” Mitzi, armed with 30 years of experience and a masters degree in interior design, is one of the Design Hounds Top 100 influencers 2018, selected as a member of the prestigious Style Spotters High Point market in North Carolina, as well as High Point Market Design Bloggers Tour, quoted in The Wall Street Journal as an expert in the emerging Aging in Place (AIP) trend. Along with designers across America, her home is featured in the 2018 “Christmas By Design” book.
Thank you for sharing this journey with me. It reflects my own journey in some similarities. Since losing my husband almost a year ago, I too have given up my church, friends, home, job and community. It was rolling along ok up.to this point but of course, Covid 19 but a link in it. I found a part time, doing volunteer work,,became part of a Church family and now seeking a house. It’s not been easy but I hope I too can Not Give Up. I really struggle at testing with being unsettled and very anxious. What helped you through this?
Oh Paula, I’m so sorry for not only losing your husband, a life changing profound loss, you also it appears to have lost a lot of your life as you knew it.
Honestly, What helped me the most Paula was and is my faith. Since you mentioned your church, I’m free to share this major reason of where I am today.
Literally, every morning I start my day with my devotionals. I’m in a group with other women my life stage who regardless of their history, at this age, we all have endured our own major struggles. So this is how and I sincerely hope my answer gives you some ray of hope. Never ever stop trying Paula!
I am sending this to you, Mitzi. I don’t think Paula received it. It is a lovely and helpful message. Warmly, Honey