Sunday, January 3, 2016

Being in transition – a gift?

Author:  Paloma Amar
Executive manager and leader in the non-profit sector

Being in transition – a gift?

As I sit to write, it strikes me how counter-intuitive it is to say that our state of transition can be a gift. It is. In reality, it all lies in our perceptions.

Most of us have been working for the majority of our adult lives. We have worked 40 – 50 hour weeks, have commuted and been stuck in traffic; if we were lucky, we were able to take a few weeks’ vacation a year. As working adults, we have been expected to do the impossible and have accomplished it BUT, at what cost? We may have sacrificed relationships, holidays, children’s events. Some of us may have sacrificed our overall wellbeing both physically and mentally. No, we did not do this on purpose or planned to. Yet, we did.

So let me ask you When was the last time that you took an introspective stock of who you are? Most of us define ourselves by our work (e.g. I’m an accountant, lawyer, therapist, etc.).  However, is that enough? When the definition of our titles/jobs gets taken away, don’t we lose a significant part of our identity? Yes, we are still mothers, fathers, sisters, brothers, friends yet those seem to be relegated to the back burner as evidenced by when we meet people. Often, those who cross our paths do not first ask, “Who are you?” Rather, the question is often “What do you do?”  We are even offered sympathies for being in this transition.

Our current state of transition, whether voluntary or not, offers us an opportunity to re-balance our lives. When was the last time you asked yourself “what do I want to be when I grow up…”? Where does my passion lie…”? Is my passion in alignment with the work I’ve been doing…?  Our overall feeling of well-being is closely tied to us answering these questions and, most importantly, following the path forged by the answers.

Full-time employment offers a sense of identity, fulfills financial obligations, may even offer an opportunity to do good for our community. The questions are - what is the fuel that feeds our overall wellbeing? What has been the toll we have paid emotionally, mentally, physically?

In reality, I am not saying anything you don’t know. So what is this gift we’ve been given? It is, in my mind, the most precious gift anyone can offer. Our transition offers us the gift of TIME.

We have the amazing opportunity to exhale. Our time is now our own; we can spend it in a way that best suits our needs and wellness. Our transition offers us the opportunity to answer the questions about our passions, to align our passions with our careers, to take stock of who we are rather than what we do. 

So go aheadEXHALE. Find your passion and bring that to life. Use your passion to inspire change, not just in others but, most importantly, in yourself. In essence, take leadership of your life.

Congratulations… you’ve been given the gift of TIME – use it wisely.

1 comment:

  1. Great article Paloma! I couldn't agree more. Enjoy YOUR Time! It's an important chapter in your life.