Making Sense Of Your Life.

IMG_0332.JPG

The other day I was standing in the kitchen waiting for my Keurig to spit out that first morning cup of coffee, mulling over why I write a blog when I have so many other projects on my plate. I have been taking several online courses about social media and blogging, so I guess that’s why it’s kind of in the forefront of my thoughts right now.

I woke up with a panic knot in my stomach thinking, wow, time is flying too fast, I still have so many things I want to do. The reality of my mortal clock ticking kind of scared me. Inside my head I’ve never felt my age and I’ve always continued to work in some creative form. But I never ever thought of an expiration deadline before. I’ve never ever thought of myself as getting older by the minute. In reality, physically, I guess I am, but mentally I still have the same kind of whirling dervish ideas I had when I was first building my life and career. The fact that I do have a ‘Sell By’ date that is getting closer and closer, I never gave more than a passing thought about it. Until yesterday.

IMG_0344.PNG
It seems that the older I get the stronger the fire within me grows to do something more with my life, when it should be the reverse. It’s kind of an ironic joke on some of us to still have a raging furnace inside; to want to live life to the fullest and not just sit around as a woman over 50 trying to make sense of her life. Are any of you feeling that way, or am I just out of step with the rest of my readers?

I want to ride the wave. This new Internet social networking evolution and ways that we can reach out to one another is so exciting to me. When I see all of these young entrepreneurs, especially young women with families, who are able to build wonderful careers while sitting at home without leaving their nest. How super that would’ve been for those of us who were raising our children in the 60s and 70s. To be able to do something fulfilling like that and still be at home with our children. In that respect, this is a wonderful age for women entrepreneurs. For them, if they know how to use social marketing and tools that are available to them with a click of a mouse or iPhone finger, there is nothing to stop them from being successful.

IMG_0329.JPGGeorgia O’Keefe

Oh, I know you say, look, there were artists Grandma Moses, Georgia O’Keefe and presently actresses Maggie Smith, Helen Mirren, Joan Plowright. They are well over fifty and still going strong. You can probably think of others. And now look at Betty White who is still going in her 90’s. True. But what is the percentage of those who are still given the opportunity to be creative and working at that age. Not very high. But they are there, doing what they love to do. Why not us?

Well, I guess it all comes down to the fact that as a writer, by putting my thoughts out into the universe, I have been able to get this off my chest. Maybe I will be, along with you, some of the lucky ones who can keep going on doing whatever it is they love to do for a long, long time.

It’s good to be young and fearless, sure, but I honestly don’t want to go backwards in time. I’m more comfortable in my skin and am loving where I am right now. So as long as I can remember what I did yesterday, I promise to be grateful. I think I’ll continue to give it a go for as long as I can.

I wrote something in my memoir, Behind The Magic Mirror, that I would like to share with you and that I think is quite appropriate for this post:

In 1972 I interviewed the great violinist Rubenoff. Will Rogers had been a good friend of his and as a token of their friendship Will gave Rubenoff a watch engraved with thoughts he shared with me. The core thinking of what was engraved on the watch is that we go around but once in this life and we had better enjoy every minute of it while we can, because we don’t have the knowledge to know when our time here is over.

A memo to me to keep my fire burning until the last ember.

Copyright Sandra Hart 2014. All rights reserved.

IMG_0330.JPGGrandma Moses

Understanding Your Talents: Finding The Life You Want

IMG_0243.PNG
Photo credit Mary Cloutier Angel Trail

When I was a young girl I lived on a hill above the town. Usually I took the bus, but sometimes we walked downtown by a long trail of steps called Angel Trail. The trail was surrounded by hemlock and woods and was sometimes scary, but an easy way to get downtown. The hard part was going back home up those many steps through the woods. It took energy and determination knowing the climb was worth the goal-getting home quickly with the pleasure of bus change still in our pockets.

Through my life’s journey beyond those trips up and down Angel trail, I have found no matter how old you are, or at what point you are in your life and career, one of the hardest things is taking our talents and their worth up those difficult steps beyond the personal pleasure we get using them.

“She’s a square peg in a round hole.” Being creative sometimes, I think, is similar to being cursed with the tentacles of an octopus. Why? Because there are so many directions that we can go and in reality so few career outlets where we can fit and earn a decent living.

Understanding your talents to find the life that you want is sometimes very difficult, isn’t it?

Recently I’ve had several discussions with each of my very creative children about this. How can we grow creatively in alternative directions without neglecting our mainstream talent and know which creative companion path will be the best for us?

“I think she’s a control freak.” Believe it or not, I have always found that if I let go and I don’t try so hard to figure it out, the answer usually comes when I am most still and really not expecting it. When I quit worrying about right and wrong choices or directions. If I work mentally to create my own reality through positive thinking and if I am able to evaporate the self-induced stress caused by fear and doubt, I find I can hear more clearly my inner subconscious voice showing me the way. It has always been when I let go of trying to force my own agenda, that doors open to show me the answers in both my life and career.

“That’s a crazy idea!” Quit giving power to others over your life. Easy to say I know. This was and still is the hardest hurdle for me. Don’t be afraid of what ‘they’ think. I have always been most successful when I ignore those who say it is impossible. We all want to be winners and don’t want to be ridiculed by failure, but if we don’t risk how we ever going to be successful? In anything.

“She is the oldest one here!” I began a life in television in my late twenties because I took the chance of auditioning for a job for which I practically had no qualifications. I overcame my fear of rejection, took a risk, and got the job that began my career in television. It would turn out that brave audition allowed me to support my family years later as a widowed single mother.

“Is she kidding!” When I became fifty, I didn’t listen to the naysayers and began my film and theater career. At an age when most of my friends were getting ready to retire with cocktails in one hand and a golf club in the other, I was going against the mainstream of thought at that time for women in film-I was intent to embark on a new career. And succeeded.

“I think she is becoming a recluse.” When I was sixty I sat down in front of my word processor (remember those) and I wrote my first book, checking off another from my Bucket List and adding a fulfilling creative path down which I continue to merrily walk.

“You are extraordinary.” You within yourself have the ability to do this, too. We all have many layers that make up who we are. It’s just that we have to take a risk to find those layers within ourselves and not be afraid to develop them. I never wanted to be famous. I never wanted to do anything except be able to be creative in my own way. This is something that anybody can do. Doctor, lawyer, chef, engineer. It doesn’t matter. If you are willing to work for your dreams and willing to let go of the exact direction you think you have to walk to find that dream. Let your inner subconscious, sixth sense, show you the time and way.

“Start today”. If you drop the ‘fear of change’ mindset and create your own reality through belief in your dreams, letting go of the stress related to your present discontent, you can move forward and open another door. There is nothing wrong with taking those first baby steps, testing the waters, before you jump in with both feet. Take control of your life and you may be surprised how good it feels. You have something to say, a unique talent to bring. Don’t wait. A fulfilling life awaits when you utilize all of these tools to find the life that you want now. Find your silver lining, your sense of purpose and self.

Personally, for me, the worst nightmare at my end would be to say ‘I wish I had done that.’

Sandra Hart Copyright 2014. All rights reserved.

IMG_0261.PNGGarner Ray Flener Angel Trail