FIVE STEPS TO BUILDING THE LIFE YOU WANT | QUESTIONS WE SHOULD BE ASKING NOW | WHO ARE YOU
Women over sixty. Who are we? WHO AM I? Who are you?
The Five Ws, Five Ws and one H, or the 5 W’s are questions whose answers are considered basic in information-gathering. They are often mentioned in journalism (news style), research, and police investigations. They constitute a formula for getting the complete story on a subject.
•Who was involved?
•Where did it take place?
•When did it take place?
•Why did that happen?
Some authors add a sixth question, how, to the list.
I was thinking the other day that we can take those important fact finding W’s and use them in relation to our lives.
1) Who are you? Who do your friends think you are?
2) What do you want out of life right now?
3) Where do you want to be a year from now?
4) When is a good time to start?
5) Why do I think this is important?
6) How am I going to achieve this?
These are important questions we should be asking ourselves no matter how young or old we are. The sooner we find our direction and who we really are and what we want from life, the more fulfilled we will be. It is never too early or late to begin your personal fact finding journey.
(Author’s note: If you have read my book “Behind The Magic Mirror“, you know I have faced the worst of challenges squarely, but there are other life events that may not be life-threatening, but are very real and immobilizing for many of us.)
Looking back at my life, I would say fear of change has immobilized me more than it should have. Too smart, too late? I don’t think so. I am still in a constant learning pattern in this life and I am about to turn a new page and move on. Both fearful and excited, I am ready to let go and let life show me a better path.
One of the biggest problems we can encounter when we consider making changes to our life is that brick wall we can’t seem to get over. Even though the changes we want to make will bring more happiness by considerably enhancing our lives, self-doubt and fear of leaping over that wall to the other side will still try and stop us in our tracks.
Why does this happen?
Now that’s a million dollar question, isn’t it? To leap is not only the action of leaping, but it is to hopefully hit the ground somewhere better than where you are at that moment. You can’t always gage it perfectly, but in the action of doing, you must not forget to realize that taking the leap is nothing short of an act of courage.
Realistically, most of us don’t get epiphanies. We only get a faint whisper, perhaps just the slightest of
urges. My big whisper, one that changed my life forever came not from within me, but from my mother years ago when she convinced me to audition for Romper Room. So fearful and so sure that I didn’t have any of the qualifications for the television show, I was focused on “what’s next” instead of what was first. I was afraid to believe in myself by holding myself accountable for the opportunity I was being given.
My mother’s whisper taught me that there is nothing more brave than filtering out the chatter (in my own head) that kept telling me that I was someone I was
not. She taught me that there is nothing more genuine than breaking away from the chorus to learn the sound of my own voice. Taking that first leap was nothing short of positive belief in myself. Needless to say, I got the job and it did change my life forever.
I don’t know about you but the ultimate feeling I want before I breathe my last is that I didn’t take advantage of opportunities because I gave in to my refusal to leap forward. My almost missing a life altering opportunity was my wake-up call that shook me out of my complacency. What will yours be? It is up to you to take your own leap of discovery into a new life.
She was running. Running from what she could never reveal. Running to go home, sorry she ever left? Running for her life? We’ll never know because the authorities picked her up before her end game could unfold. If she even had one.
She must have decided her escape route would be the backroads of Oldham, a small town north of Lexington in Kentucky. Safer, or maybe a better way home. The county sheriff apprehended her. Ended her plans. Picked her up with her hair all askew, her primitive tattoo obscured by the unwashed skin on her stomach. She was a mess in more ways than one. Nothing else to do but throw her in prison. Lock her up safely behind bars to keep her from running again.
Well actually it was the Luther Luckett Correctional Complex in LaGrange, the first security institution to be built in Kentucky since the Kentucky State reformatory in 1937. The mission there is to prepare incarcerated felons to be capable of contributing to society in a positive manner upon release through the use of constructive classification, program and work assignment opportunities. What better place for her.
It was during her eight week incarceration there, that I first heard about Frannie through my daughter, Alison. She has always been active in rescuing those in need and when she met with Frannie, she immediately realized that her mother and Frannie would be able to help one another. Kindred souls, so to speak.
Frannie was in Camp Canine at the correctional complex, a joint venture between The Humane Society, Animal Control and Dr. Phil Heye LaGrange Animal Hospital. The program has 14 inmates and 12 dogs. Twelve trainers,one clerk and one janitor to take care of the messes. The inmates are responsible for the dogs 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Frannie was assigned to one of those inmate handlers. During the course of this program the dogs are trained in basic obedience commands, so they will be more adoption friendly. Each dog must pass the AKC “Canine Good Citizens Test”.
I was on pins and needles during Frannie’s jail time. I was accepted as her adoptive mother, so that hurdle was jumped, but would she pass her tests and graduate? With my three children (none of whom have ever been in jail, thankfully) I had already been there and done that, so I was not too keen at my ‘over fifty’ age on going through this one more time. I was in love with my new little girl and did not want to be heartbroken if she had to stay longer or, as in some cases, not graduate at all.
Finally, the call came and I boarded a Continental flight to Cincinnati where Alison drove me to the Correctional Complex. Without phone or anything that would ‘bling’ I passed through the metal detectors and my Frannie was brought out with a bright yellow lead around her neck. She was beautiful and, for me, it was love at first sight. She was a year old cream-colored Lhasa Apso with a flowing plumed tail curled over her back. I cried. The administrator cried. I was told Frannie’s handler (we are both anonymous to one another) also cried as he handed her over for her jail walk to meet her new mother.
My husband’s late mother was named Frannie, so it was rather awkward calling our new dog the same name. Frannie quickly became Sofi (we live in Sofi in South Beach, Florida) and she has been a wonderful part of our family for four years now. Each Christmas Sofi sends a card to the folks at Camp Canine with a request to hand it over to her handler. And every time she curls next to me or looks up at me with that sweet face, I am so glad that she got in trouble and wound up in prison. Sometimes prison can be a good thing under certain circumstances. Incarceration in her case gave both of us a second chance for a new and better life.*
*My husband and I had been mourning the death in the months prior to finding Sofi our six year old Harley, a Shih Tzu.