by Marcia Reich
I stood in my office the other day and felt one of the most unproductive emotions in my repertoire of emotions— Anxiety! I’ve worked in my current office space for nearly eight years and while I have had several “visions” for one of the rooms in this suite of rooms, it has never turned into the space I wanted it to be. In the past year I’ve basically ignored it and now for all intensive purposes it has become a large storage area and a sad waste of space.
It’s time to start cleaning it up but where do I start? And why has it become so important now? I take a few hours on a Sunday morning and sit alone quietly on the floor in this room. And there it is, I have an epiphany of sorts. I think I know what I want to be when I grow up—at least for today.
Two weeks ago I started to collect pictures of rooms that I liked. I cut and pasted images from different magazines, went onto websites like Houzz.com, perused catalogs like IKEA, Ballard, Goldenrod and Pottery barn and then created a visual representation of my dream art studio. It was lovely—it was white, creamy and filled with light. A far cry from what my space looks like right now.
In the past two months I have begun to take HUGE steps to re-focus and re-fine my work life. I know this is leading me somewhere new although I am not quite sure where that is yet. I try to live and work authentically so making life changes is essential. How can I honestly guide others if I’m not willing to do the things I recommend?
One of my most important messages:
When something isn’t working, whether in your personal or your professional life, you MUST take steps to change it. If you don’t, it will just suck all the lifeblood out of you.
Change is painful. As humans, we tolerate the discomfort we know better than the risk of the unknown. But there is no other way to improve your life and work if you don’t open yourself to seeking out new challenges and new forms of inspiration.
Change is where it’s at.
You don’t have to make big changes all at once.
I’m no stranger to change. My penchant for reinvention is what motivates me and excites me about working with midlife women. I will never be content to hang out in a place that is burning me out, depleting my energy and depriving me of being my most creative self.
I’m here in this depleted place and ready to do something differently.
I completed my vision board (beautiful white room) and took a picture (I highly recommend doing this and even using your vision boards as a screensaver). Having a vision in place is extremely helpful. It helps you imagine living and being somewhere else. I envisioned myself working in that “perfect” space. I take notes, jot down my thoughts as they come. The simple act of creating a vision board has jump-started my re-decoration and reorganization but even more important, it’s helping me finesse my future plans.
Realistically, I don’t have the 3,000 square foot loft (in my pictures) with exposed beams, tall windows and light pouring in. I do have a nicely sized rectangular space that with a little thought, creativity and feedback from others I can make into a creative and peaceful space. That gorgeous white room of my dreams would soon be overwhelmed by my creative disorganization. How long, I thought, before ribbons, glitter, pretty papers, pens, markers, boxes and pads would leave that space looking very untidy? I would feel guilty all the time and that would not advance my creativity. I toss that idea.
There are so many other things in that vision board that are useful – specifically the light fabrics, comfy chairs, woven baskets and iron sculptures. The dream room has a lot of texture and exhales calm. I realize that what I really want is a space where women can convene, be creative and feel totally at home doing so. And I have to love being in it and feel calm when I’m there. How can I be a good coach if I can’t figure out how to give this stuff to myself?
And so here I am writing about this new vision and new direction. I’m poking around on the Internet for just the right tables, chairs and baskets. I can’t say that I don’t wish that the loft in that picture was mine but I also know that I have the tools and the creativity to make a lovely rectangle feel like home.
Marcia Reich is a Licensed Mental Health Counselor, writer, artist and coach to Midlife women in transition. She is also the founder of The Women’s Coaching Center where she focuses on helping Midlife women discover how to get where they want to go— even when they have no idea where that is.
Marcia has enjoyed multiple careers, including positions in sales and marketing, consulting, writing and design. In her 30’s she returned to school to become a mental health counselor. During her graduate studies she discovered her artistic talent. This discovery has done a lot to inform her work with women. Everyone is creative. Everyone has unexplored strengths and talents. Midlife is a perfect time to discover what they are and harness the energy to make them a part of your life—whether it be in work or play.
She currently blogs for a number of sites on topics related to work, play, midlife and family. Most of the time she does it with a bit of humor and levity —life without a bit of humor is just too hard.
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