It’s surreal to think I am enjoying the Super Bowl in Shanghai this morning-Go Seahawks-and then will be eating dinner tonight in Hanoi, Vietnam. WHAT! I’m just a simple Midwestern gal. People like me marry young and never move from their hometown. Certainly a nice life but not for me. In this second chapter of my life with the kids all grown up, I chose to risk it all. Instead of leading a predictable, safe existence, I deliberately put myself out there daily with a goal that when I die, I’m just exhausted. How did this happen?
I guess it all started when I jumped off the cliff of life, leaving my “safe” job with a company I had been with for fourteen years and challenging myself to join a start-up that had the potential to keep me from eating cat food in my retirement or it could have failed just as easily. Coin toss! It has not been a cake walk for sure but along with all the tears of frustration amid feeling incredibly stupid as I learned, there have been the highs of making a difference in other people’s lives with precious moments that I will never forget. Those moments I cherish and remind me what’s really important. I am humbled daily and am constantly aware that everyone knows more than me and it usually takes me longer to figure some stuff out so I have to work harder than most but I’ve learned to just keep at it and never, ever give up. I’ve also accepted that I have to ask for help at times-tough for me to do. I’m the one who offers to help, not ask for it.
Leaving family behind to take on this China Challenge, I have had tears and guilt but when my son tells me that he thinks we lead the coolest life, I can only hope that I am setting a good example to my kids to take chances and live a life full of surprises and adventure. When my dad died, it was a wake up call to remind me to appreciate every precious moment that we have here. You truly never know when it will be your turn to pass. You cannot control the end but you can control the now. You can try to find joy in the simplest things every day and every moment. This I try to do.
So, off to Vietnam I go to have yet another great adventure with my travel partner aka the love of my life. I will savor the journey and the smiles that Thom will inevitably elicit from the Vietnam locals with his antics and goofy smile. More to come!