Yesterday at the beach we three women were bobbing in the water while getting to know each others’ stories better, and I said “everyone who does this sort of thing has something going on in their lives that allows them to step out of that life, for however long. I was ready for a hard reset.” The women I was with agreed, and we chatted about some of what was going on for each of us that finds us in Jamaica now.

This morning I read this quote from Amy Poehler’s soon-coming book Yes, Please:

I am a firm believer that every few years one needs to shake one’s life through a sieve, like a miner in the Yukon. The gold nuggets remain. The rest falls through like the soft earth it is.

That may be a kinder re-framing of what I was calling the ‘hard reset.’

I’ve done this a few times in the past – in 1998, 2001, 2010, and now 2014. I wouldn’t necessarily call it a pattern so much as a periodic awakening to the fact that some things in my life aren’t working and I need to make adjustments. Some people might say that quitting my job, ending a relationship with the man who made me believe in forever (at least as a possibility), and leaving the country for 6 months is a pretty big adjustment. Those people would be right, except that that adjustment also sets me on the path I have long wanted to be on – the one that leads to working and living internationally on an ongoing basis.

Poehler’s quote also reminded me of my golden nuggets – those people who have been there through every shake out. Those are the people I’m missing this morning. Top of the list is my sons, who have encouraged me to live my life since they were young boys, and who were as excited for me to have this experience as I was. Of course my parents, who taught all three of their daughters that we could do and be anything we wanted. My “go get’em/I love you/stop it” sister. And my amazing circle of friends – some of whom have been there since long before the first shake down, and some who may be newer on the scene but still shine like gold. I’m grateful for everyone of these nuggets, even if this morning I wish we could be chatting over coffee/Sunday brunch/a glass of wine.

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