In her increasingly shaky hand, my grandmother used to paint it on cushions and wall hangings with her beloved liquid embroidery. “Today is the first day of the rest of your life.”

Of course it is, Grandma, I used to think, but why is such an obvious statement worth painting on a cushion?

Now that I’m over 40, I get it. Today is a beginning. Every day is a beginning. A new chance to get it right, to learn from your mistakes, to show grace, to share beauty.

And this day, for me, marks an even more significant “first day” because it’s the beginning of a long held dream. I am self-employed. I answer to nobody but myself. I get to make myself up as I go along.

I’m practising saying these words. “I am a writer.” “I am a teacher.” “I am a leadership consultant.” “I am a communications consultant.” “I am an entrepreneur.”

I’m not sure yet which will be my favourite elevator pitch. For today, I’ve decided that I don’t have to know for certain. I get to practice for awhile and see what fits.

In a rather fortuitous turn of events, the first contract that fell into my lap was just as quickly taken out of my lap, and I couldn’t be happier. It would have required of me that I jump into work right away this week and not have time to catch my breath. Plus it was old work that I’ve already done, so it would have been mostly about making money and not about the new path I want to forge. So I breathed a sigh of relief and let it go.

Because it has always been my intention to turn the month of October into a sabbatical. I need rest and replenishment. I need time to be in the “neutral space”. I need to be able to wander and think and learn and explore without feeling the pressure to be doing something more productive.

At the same time, though, I don’t want to wake up a couple of weeks from now and realize I’ve wasted all of my time on the internet, so I’m setting some intentions for every day. For today, I started by getting up with the sun and going for a 7 kilometre (4 mile) run. And now I’m going on a pilgrimage to some special places in search of some of the wisdom I often find there. I’ll tell you more about those places when I have returned.

On my way…

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