Daily choices are required!

After a visit with my daughter, I realized something valuable. As much as I wanted to hurry up and be an adult with my life together at 22, there was simply no way to speed it up. You have to make micro-decisions daily with regards to everything adult-like and see where it takes you. You don’t get to simply say I want to be fiscally responsible without daily choices over a LONG period of time to achieve that goal. You don’t magically become physically fit at 46 without the active daily lifestyle over 20+ years. You don’t achieve some level of career delight without doing the first crappy job in that field. You have to put in your “time” of doing things you don’t really want to do, work in jobs that aren’t the dream you envisioned, stay home for dinner when you want to go out but your budget says no, move your body when you’d prefer not to, and wear sunscreen when everyone else is going to the tanning bed because skin cancer is a real threat to you.

We have no clue what the trajectory of our micro-decisions over 20+ years will look like. No matter how much you plan, life has a way of throwing curve balls at you. My life looks very different than I imagined it would when I was 22 years old. I have made the best decisions I was capable of at the time or that I simply felt I had to do. Yet it was all a leap of faith. Now I arrive at 46 with an accumulation of decisions over time. As I look to my left and to my right I am delighted with where I am and very surprised at the same time.

Witnessing the struggle of my daughter as she navigates her way into early adulthood takes me back to that time in my life. She is working so hard to “get it right” in ways that I did not, while at the same time she strives to have the skills that I have today. She forgets that I am where I am today due to 20+ years of actions, choices, and relationships. You don’t get to simply arrive with the skills without the work. She intellectually knows this, yet taking the first steps in a very long journey can be daunting and defeating. Buck up my dear one, the road is long but worth every step you take. Let’s not forget, she did not know me at 22 years old, nor did she witness my struggles in the transition she is in right now. By the time she can remember me I was already 8 years into my journey to adulthood. I certainly was still struggling, but I was further down the road than she is now.

20+ years of micro-decisions have brought me to a life that has almost nothing in it that I believed I wanted at 22 years old. Elements of my life that align with my 22-year-old desires are motherhood, physically active and that I have a dog. EVERYTHING else is different! If someone had told me when I was 22 that at the age of 46 I would be single, renting a room, working in temporary jobs all over the country, and traveling alone most of the time; I would have considered myself a failure. For this reason, I am so glad we can’t see the future. I revealed that to my daughter, she paused to consider this and took a deep breath. Hopefully, she is able to relax for a moment, and just start with a micro-decision to put her best self first. Life has a way of working itself out, but our participation is required.

If you want to be fiscally responsible in 20 years you must start today. If you want to be physically active in 20 years, you have to move your body in some way today. If you want relationships that are loving in 20 years, create a healthy relationship with yourself today. I really wish I had understood the one about a self-relationship at 22. It took me many more years to embrace that. Yet, I am excited to see what 20+ years from now will look like with regards to amazing relationships in my life because of the micro decisions I make every day now. It is NEVER too late to make a shift in decisions. We just have to remember that the true outcome may take 20+ years to really see it’s potential.
Namaste!
Kristin Springfield
In for the long haul

Weight loss

It has been 7 weeks since I left the place called home since 1994, and I feel amazing! Whenever you go there you are, but the location makes all the difference in the world. There was a rainbow of emotions around taking this big leap of faith in leaving everything I have known for a life that unfolds 90 days at a time that takes me to places I have never lived before. People do this all the time, there are companies designed for traveling professionals, but this is all new to me.

The weight that has been lifted from my shoulders with this transition is immeasurable. I will attempt to describe what it is like for me with a story of packing up my home. I am a doer by nature and don’t procrastinate. The expectation I have of me for completing tasks is close to ridiculous. My previous job was part-time, which left me ample time to pack, paint and get ready to move. Initially, I was hesitant to remove all things from my walls in order to paint, as I knew the items would not be rehung, and I’d be living in a home with empty walls. I imagined it to be depressing with an empty feeling. I had already gone through my items and given so much away that the home was far from filled. The empty walls were the remaining task of preparing to let go of this home. My “Get Shit Done” attitude met with a rainy week and every room in the house found itself in a fresh coat of paint. Much to my surprise, my anticipated feelings of sadness were completely wrong. It actually felt refreshing to have a clean slate.
Much of the pictures and art on my walls were from several years ago. I selected all of the items because they brought joy to my life at the time I moved into the home. Yet all of them also had a very painful back story. What I did not realize was that the story played simultaneously in my head when I looked at the items. With the walls empty and freshly painted everything changed. I felt more relaxed. It was quiet in my head, which is rare! The negative back story to all the items had become normal and unnoticed until they were gone.

Now that I have been away from that town for 7 weeks another layer of emotional weight has been shed. It feels like the last 10 pounds that are so hard to lose when on a diet. It takes great dedication and a shift in perspective to free you from the last lingering pounds. For me, it has taken a shift in career, over 5,000 miles of driving and letting go of the idea that home has to be a physical place. Jumping (or driving) from a home place that was filled with joy, comfort, and very painful back stories required a great deal of personal courage. I have learned that bliss is just on the other side of fear. Now that I have walked through some of my primal fears to a brand new location, I ‘m free from the back stories that accompanied not only the items on my walls but all of the places in the town as well. Now going literally anywhere I do not have a nagging dreadful story in the background of my mind. As this is truly a new chapter waiting to be filled with new experiences; FINALLY!
Namaste!
Kristin Springfield
Imperfect Wanderlust

Appreciation depends on where you start

Danville taught me everything about appreciating life and the details within it.  Sometimes you don’t know what you have until you don’t have it anymore.  I started my assignment in Sioux Falls on Monday.  Of course, first days are a whirlwind, as is the first week.  I have to share how amazing this place is for me. Let me break it down into a few main areas that people tend to spend time talking about:

Traffic

There are enough people here to produce a brief experience of traffic.  This is enough traffic to be referred to as a rush 15 minutes.  Certainly not a rush hour!  This rush 15 minutes actually brings a smile to my face, as that means there are many working people. Witnessing so many people driving to work is kind of fun for me.  I am used to traveling most roads alone or with just a handful of other drivers.  The roads feel less lonely to me. My fellow drivers do know how to drive well.  A side bonus is having the opportunity to merge quickly again!

Work and its computer system 

Healthcare workers are required to do their fair share of documentation on all the things they do throughout the day and especially with their patients.  Every single job and location uses a different documentation system.  I am learning a new one with this assignment and I am loving it.  I find this documentation system user-friendly with a bit of redundancy.  All systems have redundancy, some more than others.  Due to all of my years in management, the focus has always been about efficiency.  Well, now that I say that, maybe it has nothing to do with management and more to do with how I look at life.  How can I do this more efficiently and faster?  This carries over into everything, including documentation.  I have already figured out how to speed up the process and maintain the integrity of each document.  This too brings a smile to my face.  At the end of my first day, I met with a co-worker to review training.  I was exhausted and brain dead, so I thought.  Within a matter of minutes on the computer, I figured out a simple technique to increase efficiency that wowed the seasoned coworker!  He told me that I will be doing an in-service for the rest of the team as I figure out more ways to be efficient.  Now if we could add my love of spreadsheets to this assignment, I’d be in heaven.

Getting around town

To be honest, before GPS I could hardly find my way out of a paper bag.  My sense of direction is not one of my strong points. Google Maps on my phone has changed my life.  I no longer am afraid of getting lost.  If a turn is missed, rerouting quickly occurs.  So getting around this town is a breeze because of GPS and constant satellite connection.  There is a nice balance of grid patterned neighborhoods, curving roads, and highways to keep me guessing.  I simply love it!

People in the area

Coming from a small southern town I am used to friendly behavior.  This area has its share of friendly ways, but something is vastly different; people are kind.  So what’s the difference besides a feeling?  Friendly is an exchange where you are happy to talk to others and open to making acquaintances. It would also include quick hellos and how are you doing type conversation.  Whereas kind is when you engage in tasks and actions that are helpful to others.  This town lacks the southern hospitality charm it makes up for in kindness.  People have truly been helpful.  I am initiating the conversation, but they are completely engaged from that point forward.  You can remain anonymous if you desire, which sometimes is exactly what I need.  As I sit in a great coffee, wine, and beer spot, I am delighted to freely type without worry of misperception.  I love it!

Thank you to all of the places I called home and to the settings I have worked in.  Because of you, I am able to see the great things in this assignment, this town, and the people that I may have completely taken for granted had I not had you in my life!

Namaste!

Kristin Springfield
Appreciator of life