A little about Me & How Change{Fear} came to be:

My father in-law, Ron was one of the most generous, kindest men you could ever know.  The sad part is, I never had the privilege of meeting him. Even sadder. He died on my birthday a year before I met my husband Nathan.  At 51, a heart attack shortened the life of an incredible man and he never made it to retirement.

Several years ago, I watched retirement advance on my mother much earlier than we all expected.  It wasn’t a choice. Suddenly my mom became a fraction of herself riddled with paranoia and confusion. In the span of 3 months, she seemed to age over 20 years.  Unfortunately for a year, no one could properly diagnose it so she suffered. We all suffered.*

Through these circumstances, I learned to embrace a valuable lesson:  Life is not guaranteed.  You could wake up one day and not the next.  Or you could wake up tomorrow and suddenly be a fraction of what you were yesterday.  Now, I really hate to be a drag, but this is a reality. It doesn’t have to be our reality, but it could be.

Question: Do you really want to risk your dreams betting on a tomorrow that’s not guaranteed?  I know I don’t. Why should any of us when we really don’t have to?

One of my dreams was traveling the world, visiting exotic and tropical places. And every winter like clockwork because I can’t stand the cold, I’d say to Nathan, “OK this is the last winter, I’m spending in Canada. Next year, we’re going somewhere warm.” But each winter, where did we find ourselves?  In Canada. Sure, we’d take a trip to Florida each year to visit Nathan’s mom, but it was hardly the type of Snowbird life I had envisioned.

From time to time, I would think about Ron and I would ask Nathan about other male members of his family secretly wishing that he wouldn’t suffer the same fate.  I knew their lifestyle and eating habits were vastly different, Nathan made sure of it. He plays basketball 3-4 times a week, he eats healthy and he loves what he does.  He’s designed his work in a way that minimizes stress. Caring that much about his health and valuing a balance between work and play was sadly a lesson he learned from his father’s death, not his life.  But it’s one of the main reasons why we started to take our dreaming seriously.

Big life lesson two in this area was my mom.  I think I naively always thought my mom would work until her death bed.   I probably imagined my life would be somewhat the same too. It’s not so much that I was a workaholic, I just found work fulfilling.  I had the opportunity to help people live out their dreams and visions and I was passionate about that. I just wasn’t exercising the same passion to live out my own.

But then watching my mom go through some really tough battles with her health, I realized, if I don’t take my dreams seriously, no one will.  

If you don’t build your dream someone will hire you to help build theirs.

– Tony Gaskin

Your work isn’t going to put itself on hold and sometimes your health isn’t going to wait for you to decide – illness and health issues can just show up unannounced.  It was this awareness that inspired me to start getting serious and my desire to retire early went from dreams to plans.

And it was easy, so easy, I almost wanted to smack myself for not starting earlier LOL.

Now, I spend my time remotely managing our businesses while slow traveling the world with my husband.  Enjoying food, culture, meeting new people — exploring the things I love while pursuing my main passion learning.  I consider myself a professional student of life and I take change pretty seriously. I’ve learned to thrive from it, gain strength through it, and I write to help others, so they can do the same.  You can find me on Medium.


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