change

The Next Chapter

As I began to put this post together the month of August was fast approaching. A turning point. A new chapter for many stories in my life.

A new school year. A fresh start for my youngest but sort of a restart to high school post-pandemic. So many emotions around a this particular subject after the past year and a half. New computer to get ready for the scheduled digital days and a proactive plan for any sporadic shutdowns. Imaginary pom poms for all the moments I want to cheer loud and proud for….but of course when you have a teen you would know that isn’t cool. To make myself feel good, I’ll use my imaginary poms!

Year 2 as a farmer begins without hesitation. Year one was fun. Full of learning, adventures and many firsts. Visions and dreams collided. Hard work was done. So much planning for now and the future. Broke the piggy bank a few times but you have to spend something if you want to build something. Off I go to leverage the earth to see what it will allow me to produce on the farm. I’ll say a few prayers and engage a few resources along the way. Forward progress on the farm is what farm life is about. And of course I want to tell everyone about it. Check out the last batch of flowers from the farm. They are absolutely gorgeous. See for yourself. #3splitzfarm

A new fitness regimen. August 1st marks a new venture for me. A slight step away from CrossFit, the sport I have enjoyed for many years. Taking a little break to do some customized programming to see how my body reacts. Maybe tone a bit. Maybe strengthen different muscle groups. Going to take 6 months to see how I do. I figure I have a 50/50 chance of being successful during this time. A coin toss basically. Will I decide I miss my sport? Will I miss my specific routine? Will I like my new environment? Will I train hard enough away from the constantly varied workouts of CrossFitting 5-6 days a week? Many unknowns for sure. One thing I know for sure is I’m responsible for my progress thus I need to kick my own ass at times.

I am sure I will share updates on my next chapters. Obviously, my life story has more than three chapters. This is just the three that I decided to highlight in this post. Those who know me know change is really the only constant in my life. While many fear change, I embrace change.
New year on the farm. 365 days of growth ahead. New school year for the youngest. 365 days of what should be amazing memory making opportunities. New fitness year. Half the year I will try something new. The other half will be planned based on my first half performance. The beauty of mapping your world. hundred points customizable by me, for me. 

Change fuels my soul. Change of reasons or seasons in a nutshell. Both reasons and seasons keep me chasing my dreams. Many won’t understand how change makes me tick harder faster stronger. Adaptation. Sitting in status quo anything is not my style. Onward. Upward. Forward. My choice is always bold never old. 

change, family

Beth and Liz

My full name, Elizabeth, can morph into many nicknames.

I began as Beth. That was my family name, my toddler name. My first name.

My parents loved to tell the story of going to first grade curriculum night. We had moved and changed schools. It was a few weeks into the school year and my parents went to meet the teacher. She asked my parents who their child was. My parents said “Beth.” My teacher said she didn’t have a Beth in her class. They put two and two together and figured out I was now Elizabeth.

Looking back, I wonder why I didn’t correct her. Was I not confident in that time of great change? Or was I ready to be someone new? Who knows what went through my 6 year old mind. But from then on, through elementary school up to 7th grade, I was Elizabeth.

Elizabeth followed me as I moved to Catholic school. But somewhere along the line, I started going by Liz to my friends. Again, I can’t be sure what my 13-year-old self was thinking. I’m pretty sure I thought Liz was cooler than Elizabeth. Honestly, who knows? But I knew the transformation was official when they started putting “Liz” on my report cards. I remember being surprised, but I went with it. Liz followed me through high school, college, and up into my twenties. Liz was a drum major and kind of emo in high school. Liz wore tights and steel-toed patent leather boots on non-uniform days. In college, Liz started drinking and smoking. Liz was a moody philosophy major. My Dad said Liz walked around with a little black could over her head.

After college, Liz was later a kindergarten teacher by day, a waitress / bartender by night. Liz walked 60 miles over three days to raise money for cancer research. Liz lost 100 pounds. Liz supported her parents through her Dad’s cancer fight. Liz met the man who would become her husband and the toddlers who would become her kids.

At age 29, I walked down the aisle and along with adding a new last name, I decided I would now go by Beth again. I just didn’t feel like a Liz anymore. Silly to some, I am sure, but my parents had never stopped calling me Beth, so maybe that’s why it felt like settling in to who I really am / was / would be.

In the nearly 20 years since I became Beth again, I’ve still continued to evolve. Beth is the mother of 3 now-adultish kids. Beth earned her PhD. Beth has gained 140 pounds, had a kid and lost 150. Beth quit smoking and drinking. Beth completed a half marathon and a triathlon. Beth has written books and owns a farm.

After a life with so many stages, there are people who call me by all different names. I have Elizabeth as my facebook profile since that seems to capture everything.

My father-in-law still calls me Liz most of the time. At a recent family celebration, he was passing the bottle of red wine around the table. When he got to me, he said “Liz, would you like some wine?” and for some reason I just thought, Liz would have, but Beth doesn’t do that anymore. Later that week, the conversation came up at work about going home to have a drink after a long day. The same thought occurred to me. Liz would have cracked open a drink right away. Beth is going to write or go for a walk or do something to make her feel accomplished. I just told my colleagues that I don’t drink but I’ll think of a good way to unwind. They stared with no response, then moved on from that topic.

Some will say that Liz was more fun than Beth. Maybe they are right. I guess it depends on what you think fun really means. Liz was definitely a whole lot more interested in pleasing others. Making other people comfortable. Liz also sought ways to escape herself, her thoughts, her confusion. Over time, Beth has become settled in swimming against the tide and approving of herself. Beth carries along her Dad’s encouragement to be smart, to stand out, to celebrate herself, and even to rail against gender stereotypes about what girls can do and be good at.

Beth feels settled in her skin more often that not, and that is something to celebrate no matter what you call her.

business, change

Play it Safe?

Do you like to play it safe in life?

Do you like to play it safe in business?

I recently read a short brief on playing it safe and it made me think a bit. In sports, coaches often times (especially in football) choose not to play it safe in games by attempting a 2-point conversion vs. opting for the easy field goal. A stretch of sorts. A chance. The unknown. Said chance could pay off big or make you fall short.

I never really thought about how sports is a form of gambling for the coaches. Choosing the players. Choosing the plays. The key decisions. The crucial thinking required. The dynamics of it all.

I’ve seen some crazy stuff happen at sporting events. Sometimes fanatical sports fans will go crazy if said coach has too many failed 2-point conversion attempts while others may go crazy at even the thought of going for it when you could just play it safe.

Again just that one example made me think. As a coach for competitive sports I play with my business mind. I play with strategy and I play to win. If it’s the last 2 minutes of the game I’m going for it. I have my best players on the field. I’m playing out my strategy. Boy do I get annoyed when other coaches play it safe.

Keeping this in mind many choose to play it safe in life. Maybe it’s taking the safe job. The fixed salary with two weeks fixed vacation every July. For me, I’d opt for the commission-only gig that pays out big dividends as I am confident betting on myself. Vacation time is good but not requirement if you are writing your own check so to speak.

Then there is the play-it-safe home choice. The planned neighborhood in suburbia with strict can-dos and can’t-dos. The flip side would be the plot of land where you make your own rules. 
A short article I read today had me thinking. Don’t put all your eggs in one basket. Take a risk here and there. Without risk there is no reward. Worst that can happen is you fail. If you fail you should learn something. That something you learn can be avoided next time you take a chance.
Life is a gamble. Don’t play it safe every day. You will miss those golden opportunities hidden in plain sight. Push the envelope. See what happens around you.

As I wrote this post a friend celebrated her six-month job anniversary. A change of careers took place six months ago. A scary change outside her comfort zone. She is thriving and growing each day. She is thankful to herself for embracing the unknown. She took the gamble. It’s paying off. There is a growing trend amongst the workforce post-pandemic where many are embracing change. Some due to a required change while others choosing to spread their wings. Either way it is a risk. A risk worth taking.

As I write this today, I’m taking a chance. Risk of course. Reward, unknown. Time will tell. Off to live my choices wherever they lead me.

change, perspective

Packing Purging Refreshing

Some times life throws you a curve ball. In a blink of an eye life shifts you in one direction when you thought you were on the road that drove the other direction. How could that be?

One opportunity opens as another one closes. I’m sure you heard the phrase before. Right now I’m taking the opportunity to pack up, organize my life, purge the unneeded and shift to my newest direction.

A curve ball to some. An experience of a sorts to others. You see life is what you make of it. If you see rainbows, lollipops and sunshine ahead then that’s what you will see on the horizon. If you focus on the negative you not be so lucky and only see clouds of grey most days.

Each day we make a choice to rise and grind or not. I’m always on for grinding except today when I have a rest day planned and maybe a nap.

The packing and purging of today will set me up for the success in 2022 of an office relocation. Fun times ahead.