… standing with your back against the wall

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… standing with your back against the wall

I had thought my “rear deck” speech was ready to go. I had worked on it previously in another stage of this experiment and was happy with what I came up with.. The problem is, my life changed direction in the few weeks time that passed between writing it the first time and being asked to describe my Life’s Purpose and rear deck speech as one of the 7 in training. And so… I started over, to redefine my purpose, and it hasn’t been an easy task! It felt a bit like that carnival ride – you know the one that you climb into this space ship-like-globe and stand with your back against the wall? When the ride begins, the entire thing begins spinning, and as it reaches top speed, the floor drops out from underneath you (but the speed of spinning keeps you held plastered against the wall and no one falls with the floor!) Only… for me, in my real life ride, I did start to fall down with the floor as it was ripped out from underneath me – lucky for me though, I realized what was happening and climbed back up the side and took my place, ready to exit the ride and move forward.

It’s easy to say all that I do not want in life. I made the decision right out of college 6 years ago that I didn’t want to work for someone else – even though I didn’t realize WHY I was making that decision at the time. It was disguised by having my first son right out of college and thinking I chose the self-employment route in order to have more time with him. (This is true of course, I am pleased my decision allowed me to be home with him and raise him and home again when his brother was born three years later, but I think it was more than wanting to be a mom at home.) I can’t function in the constraints of a cubicle and rules established by someone else, rules that can’t be challenged. My one “real” job was in a government office. I worked full time for almost three years while in college, and it was a place where ideas were not welcomed. You did what the procedure manual described, exactly how it was described, and there was no reason to ever make any changes to procedure! This is not an environment I could live out my life’s purpose in, day after day.

What I see as my life’s purpose hasn’t changed much due to the drastic redirection of my life. The purpose, after all- is why I’m here, why I choose to live my life the way I do, but the way I would describe this life to my grandchildren sixty or seventy years from now in the rear deck speech has changed.

After considering what I don’t want, and trying to pinpoint the things in life that I do want to experience or have, I have come to the conclusion that my life’s purpose is not much different than the others I’ve been reading here. (Maybe that is why we’re all here together? Because it takes certain personalities to actually live their purpose??) Above all, I want to enjoy quality time with family and friends – and by quality, I mean experiencing life together and without the constraints our finances typically place on us. For instance, I would love to travel with my children as they get older – and experience different cultures and just see and do things we can’t do staying in one place all the time; financial resources are required to make that happen. So often, families fall into the trap of rushing around to get to school and work, rushing around afterwards to get homework and family chores done, and enjoy maybe one or two vacations together each year if they’re lucky because there isn’t time or money to do more… and while they may be in it together- it’s not experiencing all there is to experience in life is it?

For me, my purpose in life is to have that quality time with family and friends, and the financial resources to enjoy life to it’s full capacity (traveling, entertainment, the time to help others realize the same). The financial resources that make it possible to live out this purpose would have to be gained through projects and work that mean something to me, that make a difference in more lives than just my own. I think I’ve already started one possibility of reaching that goal through my writing program, and am excited to realize I could be very close to achieving my dreams. Above all, I feel the need to make decisions in life that are based on more than just money – which means the money must be there and available so that it stops preventing me from taking action.

To my grandchildren… sixty or seventy years from now, I’d love to be able to pull them into my lap and tell them the story of how grandma’s drive and motivation made it possible for them to live life the way they are living it. I’m not even talking about the possessions they might have as a result of my reaching my “magic number” – but how they have the time and ability to experience life with their parents and friends, the time and desire to help out in their communities and volunteering… and how they are learning about other cultures by visiting them, rather than out of books or from television. I’d love to teach them that having passion and determination opens doors to whatever it is they need to reach in their own lives- and I’d love to be teaching them this based on my real life experience. Do what I do, not just what I say.

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Reader Comments

Good post Debbie. Sounds like you value your time, your freedom and travel as much as I do. Good luck on the start of your journey as you begin to define what you NEED and where you need to be!

@ Debbie – You are right, your Life’s Purpose is your Life’s Purpose, although I have been told that for many people it can take weeks, months, years to ‘zero in’ on what I really is …

…. I have been ‘fortunate’ that I’m not one of those:

I thought my Life’s Purpose was “to experience everything”, then a few days later it popped into my head that it was “to be constantly traveling physically, mentally, and spiritually” and stayed that way ever since.

But for you and the other 7MITs (and the 7,000 others working alongside with us on this), it is what it is, when it is 🙂

As to your Rear Deck Speech, you may be ‘fortunate’ that recent events have caused you to look beyond the superficial … because that’s the whole purpose: you wouldn’t tell your grand kids all the superficial stuff that happened in your life, would you?

DEBBIE – isn’t moving forward in life a little like going from one wild ride to another? Sometimes we go alone hanging on to whatever we can find, other times we discover folks on the same ride and we hold on to each other and sometimes forgetting all else we agree to ride with people on the ride of “their choice” and let them hold on to us.
On the “Grand Experiment Ride” we are all in our seats getting belted in and ready for the ride of our lives. Look around, all the riders are ready, Mark, Josh, Ryan, Diane, Debbie, Scott, Lee, some wide eyed,some white knuckled, some stomachs churning but all ready to tell our grandchildren about a most wonderful adventure available to all who dare to dream and stay on track.

@ Lee – You mean, there’s supposed to be a track … ?! 😛

I think there’s a track… it might be winding and have several forks in the road along the way – forcing us to make decisions, but it’s there!