Want to know how to make people think you're crazy? Here's our attempt:
‘Hello, I’m quitting my job…we’ve saved money — not a bunch, but enough…we’re going to travel abroad without a comprehensive plan or schedule. See ya in a year!’
Are you freaking crazy?
What do you do for a living? Don’t you have 5 kids? How are you doing this? Who has the money? Who has the time? Where do you start? Where do you go? Where do you stay? What about the kids’ schooling? These were the questions that were posed to us.
I’m guessing this will hit home with many of you.
So…how did we get here?
In 2008, Donna made a decision to go to Ethiopia. She came to me one morning and said, ‘I want to go to Ethiopia to serve…what do you think?’ I’ll let her talk more about that another day. She did go to Ethiopia about 6 weeks later. On that trip she’d meet our eventual 5th child; a life-changing moment.
Have any of you had a similar experience? Stop and give that some thought. What was a life-changing moment for you?
Moving on. Our perspective is changing.
As we moved through the adoption process, I finally decided to go to Ethiopia in 2010. I certainly needed to see where our daughter was coming from and wanted to meet her before we brought her home. Suddenly my eyes were opened to a new world, a world that Donna had seen 2 years earlier.
My perspective changed on a dime. A singular moment in time.
As I served in a leprosy & AIDS village, I realized that I had no idea what the rest of the world was about. I had lived and traveled only in the U.S. and had not thought much further ahead than school, marriage, kids, job, retirement.
Isn’t that what most of us grow up around? Isn’t that what is expected of us? Isn’t that what we are told defines success? Suddenly and embarrassingly, it took me 39 years to realize that life is more than school, marriage, kids, job, retirement. Don’t misunderstand me. School, marriage, kids, and job are important and are privileges for most of us growing up in the U.S. I do not want to sound ungrateful.
I’m incredibly blessed. But what is expected of us and highly predictable is not what is always best for us. In fact, I believe life is meant to be much more.
In 2006, my father passed away at the age of 61. A very young 61. He had been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s at the age of 56 and we were told he’d likely had Alzheimer’s for 5 years. My father ‘contracted’ Alzheimer’s at the age of 51. 51! He had worked for the same company for 35 years. He earned an upper-middle class income, raised 2 boys, saved for retirement, & did all the right things.
But in August of 2006, my mom sat alone in their home trying to figure out how to spend the next 30 years of her life.
I began my career in 1995 upon graduation from college. I had a 19-year career in sales, most of which was spent in one industry. It was a career laced with great success, a firing here & there, and multiple positions and promotions earning a comfortable six-figure income.
In September 2013, I began having excruciating stomach pain. After multiple ER trips, multiple diagnostic tests, and a fun hospital stay, it was determined to be severe gastritis caused by anti-inflammatory meds and worsened by stress.
In June 2014, we were at a crossroads:
Continue to be miserable in a job that is less than fulfilling for a variety of reasons OR simply quit. I chose the latter.
Why? Because life is too short.
I’ve found that many people, like me, don’t figure this out until their 40’s. Many never figure it out. Often times, this epiphany manifests itself in the form of a mid-life crisis that divides families
We’re letting our mid-life epiphany bring us closer together.
So please join us as we begin a journey of the unknown, discovering wonders of the world and more about ourselves than we thought was ever possible.
We’re hoping following us on our journey will be fun for you. It should because we have no freaking idea what we’re doing.
We hope to inspire others to overcome fear and LIVE NOW.
What life epiphanies have you had? Is fear limiting your desire to make a life change?
What is your ‘live now’?