“At the end of the day, our life is in our hands. What will you do with yours?” Debbie Ford
Hello and welcome !
Do you have a dream, an unfulfilled wish for something that you would like to have or do in your life? Do you hear a little nagging voice that tells you that there might be something more or something better? Have you drifted along in your life and suddenly wondered, how did I get here?
Me too. My name is Michele. I am a writer and educator, working in Madison, Wisconsin.
I painfully realized that the life I had been living was no longer the life that I wanted. I quit my job, we sold our house, and we moved to a new city. It was my chance to start over, to create my dream life and to start to fulfill all those nagging dreams.
I’m still not sure where I found the courage to make such drastic changes, but for once I am listening to my inner voice and it is telling me to bet on myself. I’m taking a risk to lead life on my terms, and so far it feels pretty good!
It’s not that my former life was bad. I spent many years as teacher, reading specialist and college professor. I have a Master’s Degree in Reading and a Ph.D. in Education. I loved my career, especially my students and colleagues. I was very successful; I earned tenure and was well on my way to gaining full professor status. I worked hard, won several teaching awards and gained the respect of people I worked with.
My husband, two daughters, various pets and I lived in a big house in the country. We put all of our hopes and dreams into the house, which we built on my husband’s grandfather’s farm. I loved decorating that house, at almost 4000 square feet there was a lot to decorate! We built elaborate gardens and even designed and built our own flagstone walkways and patios. It was a beautiful house and it served us well.
However, there was a downside to my life. I often worked twelve hours a day. My husband and I both had long commutes. Did I mention we live in Wisconsin? Those commutes seemed to get longer, snowier and colder. The golden retriever died and the girls left home. The dream house in the country required a lot of maintenance. With a heavy duty career and a big house, I was left with little time for myself. My health suffered, as did my relationships with family and friends. I knew we had to make a change.
At 5:00 one morning I got a phone call. My mother had suffered a massive heart attack and died. There was no warning; she had not been ill. My mother did not get to realize her retirement dreams. Her death was not the cause of the changes in my life, but it was a catalyst, pushing me forward. Then both my cousin and my sister-in-law died from cancer, another painful reminder to me that life is short and the time to go after whatever we want or dream of doing is now, not in some distant future when we have more time.
So here I am. I own a web domain and a blog. I designed a website, which may not be perfect, but I am proud to say that I did it myself. I am redesigning my life day by day. I want a simpler, healthier and happier life. I want to enjoy life more, to live in the present and to be present for others. I don’t have all the answers, but I am focused on making my life the best it can be.
People always ask me for advice. I like to gather information from many sources and then sift out the best ideas. The teacher in me loves to take something time consuming or complicated and break it down in order to share it with others. I love to use stories to make sense of the world.
I have a long standing passion for personal development. I have designed a blueprint for creating my best life. Now I want to help you be the architect of your own life.
You can live an okay life, or you can live a great one. I am going for great. Join me and together we will redesign our lives!
Ford, Debbie, The Best Year of Your Life, Harper, 2005