I am a 49-year-old, soon-to-be empty-nester. Forty-nine New Year’s Eves have come and gone. I have been involved in many goal setting meetings, year-end planning sessions, and bought lots of journals to organize my plans for the upcoming year. I have made and broken more resolutions than I can keep track of. Consistently though, there is one habit that has resurfaced over and over again. That habit is the act of REINVENTING myself.
Reinvent: verb. To change (something) so much that it appears to be entirely new.
The first time I recall reinventing myself was in high school. The summer before my freshman year, the braces came off, the SUN IN was applied, and the wardrobe was updated to include plenty of fashionable high school gear. My first day at Riverside High School, I intentionally sat beside new people and made my first new friend in homeroom, Leah Campbell (who is still one of my closest friends 35 years later). The next time I reinvented myself was when I went to college. My high school boyfriend and I had broken up after my freshman year which forced a “reinvent” resolve in me. I made myself branch out, make new friends, and join a sorority. Those next 3 years of college were some of the most exciting, crazy, and friendship-building years of my life. Fast forward to graduation and moving to Tacoma, Washington, where I had to reinvent myself again as the wife of an Army soldier, 3000 miles from home, where “Southern” was not very popular.
Reinventing ourselves is just a part of life, and those that can’t or won’t reinvent themselves seem to get stuck in the past. They pine away for “what use to be” or “could have been” or “should be.” If this is where you are today, use the New Year to dream and decide to move out of that rut you have been living in. Consider taking a Clifton StrengthsFinder assessment here to jump start your vision and gain some self-awareness. Use this assessment to teach you what you are naturally talented in and then go for it!
I can promise you this, REINVENTING myself has taught me that my best days are not behind me, but ahead of me. Have the courage to join me in this habit in 2017.