I leased a beautiful, brand new home back in 2007 when I moved to the east coast of Florida to work at the LPGA. At the time, I wasn’t sure where I wanted to live, but I was fortunate enough to stumble upon a development that was stuck in the bad real estate market. The owner needed cash flow and I needed a place to live. We struck a deal and I moved in.
But the irony was during that time, while the LPGA underwent numerous staff changes and restructuring, I never hung my framed pictures on the walls of my home because I never felt secure with my own job. Those pictures – still wrapped in moving paper – leaned against the walls for four years.
Finally, last fall, I felt at peace in my workplace and decided to decorate the walls of my home. The pictures were carefully positioned on the walls and I even joked to a friend that it took me four years to do it. And then, in January this year, I lost my job. Trying to find some humor in my new predicament, I joked to the same friend that I should have left the pictures leaning on the wall.
I doubt the framed pictures had anything to do with my present set of circumstances, but they have symbolically morphed into a greater concept of “redesign” that has taken center stage in my life. In fact, sometimes I think God -- or the universe -- puts things out there as hints for what you need to see and what you need to do as you stumble along in your daily existence. And as I follow the metaphoric breadcrumb trail leading me to who-knows-where, I’m struck by this whole concept of redesign. It is everywhere.
And not just on the walls of my home. The neighbors across the street, for example, have been sawing and hammering for weeks to redesign the interior rooms in their home. A few days ago, I walked with my neighbor -- a very thoughtful former Catholic nun -- and she talked to me about where I am right now – “redesigning” my life. Those were her words.
And that’s what it is. I’ve come to believe that is the healthiest way to view this hiccup called job loss. Even in those deep moments of fear and despair, I have to remind myself that all of these hints, messages and directional coincidences are there for a reason. I just have to be observant enough and intuitive enough to “get it” and to realize the options I have in redesigning my life.
I also have to see this redesign as an opportunity for growth and not a time to be angry. I don’t want to spend this precious time being pissed off at the LPGA or at anybody else, but rather, to see it as a space that has been opened up to shape my future and to restructure the floor plan of my present. Just as the neighbors cut and saw closets and flooring in modified patterns from the original design, I have to find comfort in my own redesign and see the rest of my life as “here’s where I want to go and here’s how I want to do it.”
The concept of redesign for me is very important because it allows me to take an unforeseen and detrimental situation and turn it into an opportunity to redefine my objectives and to more clearly see how I want to live my life. It also has forced me to explore what I want my purpose to be. Sometimes when life is easy and the pictures are hanging nicely, you sort of operate on cruise control. You never dream of taking a wrecking ball to your own peaceful existence. Happy or not, fulfilled or not, challenged and stimulated or not, you settle for status quo, draw your paycheck and marvel at how fast the years are blowing by.
These days, I shake my head a lot at so many coincidental reminders. From the screaming band saw across the street, to the wise and even-keeled nun walking her dog, to a friend who is a cancer survivor who assures me that “everything is happening right on time,” and to the tourist from San Francisco in a restaurant who overheard my conversation about spirituality and stopped by my table to say this is a “peaceful place to be,” the directional hints seem to be as abundant as my many blessings.
I am doing a redesign right now. I don’t have all the answers. I don’t know how all the pieces of the parquet are going to fit together or even if they will. And I have no idea what the “windows” will look like or even how to anticipate the feel of the finished product. It’s all up for redesign, but it is happening. It seemingly takes some degree of demolition to produce the optimal environment for contentment and comfort.
Maybe if I just go with it, do the hard work, try to initiate movement, network, ask good questions, follow up and really give some thought to what I want the rest of my life to look like, this redesign could be the best thing that ever happened to me.
So what if I finally hung up the pictures after so many years? Even if I have to take them down, pack them up and leave, the few months of pleasure I received while they adorned the walls of my home were – unbeknownst to me – the real beginning of a new plan. And maybe as my friend says, everything truly is happening right on time.
- Lisa D. Mickey, Feb. 10, 2012