Change doesn’t happen overnight. It’s not as if we landed back in the U.S. and suddenly our lives magically improved. Certainly our new attitudes set the tone, but there was lots of work to be done. Jason was returning to his previous job, which did not excite either of us, and I was on the lookout for fulfillment…whatever that looked like.
Before we returned, we had both pinpointed ways to re-create the balance and happiness we'd found in Australia. I was going to start singing again. It’s something that brought me joy throughout college and I’d not pursued it much after. I started researching groups before we said our goodbyes, and literally 6 days after we landed in Boise, I auditioned. Thanks to a 20 year gap in performances, it was the worst audition I’d ever had, but I got IN. My audition was good enough, and that’s all that mattered.
Jason, who had missed his adventure buddies, started a weekly workout group. Every Tuesday, in the wee hours of the morning, he’d meet a small group of guys at an outdoor gym. They’d goad, push, and laugh themselves through a 20-30 minute workout. Afterwards, they’d be sure to chastise anyone who didn’t show. Oddly, at least to me, more and more people wanted to join in the pain-fest and now he consistently has 5-8 buddies show up twice a week, rain, snow, or shine, for a workout and brekkie (Australian for “breakfast”).
We were off to a great start, but there was more to do.
It took us a good month or more to settle back into our house. And in all honesty, there are still a few boxes we haven’t opened since returning! But after providing a livable space for the family, I turned my focus back on me. What did I want to do when I grew up?
I have been doing design work for most of my working life. Over the years, I've used my architecture degree and I’ve also dabbled in some graphic work. I love design. I love the intention, the creativity, the final product, but I have never loved the process. The process always wore on me and I internalized every hurdle. Yet, I was even more paralyzed by the thought of doing something completely different. How do you start over at 40? And where do you even start?
I wasn’t sure, but I was going to find out.