When you think about certain things (or one certain thing) you used to do, or talk about these activities in the past tense to others, do you feel a twinge of regret?
When that regret passes across your consciousness, do you shove it down or ignore it? Do you wait a second or two until the small ache in your chest subsides, so you can pretend it wasn’t there, that it doesn’t matter?
Do you feel like it’s too late for you, that those things that you loved to do are simply part of a past you, a you who doesn’t exist today?
I hope not. It’s not too late.
Maybe there are some things that truly you can’t realistically do anymore, and some you really don’t want to do anymore, but I’m quite sure there are some activities that had great meaning in your past that would still have great meaning today.
I have a coaching client that I have been working with for several years, she was a member of my Live a Life You Love Club and then became a one-on-one coaching client. She started working with me, as so many do, because she was so tired of her life, working overtime in a very stressful job that she disliked, with no time for wellness, self-care or much fun of any kind.
She is actually the one who first talked to me about the concept of the “I used to’s”. She had attended a professional conference and heard a speaker talk about the fact that her very stressful, time-intensive line of work tended to turn a once-balanced, enjoyable life into a life consisting of little more than work and a bunch of “I used to’s.”
In this scenario, so common in today’s world, you effectively lose yourself and so many of the activities that make you who you are. Life becomes one-dimensional and often frankly unbearable.
My client had a very long list of “I used to’s”.
I used to swim.
I used to run.
I used to be in shape.
I used to write.
I used to immerse myself in photography.
I used to go to church.
Her list went on and on.
Today, she has left that job behind and is on a brand new adventure. We are on a mission to get her “I used to’s” back up and running, and a number of them are well on their way to being fully resurrected as a constant presence in her life.
As I write this, she is on a dream vacation in Paris, taking a writing course. When I see the images of the Seine which she posts to Instagram (she is a brilliant photographer as well as a writer), I choke up. Even though I have walked this entire journey with her, the transformation and joy in her life still amazes me. She is an incredibly talented woman who has found her voice and has found the courage to fully inhabit her gifting and potential.
You may not be able to leave your work behind and completely transform your life, as she has, but I know that you can get some of those “I used to’s” re-established in your life again. You will feel so much better for it.
Why not make a list of your “I used to’s” now?
Then pick one, and decide how you’ll take the first step toward having it in your life again.
If you too are longing to make some significant changes to your life, why not consider joining my 5th annual Live a Life You Love Club in 2017? I have started a waitlist for those who want to have the first chance to apply in November of this year; by being on the list you’ll also have the first opportunity to qualify for early-bird bonuses. For more information and to reserve your spot on the list, visit my Live a Life You Love Club web page.