How many times have you obsessed over how to say just the right thing in just the right way so as not to offend someone you care about? Or perhaps tried to say something in a way that would not upset or offend your boss or coworker? Knowing what you need and saying it without sounding defensive or aggressive isn’t always easy. But life’s too short to be subtle! Leaving your fate to chance is like taking the long way around with the possibility that you may never arrive. It’s never too late to set new goals and go after your heart’s desire.

Life's too short

Here’s a little excerpt  from a Next Avenue post by contributor Patricia Corrigan that illustrates my point:

While fixing my leaky faucet, the plumber blurted out: “I’ve lost my passion for this work. I’ve been at it for so long, and the passion just isn’t there anymore.”

We commiserated, and before he left, we had concluded that at some level, every job is just a job. We also spoke about how important it is to balance work with leisure time. And we agreed it’s important to evaluate our work lives from time to time. Even if we can’t make dramatic changes, we can tweak this or adjust that, in the hope of finding more satisfaction on the job.

I did, and it worked. I enjoy writing about the arts more than stories with political angles, and said so often — to all the wrong people. One day, I simply called the editor. “Arts stories and profiles — assign those to me,” I said. Inspired by my own moxie, I added, “Also, I am not accepting any more assignments about cancer. Just because I’ve had it doesn’t mean I want to write about it. I don’t. The editor learned something new — and so did I. Life is too short to be subtle.

That conversation was about small changes, tweaks if you will. She clearly stated what she needed, and set a clear boundary by making it known she would not accept cancer assignments any longer. These small changes can be incredibly helpful, but big changes can not only keep you in the game, they can completely change things up for you!

I learned this when I changed careers years ago. I was formerly a commercial interior designer specializing primarily in health care settings: hospitals and doctor’s offices. But I had lost my passion for this work. After the last major recession my career and our country endured, like millions of others, I decided that was a good time to explore other options. I had been at the same career for 26 years plus, and wanted something new and challenging.

That meant going back to school and becoming what they call a “non-traditional student”, which is sort of a euphemism for ‘the old lady among the fresh-out-of-undergrad types.’ At least that is what it felt like. This was neither a small nor a subtle change!

No Regrets

But I tell you what, I have not regretted for one moment the decision I made to go back and take on this challenge. It has made me a better person, and given me the evidence and personal efficacy to know that I could do something different and difficult at a point in my life when most are headed towards retirement. Knowing the struggle first hand gives me insight into the struggles that you may have with challenges of this nature.

Balancing school, work, and managing a family is no small feat, and requires adjustments from family members to help with daily tasks. Sometimes you just have to let a few things go, and you learn that your children can be great helpers when they are given a little more age-commensurate responsibility.

Life’s Too Short To Be Subtle!

What are the some of the things you want to do or learn? How do you want to change? What else might you like to become? Your story is not over, and you have many more than just one.

Let’s figure it out together. Shoot me an email and let’s see if it might be helpful to sort out a few new priorities. After all, isn’t life too short to be subtle?