• Julie

What's with all of the fluff?

#community #friends #midlife #40something #worklifebalance #capecod #boston #commuting #professionaldevelopment #life #conservation #savebuzzardsbay #thetrustees #vizwhizzusa #senseofhumor #laugh

Blogging is only one of the new things that I now have time for. As of March of 2018, I have felt a sort of social and professional liberation because that is when I left my job commuting to Boston, and founded Sea Level Solutions.

I have had a great several months getting to know other business folks as I have been networking to build relationships locally. In April, I decided that I would fill the time I used to spend commuting with healthy and meaningful activities. I started volunteering as a land steward for both The Trustees and the Buzzards Bay Coalition, helping the respective organizations build new trails and clean up existing ones. I have made more time to hike and explore with my beloved vizsla dog Rose, and became a pack leader for the Southcoast and Cape for Viz Whizz New England, a not-for-profit dog club that organizes dog meet-ups for Vizslas and other athletic dogs to hike in groups.I have also reconnected with friends who I had lost touch with. In early June, I went to my alumni weekend and met up with former classmates from my alma mater, Emerson College. In subsequent weeks all summer, I spent time with friends from high school and college, more than ever, since I had time.

Nostalgia gets the best of us all sometimes. When I look at myself and friends, I start to see the age in our faces. But sometimes I still feel like a teenager. Age signs are growing on all of us- the eye wrinkles; smile lines; the age spots. Some friends have battled autoimmune disorders; some have beat cancer, and some are tragically already gone from overdosing or losing the fight to cancer. How did this happen? We were immortal back in the 90s and early 00s.

One of the best things about having wonderful, long-term friends is that they remind you of how, although we all have evolved over the years, we were once naive, stupid and a little crazy (some of us more or less than others). Now in our 40s, we often give appreciative nods to each other when one of us finishes a story and says, "Thank God there was no social media or phone cameras back in the 90s!" Having a sense of humor diverts many a crisis. If I have any wisdom at all to bestow on younger folks, that would be it.

I won't call it a midlife crisis, because my change in attitude is far from a crisis. I am quite the late bloomer, and it took me into my 30s to really begin to focus and have confidence professionally and personally. I stand in a great paradigm now, and I love my life.

I just finished up 7 years of commuting to Boston every weekday from the Cape Cod Canal area of Massachusetts. I can't tell you how many people have told me that I was crazy for commuting that far. I rode the bus an extra 20-25 hours a week, on top of the 40 plus hours of work at my last job. Well guess what? I was not alone on the bus I took each day. In fact, almost every bus during commuter hours is full of commuters.

I did it because I was hungry for knowledge and experience at an institution with a wonderful mission.

One of the most beautiful and paradoxically difficult things about living on the lower South Shore/Cape Cod is that there is very little industry. It is difficult to find a professional job with growth opportunity. There are plenty of beautiful natural resources here, but no big businesses with exciting projects to feed a hungry-for-challenging-work project manager. Over the years, the commute dug more and more at me, and when I was asked to find another role in my organization, because mine was being omitted, I took that as an opportunity to focus on pursuing the next phase of my professional path closer to home.

...because "fluff" is the joy that fills our life

I don't want to keep saying, “where has the time gone?” I want to live in the now. I want to work hard, but have time left over to enjoy myself and be with my family, as well as relieve any stress in healthy ways. I want to spend time outside. I know what stress feels like, and i know how it feels physically, mentally, spiritually when i have too much of it. I know that I need to work on managing it, because stress tends to creep in like fog.

I have decided to have a section of my professional blog devoted to lifestyle, community, and fun. The good stuff. I am going to ask friends and others to write about what they love to do. I hope you enjoy the posts that are here and the variety that is forthcoming. If you have any interest in becoming a contributing vlog/blogger, please email me jules@slevelsolutions.com



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