In our ever changing world, reinventing our life has become more and more of a necessity as each of us struggles to keep pace with the advent of new technology, the rapidly shifting job market, and new ideas of what society deems possible for both women and men.
Reinvention has almost acquired a hip quality. If you don’t make a career shift at least once in your life, you run the risk of being left behind, of not keeping up with the times. Still, radical change is not for everyone, whether financially or emotionally, and many who stay with one career throughout their lives can say they are lucky to have found the one path that fulfills and challenges them for years. I know, as just one example, many of those who dedicate their lives to teaching would agree.
But those that choose to, or have to, make a change must be nimble as they adjust their lives and priorities to new realities. Having a carefully laid out roadmap, while also being flexible as you transition to your new life, are paramount.
Are you looking to make a change? Do you know others that have? These days, it seems, if it’s not you transitioning, it is likely someone you know or someone you recently met.
I recently had a good fortune to meet someone who made such a leap. I found his story interesting and inspiring so I thought I’d share it here, although I have changed his name and omitted some details to protect privacy.
Last month, my husband and I got a rare weekend away from the kids. We decided to not go far, rather spending our time together in a quiet way in the countryside. We drove a couple of hours north of the city.
Imagine a quaint artsy community in a picturesque setting on the banks of the Hudson River. It is a buzzing town in summer time, as many visitors come up from New York, wanting a respite from the city for a few days. In the winter, though, the town is quiet. The coffee shops, stores and restaurants are mostly empty.
The stillness of the town offered us a perfect opportunity to recharge.
We booked a room at a B&B that was a short walk to the center of town. It turned out that we were the only guests that weekend – the B&B, a beautifully restored Victorian from the turn of last century, was all ours for 2 days!
Our host, Steve, was welcoming and warm. After the initial introductions and a bit of chitchat about what the town had to offer, Steve left us to settle in.
The next morning we were alone in the breakfast room as Steve prepared our meal. Feeling at home in his cozy house, we began to talk about our lives. Where we are from, what brought us to town, and what brought him there as well years before.
We told him that we were considering taking our girls to Disney World for the first time. Disney – where dreams come true – would be a perfect getaway for our 4 and 6 year-olds. Funny coincidence – Steve said that he used to work for Disney, in a publishing division. No, a B&B proprietor was not his first career. He worked for Disney for many years and, lucky for us, was full of useful information and tips.
Always curious, I wanted to know more about him! How did he transition from media to hospitality? How long ago? Why a B&B?
He told us the transition was not a quick one, but one he was sure about. This town was his weekend get-away for years. He loved spending time here and wanted to make it a home but the two-hour commute to New York was not for the light-hearted. At first, he continued to be a weekender, but over time he made a decision to settle here permanently.
He fell in love with a fixer-upper Victorian in his neighborhood that offered a lot of potential as a bed-an-breakfast. Still, through shear determination and maybe a bit of magic, he continued to commute to New York for 5 more years, as he finished the renovations.
Not quite a Disney fairy-tale. Or is it?
The Disney publication he worked on is no longer in print – the readership dwindled as more people turned to the Internet. But no matter! Steve has found a new calling.
He is still making people happy. But his service is now personal, the information he shares more tailored. If you are looking for a home away from home for a few days, you’ll find it when you enter his B&B. He’ll do his best to make your wishes come true.