The bright yellow male goldfinch flew gracefully, yet deliberately, to and from the bird feeder outside of the sliding glass window as the sun highlighted his beautiful wings.
I sat quietly holding my friend, Maureen, in my arms as she slept and I watched the bird, so busy with his task. My friend was nearing the end of her time in this life as we know it. She was peaceful, stirring only when discomfort or pain broke through her attempt at sleep. Just a short three weeks before, I had sat with her at the Cancer Community Center while she was awaiting treatment.
"I thought I had more time," she had said to me.
"I know," I replied.
We never know how much time we have. I sit with many of my clients in career transition, who struggle with finding their passion or not finding a new opportunity soon enough. Often, clients want time to move quickly when they are in transition. They want answers immediately and they wonder what might be the best direction to take.
During transition, it's good to balance reflection with action. Try something out and see if it fits. This could lead to seeing that you have more than one passion.
Maureen's long list of passions became evident to me as so many visitors came and went in her final days.
- She was a master gardener with beautiful flower gardens around her home.
- She cared deeply about feeding the hungry and planted a vegetable garden at the local library with the fruits of her labor going to the local food pantry.
- She loved to bike and was part of a regular biking group.
- She had a strong desire to help others with their fight against cancer, raising more than $45,000 over a 10-year period for the Jimmy Fund.
- She enjoyed her college sorority friends and worked diligently to keep them connected by maintaining a contact list.
- And she was a lover of dogs, especially her two yellow labs, Candy and Belle.
Maureen did not have one passion, but many passions. I encourage each of you in a time of transition to try many things. Volunteer. Take an art class. Try a new sport. Join a writer's group or book club.
Whatever you do, do not wait. Try new things now while you have the time: between jobs, before or after work, on the weekends, whenever you can. And, you may be surprised and inspired with what you discover.
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