The Road from my Conventional Dream Life (Not So Dreamy)
…Into my Unconventionally FEEL GOOD Life.
Not so long ago, I was a well paid board certified physician (well, I still am well paid and a board certified physician it just looks different) with a lovely gracious home (6000 square feet to be exact complete with acid washed marble counter tops and crystal chandeliers!) AND a lovely vacation getaway. Dream life right? In many ways it was. Only trouble was I was miserable. All the “stuff” I thought would make me happy really didn’t.For one thing, I was so dang exhausted after working 10 hour days at the hospital and the remaining 6-7 caring for my brood (4 fabulous kids and a dog plus husband) that the thought of “getting away” to our lake cabin sounded like Chinese water torture. Really? At 5 PM on Friday (after a 9 hour day at work) pack up and then start cooking and cleaning all over again in a new location, only to return in 43 hours later and get up and go back to work on Monday (plus add life guard, s’more maker and day camp activity coordinator on to that list) My Mom was disappointed….she did not understand why I didn’t want to come up to the lake…they did not understand the stress and strain I was under. There was no reason they should have either, my Mom had been a stay at home mom for most of those years and they loved the experience.Did I mention my husband was also a first born over achiever like myself? We were both such aces at “pushing” through whatever it was. You get really good at completely ignoring any of your personal needs or bodily functions in medical school. You learn its honorable to push through whatever it is. So we kept pushing through and pushing through but pretty soon it was just downright miserable.
How did we get to this place of unconsciousness you ask?
I was so dang exhausted and had gotten so good at delayed gratification at that point it came naturally.
I think I believed somehow the fancy new kitchen would help. THEN, I would be happy. No, wait wait- I know!! It’s the Disney Cruise….it was very fun- but not lasting. Hmmm….well let’s try the extra fancy plot of land with a view of the Lake….we’ll build a new dream home?? Remember, 4 little kids, a spouse who was consumed by his work too, and me, exhausted.
I was getting through but, I felt like there was no breathing room at all. When my kids would get sick my heart would sink—who should I let down? My kids (me) or my partners at work (some of them were none too happy when my kids started getting every bug known to man- like kids do in day care in the early years). It just felt wrong at times, shortchanging my little sweet people (by medicating them with Tylenol and sending them to daycare knowing full well they were sick)….or the alternative…I’d stay home (or split the day with my husband) and be wracked with guilt and worried that my partners were getting “slammed” without enough doctors to do the day’s work- or worse yet their resentment was growing.
Welcome to (my version) of the Fantastic Modern Woman’s American Dream
I felt like neither a good mom NOR a good employee… yet I (apparently) had it “all.”
Now, for those of you who say I am a whiner- fair enough…just quit reading – this article is not for you.
One day, feeling like enough was enough, I just had to do something. I had been reading everything from Deepak to Marianne Williamson and while they were helpful…some of it felt so pie in the sky. I did not know where to begin. I hired a life coach. I must admit, I did it under the dark secrecy of night- I did tell my husband but no one else. Horrors! What it somebody “knew” that I had a Coach?? Preposterous! Smart professionals figure these things out on their own, right? Hell- I was desperate- I wanted my life to be MORE (fun?).
Hiring a coach turned out to be the best darn thing I ever did.
Just 35 minutes a week on the phone for 3-4 months put me back on the map of my life and back on the road to my best destiny. Cost? At the time about the equivalent of a nice week at a resort. Value? BEYOND priceless. I got my life back and started having fun again.
What did my coach “do”?
Well, it many ways it’s what she did not do. She did not judge me. She did not have any agenda on what I should do. She gently taught me how to return to my own internal guidance….to re-learn what I had unlearned SO VERY WELL. She taught me how – with a few simple tools to follow my bliss to my destiny. She reminded me to dream and dream BIG again. In fact, years later I realized the experience was so powerful that I decided I wanted to try my hand at Coaching. Turns out, I am pretty darn good at it and its been so delightful to watch other s (like me) move from stuck and frustrated and unhappy….to seeing the possibilities, the freedom the joy that is possible.
A year later, we sold our cabin, our big fancy “dream” house and lot with a view and now live in a gorgeous, simple more modern house that is near the woods. Last year I took a 6 month sabbatical from my Medical position and decided to devote my time 100% professionally to my Coaching Career. I got additional coach training through Martha Beck Inc. and now adore working with my 1:1 coaching clients.
Having all that free time helped me rediscover Nature. My passion has become connecting people to Nature. Turns out, it’s a fun and really powerful way to reconnect to yourself. I now co-host a popular podcast on Animal Totems with Coach Tami McCall called Squirrel! Radio. This connection to Nature seems to have a magical effect on everybody it touches.
I am having a ball! I adore my work-it is my PLAY.
I have time for my family, travel and all of the things I love to do.
How did all this seemingly radical change happen?
One tiny step at a time, with a Coach as my ally to provide support and shine the light of possibility on my life. The tools I learned changed the way I looked at life forever.
Want to hear an interview where I talk more about making fearless change? Check out Martha Beck Certified Coach Deb Droz’s Blog and LISTEN to her interview of me here.