Thursday, November 29, 2012

Holy Moly...Life Changes and then some!

I am not even sure where to begin. I see my last post was to say that I started the law firm with two partners, which I did slightly more than 2 years ago. It consumed me quite honestly. I had no time whatsoever for exercise, little time for family (although I found ways to make time for family), and my "triathlon" consisted of networking like mad, working and meeting with clients, and getting as involved as possible in the community. At one point I was on 7 or 8 Boards, and was trying to narrow it down to 4.   In Junior League, I chaired the Public Affairs Committee and quite honestly discovered my passion... Advocating for healthy food access for all Americans, especially those living in food deserts. It made me crazy to see kids in town who because they were poor only have access to junk food because fast food restaurants take SNAP and there were no groceries in their neighborhoods. So I galvanized the states' Junior Leagues, had a bill introduced, worked like the dickens to get it passed.  It didn't pass. At midnight on the last day of the Florida legislative session when there was officially no chance, I cried and had a few choice words for the politicians. I was in love with trying to make a difference and being the voice for those whose voice is often unheard. I didn't give up though. I've kept working at it and have gotten the Department of Agriculture to host a Food Access Policy stakeholders meeting which is coming up. Working on this - when I was/am working on it are the happiest moments of my professional life.
During all of this, I lost 40 pounds and went through an initially hellish roller coaster in my marriage. Mr. Darcy and I ran the chance at points of not making it to our 15th anniversary. But I actually look back gratefully at it all because in the process I realized I was, for the most part, not living my life but the life of someone who worried what everyone else thought about me and did everything I could to do what they wanted, or what I thought they wanted of me. And I slowly found myself again. I even figured out that was what I was chasing down in my triathlons - something just for me.
In finding myself, I found that for all his flaws, I did not want to leave Mr. Darcy and my plot to lose 40 pounds and then divorce him wasn't really what I wanted. We been through counseling together (and some separately for me to help me on my journey to be the me I was out here to be) and we had an amazingly wonderful 15th anniversary, which we celebrated in France! (Ladybug and Angelfish stayed home... Part of the week with Grammie & Papa and the other with dear friends.)
Yet, I couldn't figure out, or perhaps did not want to acknowledge it, but I was still unhappy except for when I was working on advocacy work. And then one day the neon sign turned on in my head. It was something I had wrestled with for a long time - the fact that I have never liked being an attorney. I love the people and learning their stories, but the lawyering and the business of being an attorney. But this time, there was more to the neon sign... It was the truth of what I wanted to do with myself - to work to make change in the lives of those who need it most. So I went home and Mr. Darcy and I had long talks and I did a good bit of praying, and dedicated a counseling session to this topic. And I knew. I've ironically been praying for more than a year for God to show me the path I needed to set my feet upon and follow. And for once it was calm and peaceful and as though it was the most obvious thing in the world and I had no clue how I had taken this long to figure it out. And Mr. Darcy in full support, I made my decision which may not have been the best received news in the world yet I know it was the right choice for me.
As of 5 pm on November 16, 2012, I transferred my ownership in the firm to my partners, said goodbye to clients (so many of whom and very sweet and kind words about what I meant to them as their attorney and even more so as a friend), and set out. I've interviewed for a few positions, and submitted my résumé and interest for other positions and I am waiting. I know that I am on the path I am intended to be on.
For now, I am looking for a position in the nonprofit sector and enjoying the time and the life I have. It is nice to have time with the girls, who believe it or not are in 1st grade and are as smart as can be and who are reading on almost a 3rd grade level, doing math and everything! I'm enjoying taking my time cooking nice, healthy meals every night without being strapped for time and energy. Doing errands and cleaning during the week.
And returning to things I love that I haven't done in ages. Blogging (although I am not sure the title still works as i haven't done a race in more than 2 years). Exercising - I started this week with yoga since I started the week with a head cold. And I find myself itching to run. I signed up to do a 5K color run with some friends in mid-January, so I need to lace up and hit the road. Yesterday, I saw a fellow blogger of old posted about committing to almost 1 mile per day every day of December and I am seriously contemplating it. I've even been thinking about my bike, but I'm not sure when my next triathlon will be. I'll figure all of that out in good time.Photography - a photo a day themed on The holidays... Which I have decided to do. Time for and with friends and family.
Perhaps most of all I am working on being present in everything I do instead of thinking about the next thing that has to be done, but yet keeping to do lists so I don't drop any balls. I have to say, it is much easier now. I am happy and eagerly awaiting the next chapter in my life to unfold.
So much has changed while I have been gone, but it was all for the best....

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