Ten years ago would find me hosting a team of entrepreneurs at a job fair, working in healthcare four days per week, planning holiday travels, and riding my bike or taking long walks in my neighborhood. I lived in the west suburbs of Chicago and spent a lot of time in my car. Traffic, you know!
Twenty years ago would find me learning to landscape my yard and live the married life, working full time, planning holiday travels, adjusting to a new diagnosis of a pain condition, and feeling glad to have my Master of Science degree completed at last. Painting and decorating the townhouse would preoccupy the weekends in addition to long drives to a Christian mega church on Sunday morning.
Thirty years ago would find me finishing my fieldwork in occupational therapy at a State hospital in Michigan, beginning to search for my first professional job, and balancing family dynamics as a college graduate under my mom’s roof. Time with friends and a steady boyfriend dominated my free time.
My how times have changed! This past year I got sick with a serious illness, met the qualifications to become a Master Gardener, started a jewelry business, hosted a booth in two craft shows, took a hiatus from weekly kayaking in a performance surf ski, and learned the true meaning of love in the eyes of my beloved Steve. The only things missing are the planning of holiday travels and spending a lot of time in my, er, truck. No car anymore and no suburban living anymore! I live in a small town near what they call a “big little town” and I like it.
Work is different too. I work 2 to 6 hours most nights, in the middle of the night, for my online jewelry business and not in a clinic somewhere. You could also say that I work to get well from Lyme Disease and its co-infections, requiring about 4 hours per day of various tasks that would bore you to list them right now. (See the Survival Tips page if you’re interested!) I’ve always valued “work” and have worked since my first babysitting job as a teenager. Twice before I’ve started my own business. The study of occupation has been with me and has helped me re-invent my career many times over the years. I am grateful for most of it!
If I just gotta be me, then I guess I have landed squarely at a place that reflects who I am and who I have been all of my life. I do believe my life is softer around the edges as the Lord has allowed many trials and blessings to shape who I am today. There is so much more to learn, do, see, be. In this moment, I am grateful for all the Lord has given me, good and bad. After all, I met you didn’t I? :J
Take this moment in time
To create something beautiful:
A world where we move closer together
With eyes for our Savior, Immanuel,
Where our stories speak with gentleness for
The paths taken and those we did not,
And the work of our hands makes a difference
In today and beyond . . .
For grace will be our companion
His love, peace, and joy.
Life becomes a journey worth the taking,
Would we really want it any other way?
(Julie Lech, July 2006)