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The Summer of my Vision Board

Joined: 11/6/2008
Posts: 702
Maybe I finally figured out how to relax, or maybe I am actually putting my priorities where they need to be. Maybe my girls have reached the magical age where I am not nursing or constantly monitoring their every move inside the house or in the yard. Maybe this summer I decided to embrace simplicity and revel in it.

Whatever the reasons, I am proud to say that this summer I am living my Vision Board.

The whole concept of “vision board” might need some further explanation. Last summer I felt completely wrecked. After creating curriculum for the Summer Academic Enrichment Program at McDaniel College and teaching for the month of July, I realized that I only had a few weeks remaining in my 15 month stint as a stay at home Mommy (to Story – then 15 months, and Raina – then 5 years old). The bleak reality of going back to work full-time caused me to panic. I couldn’t sleep. I had trouble focusing. I blamed my husband for not being able to provide for us so that I could stay home with my girls. Time was water slipping dangerously through my fingers and I couldn’t hold on. I felt trapped and empty and angry all at once.

One of our good friends sent out a message that she was looking for volunteers to test her new life coach company, and my husband signed both of us up for a four week course that primarily used the Success Finder 2.0 model for a common dialogue about what was working and what wasn’t working in our personal and professional lives. I wasn’t just reluctant at the idea, but a bit livid that my husband believed that this would be the panacea to nurse me back to mental health and get rid of my increasing bitterness in the face of becoming a working mommy. To me, it wasn’t that simple. I didn’t want to send my baby away to day care and my older daughter into the new world of kindergarten without a mommy who would be at the beckon call of classroom volunteerism or cupcake fantasy creations for special school occasions. I simply wanted to be home rather than return to the unbalanced life of trying to juggle work, time with my girls and time for myself.

In short, I was a miserable human being, and I didn’t want anyone to tell me what I needed. I knew what I needed was to stay home, and I knew that we couldn’t afford my need, thus, the circular struggle.

Regardless of my reluctance about the whole life coach thing, I realized that it couldn’t hurt to at least explore the Success Finder 2.0. What did I have to lose?

After I agreed, my husband and I went to Borders and bought our copies. After taking the quizzes I learned that I am strongest in Ideation, Input, Activator, Maximizer and Strategic. Somehow putting names to my strengths helped open up the dialogue between my husband and me about why I wasn’t happy at work and why I needed a change. It didn’t feel like complaining or wincing at the idea of having to work and be a mommy, it was like getting a diagnosis to a prolonged illness. I am amazing at what I do, but something about my work environment doesn’t necessarily appreciate the gifts that I have. My strengths are not valued.

Our assignment for Week Two revolved around creating a Vision Board or a picture of success. This concept which was popularized by Oprah touting The Secret (in particular the Law of Attraction) is a basic activity. Visualizing what your absolute dream of a future would be, create a “board” (which can take on any form – my husband, for instance, made his a screensaver, so each time he logs in to start his day the first thing that he sees is his vision board).

I scoured my magazine collection – National Geographic, Health, Self, Time, Food and Wine, and Rachel Ray, and created a serene landscape of pictures that made me feel light and relaxed – a couple reading books on a beach, a picture of our vacation to Disney World, a woman practicing yoga in Sedona, and me smiling with my girls. With glitter and simplicity, I knew when it was finished that it was my ideal, my dream, the life that I would love to live.

I was proud of it and loved mounting it by my desk when I returned to work – my daily reminder as I sat down to begin each day that with deep breaths and focus, I could choose a life that I dreamed.

And maybe through the power of visualization or the law of attraction or the choices that I made for my summer (giving up teaching during the month of July even though the pay was excellent and my colleagues amazing and the experience empowering), I have achieved 98% of my vision board. Maybe my goals weren’t that hard to achieve or maybe I didn’t think far enough into my future.

The truth is that I don’t really care how far into my future I should be reaching or how big my goals should be. I just know that this summer, I am living my Vision Board. I am relaxed and open. I am practicing yoga at the most amazing yoga studio and learning new ways to breathe calmness into my life. I am able to see my beautiful girls (Story – 2; and Raina – 6) transform into backyard butterflies and mermaids. I am able to read in the afternoon without the pressure of work or deadlines or the impending doom of the alarm clock at 5am.

I am able to live the mesmerizing, nurturing, choice filled life that I dreamed up last summer at a time in my life where I felt lost.

I can’t ask for a better summer than that.
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Comment by mcoly618

Joined: 5/2/2009
Posts: 472
Hi, my name is Megan and I am Stage of Life's PR coordinator. I just wanted to let you know that we featured your essay on the Stage of Life Facebook page today. If you would like to check it, out go to

Feel free to share the news with your friends and family. You're famous! :)

Thanks and keep up the great writing :)
Posted: Wednesday, July 20, 2011 5:38:06 PM
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Comment by shamaker

Joined: 7/6/2009
Posts: 131
Thanks for sharing your story. It's hard to find ways to juggle our homes, work, children and husband. I think we all need to step back and re-evaluate our lives and the direction we're headed to ensure we're not missing out on the "butterflies and mermaids." Thanks for the reminder!
Posted: Friday, July 22, 2011 6:59:06 PM
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