Are You Ready for a Change?

Kristen Marks

by Kristen Marks

Kristen Marks is an ultrarunner, newbie yogi, attorney, author, speaker, proud wife and mom to two college kids, and the founder of My Pink Lawyer®, Florida Estate & Legacy Planning attorneys. She has been crafting professional estate plans for Florida women and families for over 25 years, making things simple for their loved ones when they're gone and preparing their loved ones for the future.

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How do you know when it’s time to make a change in your life?

 

You can’t sleep. You wake up thinking about a problem area (or person) in your life.

 

You frequently feel overwhelmed or stressed out.

 

You never feel like you can catch your breath. You’re constantly racing from one task to the next.

 

You feel sad or depressed for long periods of time.

 

I’ve felt all of the above at different points in my life. You may have your own list.

 

The problem with making a change is that inertia is a powerful law of the universe. It’s hard to make a change when you’ve been living with a situation or routine for a long period of time.

 

Plus, if you’re like me, and you’re loyal (sometimes to a fault), don’t like conflict, or don’t want to admit to yourself that some area of your life is not working any more, it’s hard to pull the trigger and make the change.

 

Plus, change can be scary. Fear of the unknown is very real, [first name].

 

But as an old Mary Kay mentor of mine once shared, “Change only happens when the pain of remaining the same is greater than the pain of change.”

 

My daughter recently told me that she thinks her brother and I are logical thinkers and she and her dad are emotional thinkers. I think she’s right.

 

So, as a logical or rational thinker, I sometimes take a VERY LONG time to make a change in my life. I think about the problem. I slowly give myself permission to think about a change and let the thought percolate in the deep recesses of my brain. My very own private secret. I hold my cards very close to my chest.

 

But once I make the decision, Boy Howdy, look out because there’s no turning back. I pull the trigger when I’m ready and rarely second guess my decision.

 

And, because I’m often the only person privy to my secret discontent, I know I’ve caused some confusion (and maybe even some pain) in the past to those affected by my about-face because it can seem to them like it came totally out of the blue.

 

Rash.

 

Impulsive.

 

But rarely are my BIG LIFE DECISIONS any of these things. Because I’ve thought and agonized over them for a very long time.

 

Some examples of big life decisions (at least they were big at the time) for me include breaking up with a long-time high school sweetheart while in college, deciding to resign from my first lawyer gig and pursue Mary Kay leadership full-time, deciding to resign from my Mary Kay leadership gig and start my own law practice (the birth of My Pink Lawyer®).

 

Of course, smaller life decisions abound as well.

 

Attorney Kristen Marks finds her blissSo why am I sharing this with you? Am I about to announce a major life decision?

 

Nope.

 

Still happy in my marriage (about to celebrate 25 years next month).

 

Still happy with my business, though I am always searching for ways to improve the value I provide our clients while also maintaining a healthy and fun work-life balance.

 

I’m not sure exactly why I share this with you right now other than to let you get to know me better as a person, warts and all.

 

Maybe it’s me turning 50 in December or maybe it’s the current coronavirus epidemic but I’ve recently become more introspective about my life—what I like about it and what I want to improve or change.

 

Here’s a thought provoking question I recently heard:

 

“What would you change or do if you knew you had a 50% chance of dying within the next 3-5 years?”

 

Wow.

 

Besides getting my sh*% together for my loved ones (which we can help you do, by the way), I am starting to explore improving my daily routine to make it more joyful and also (whenever we can start traveling again!) planning more extended journeys to explore different parts of the country and the world.

 

My legal mentor and first boss has recently embarked on a one month jaunt around the country in an RV.

 

I plan to take his lead. Maybe not in an RV (though I have always wanted to take a cross-country trip by RV) but something I find radical and fun.

 

My clients offer great ideas.

 

I have clients that are full-time RV’ers. Their home base is Florida but they are rarely here.

 

I have clients who have established Florida as their legal residence but they mostly live overseas.

 

I have clients who live full-time on their boat sailing the world.

 

I have clients who spend their summers working in Caribbean resorts trading their labor for free room and board.

 

And many of these clients are not retired, independently wealthy, or even empty-nesters.

 

They’ve just had the courage to design a life that excites them.

 

Super cool and very inspiring.

 

I realize that we don’t all have the resources, support, or family situation to leave home and pursue vagabonding full-time. Nor do I even think living a nomadic life appeals to many people.

 

My point is that you might be living in a bit of rut right now and you’re not getting any younger.

 

And, if you would just give yourself permission to dream, you could very likely make changes in your life that you never thought would be possible.

 

It just may be time to make a change in your life, big or little.

 

“But it’s too late for me,” you cry.

 

Hogwash!

 

“The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. The second best time is now.” Ancient Chinese proverb.

 

Let me end again by encouraging you to explore this question:

 

“What would you change or do if you knew you had a 50% chance of dying within the next 3-5 years?”

 

There are no guarantees in this life and no one wants to die with regrets or a song unsung.

 

Seize the day, my friend. But of course don’t forget to plan for your family’s future.

 

Kristen “Carpe Diem” Marks

 

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