Kim: On beautiful mistakes…

Kimberley Plans? Hmm. One of the things I’ll never forget from Business 101 in college was this: “If you don’t have a plan, you plan to fail”. Ok, makes sense I guess. But then again…sometimes the best laid plans are recipes for disaster. So how do you find that happy medium? Flip a coin? Magic 8 ball? Tarot cards? See what kind of toy you get in your next Happy Meal? I say YES to all of those! Or…in other words…just let it happen.

One of the first examples that comes to mind is in my jewelry studio. As a jewelry designer and artisan, I really do make every effort to have a bit of a plan as I go into the studio…usually a quick sketch or at least some kind of vision in my mind. I would say 75% of the time I end up with something completely different. Mainly because I goofed and ended up melting one of my bezel settings, one whole side of the piece, or cracking a stone, rendering it useless. Rather than scaring the neighbors with violent profanity…I’ve learned to step back and reevaluate the charred remains of the fruits of my labor. In every instance I was able to salvage my work and turn it into something beautiful. A work of art! As a matter of fact, some of my favorites pieces are complete ‘mistakes’.

You have to be able to see what beauty lies behind these so called ‘mistakes’ and realize that something good will always come from them. You just have to be willing to look. And that applies to all areas of life. So…have no fear if you deviate from your plan – it’s not always a bad thing!

Kim’s a friend, a jewelry artisan, fellow blogger, and rounding the corner to forty (though she’s not as close as I am). You can check out Kim’s one of a kind designs at her on-line boutique Lexie Jewel, and her killer sense of humor on her blog.

Grace: On the life I’d planned

grace italy I can’t remember all the plans I had for myself as I approached forty, but you can best believe they did not include being laid off…AGAIN, being single PERPETUALLY,  and STILL fighting the battle of the bulge. No, no, although I  have been guilty of re-writing history, I am pretty sure I hadn’t planned for this.

But I also hadn’t planned on, at near forty, meeting a group of women who would encourage and inspire me everyday to develop my business. I hadn’t planned on becoming obsessed with HGTV and doing my own bootleg version of design on a dime, and I hadn’t planned on learning how to live happily and contented on less – much less.

But here I am. This is what I’m doing, and I feel blessed. Blessed to be a woman living in this country at this time, with all the opportunities and challenges that come along with it. I am blessed to live down the street from a Barnes and Noble and two public libraries that give me access to all the diet books I can get my hands on. (Now if I would just read them!) And I’m blessed to be surrounded by loving and supportive family and friends.  No, it’s not the life I planned, but I wouldn’t trade it for anything. (Left, me standing in front of a museum in Florence, Italy…something I never could have imagined planning ten years ago)

Rachel: On the life that’s waiting for you

Rache with her beloved poodles Those words really resonate with me lately. My beloved fiancé celebrated his fortieth birthday in September and it really got me thinking. I recall my younger years when I thought I knew so much and had the nerve to make plans for the life that I would lead.

I was going to marry my high school sweetheart; we had enrolled at the same college after all so that was a no-brainer. While in college I was approached to participate in the Miss America pageant, so that meant I’d use my supermodel earnings to pay off my student loans. After college, I’d work for the U.N. and balance travelling the world with raising 2.3 beautiful and perfectly behaved children. We’d settle in the south of France and tend to our vineyard, then go on holiday in Tuscany.

Ah, the folly of my youth! The sweetheart cheated on me during our freshman year at school.  (Left, Rachel with her beloved poodles)

Continue reading Rachel: On the life that’s waiting for you

The life you planned vs. the life you have

Japanese girl in winter (drink version) Yesterday a friend shared a quote on her Facebook wall that resonated with me. I borrowed it (thanks Tanya) and immediately posted it on my wall…

You must be willing to get rid of the life you’ve planned, so as to have the life that is waiting for you.

—Joseph Campbell

I started thinking about the life I’d planned and the life I have now. Many of the things I thought I’d be, would have done, and gotten to see, didn’t happen. But because they didn’t, I’ve been blessed to experience the things that did.  Travelling, new friendships, and a career I never thought I’d have, have all come as a result of my own best laid plans falling flat on their face.

Today, Women at Forty invites you to share your stories of “The life you planned vs. the life you have.” Have you been able to get out of your way long enough to live the life that’s been waiting for you, or are you still struggling with your best laid plains? We’ll share your answers in today’s posts.    

Click here to see what others have already submitted…