Liz Marchi: Operating Without a Plan

By LIZ MARCHI

Defining purpose.  That’s how I always started any endeavor.  Why are we doing it, what does it look like when it’s a success? In between an active summer and three family weddings, I have been thinking a lot about what’s the purpose of these remaining years.

I saw on Facebook recently a Mom’s posting about her daughter being inducted into the National Honor Society.  It brought back so many memories for me of a lifetime of working to achieve, do more, do better, do faster, be smarter, and get new experiences in preparation for “life, work and service.”  So what’s the purpose of this season in life?

My observation is that it’s a pretty wide bandwidth of “choices.”  All the choices are seen through the prism of health and wellness.  So given that health is the great determiner, is my purpose to give back, relax and indulge or take a 180 turn and do something totally out of my wheel house, maybe bake bread?

Cat on Desk by Liz Marchi

Fit as aFiddle.

It’s proving very difficult to retool a life that was pretty focused on getting what I determined really mattered: raising children, working hard at endeavors that were about change, improvement and community service and keeping a clean house!  There hasn’t been a lot of staring out the window and thinking the last 40 years.  Habits are hard to change.  I have given myself some breathing room but in that space there is “creep.” Am I being lazy, self-indulgent and worthless?  So much of self-esteem is tied to work and good works.

I have been so busy for so long that learning how to go slower is just not easy.  I know I don’t want to keep doing the same things and not be relevant.  I can’t and don’t want to operate at the same level of intensity as I have.  So, with no plan I am going forward trying to be much less judgmental about everything but eating well and getting a lot of exercise.  I secretly suspect that the key for me may be something I can’t even imagine doing and I need to be patient.  Patience, never at the top of my skill set.

Adjusting to new “hours” is also hard.  I am sleeping a lot more, my commute to the barn is a 2 minute walk and I do very few meetings.  Do any of you know how much time we waste in meetings?  I don’t get a lot of phone interruptions because most of my work and interactions are digital.  My daughter’s cat, Fiddle, has totally weaseled her way into my office and my heart.  She is the organizing principle of the day.  Get to the office and make sure Fiddle is OK.

So onward with no plan, an office cat and time to think.

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Liz-MarchiLiz Marchi lives on a ranch in Polson, Montana  with her husband Jon. She is the Fund Coordinator for the Frontier Angel Fund and spends a lot of time thinking and learning about entrepreneurs, the economy and Montana’s unique place in the world. She has three daughters and a stepson and daughter and a grandchild.  She graduated from Hollins College and is entering the final quarter of life…unless we go intoovertime.