time to re-invent yourself?

by Sharon Santoni
We all come to turning points in our lives, often provoked by a change of circumstances:  getting married;  a new career; a divorce; a change  of health; simply moving house ….  there are many situations that provide us with  an opportunity to re-invent ourselves.
Some of you may know that I started writing this blog at a turning point in my life.  My youngest child left primary school and suddenly my role as a full-time hands-on mum became part-time.  It was a shock!
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I found myself at a loose end.  A friend introduced me to the world of blogging.  I quickly began to enjoy the writing and the interaction with readers, never for a moment suspecting all the other doors that the blog would open for me.[blank]
Because that is surely the beauty of a period of change.  We find ourselves being gently coaxed, or even outright shoved onto a path we hadn’t planned to tread.  From there it is up to us how we react.   Keep looking forward, eager to discover new territory and new friends.  Or continually looking over our shoulder, regretting the familiar places we left behind and longing to get back.
photo by Jeanne from Collage of Life – thank you Jeanne!
 I’ve noticed that it is easy to see life in ‘sections’.  To each part of our life belong particular pleasures, particular joys, particular duties.  The more we manage to live each stage of our path to the full, the less regrets we have when we move onto the next step.
I’m not in a hurry to grow any older, nor to move on from this ‘section’ in my life,  but I do have a growing list of things I am looking forward to doing in about 20 years time.
 The bottom line is  we only have one life.  And only we can live it.  Family and friends may shape us but they can’t live our life in our place.  And it’s not because we re-invent ourselves that we leave them behind.  The more fulfilled we are, the better a person we can be for them.
So how do you feel?  Are you already at a crossroad?  Do you feel you are ready to reinvent yourself?    then I would humbly say “go for it!”.    Change can feel scary or exciting, it’s up to us.  One things is for sure, unless we walk that new path, we’ll never know where it’s going![blank]

Thank you for reading me, hope your week is going well.

64 comments

Barbara Lilian September 27, 2012 - 11:45 am

Just as I opened up my blogging page, your post popped up. How refreshing to read your outlook of life. My life has been full of changes, the biggest was moving away from family & friends 22yrs ago to live in France, not really knowing what we were going to do. I can't say there were never times when I wondered what am I doing here ! But I don't ever regret it & live life to the full doing things I never ever dreamt I would do. Thank you Sharon for sharing your post.

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Mrs. Sutton September 27, 2012 - 11:48 am

Hi Sharon, Such a brilliant post! It's so interesting to see what brought you into the world of blogging, and wonderful to have seen, at first hand, the opportunities that doing so has brought with it. I have felt at a crossroads for the past 3 years if I'm totally honest. I'm still 'searching' for my particular 'talent' or vocation (aside from being a mother!) – I'm hoping that one day soon I shall have an epiphany and finally find my groove! One thing's for sure though – reading blogs such as yours are an inspiration, and reassure me that it is possible to reinvent oneself and to find new talents at any point in ones life.
Best wishes,
Paula x

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helen tilston September 27, 2012 - 11:48 am

Hello Sharon

Your words of wisdom and encouragement are a beautiful sight on this bright day.
In a conversation with an elderly wise Irish man this week he remarked "we are only given so many heart beats"

Have a glorious week

Helen xx

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farmlifecitylife September 27, 2012 - 11:58 am

Thank you Sharon – somehow you have managed (again) to write something at the exact time I have been having the same conversation with myself. Change is scary, yet somehow challenging. What a great age we are and that we are also living in. That we can communicate and share so openly and easily. That women our age can see a wonderful window of opportunity ahead of us.
Merci!

Nicole

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[email protected] September 27, 2012 - 11:59 am

When I read of you in your blog seems like reading a part of me often!
I had opened my blog after getting married..A big and amazing change in my life!!

Have a lovely day!!

Stefy

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sheepyhollow September 27, 2012 - 12:00 pm

I am in the midst of 'reinventing' myself. Change is good. It feels good. Thank you, I share your lovely sentiments…and encourage anyone thinking about change, to take the first steps!

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Mizeltoh September 27, 2012 - 12:06 pm

Hi Sharon, what a lot of sense your blog makes, in fact you seem to be blessed with both commonsense and insight, wonderful gifts. I feel at a crossroads in my life, but unfortunately my husband hasn't quite got there yet, so I'm still only dreaming of that move to France! One day though I'm determined to make it a reality.

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GLENDA CHILDERS September 27, 2012 - 12:09 pm

What a beautiful post to remind us to pay attention
to our lives.

Fondly,
Glenda

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Katharina September 27, 2012 - 12:18 pm

Thank you for your words and thoughts. I really needed them today!
With kind regards from Germany
Katharina

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Minerva Black the shoppe keeping cat September 27, 2012 - 12:30 pm

Wonderfully put and illustrated by the photos! I think change is such an important part of living life to the full. Embracing it rather than cowering from it. But change does not have to be huge of course, often it is the small things that make up our lives, and that's a good place to begin. Leave the door open, you never knoow where it will lead to. x

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Pamela RG September 27, 2012 - 12:35 pm

Change is good. A positive attitude really helps. Have a good day!

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The Snowdrop Project September 27, 2012 - 1:55 pm

Great sentiments as always Sharon.
As a mother, it seems that each milestone in our childrens lives, marks a corner to turn in our own.
If we are lucky we just go with the flow and take every opportunity that presents to us. This is something you seem to have achieved very well!
Hope you have a lovely week,
Lizx

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Katherine September 27, 2012 - 2:31 pm

It is so true that as a mother we wrap our lives around our children's needs and growth. The surprise for me was my children being grown and gone from home – and now we have a Grandchild. My Daughter is raising her child on her own and needs our help. I left my job at the beginning of the year to stay home and take care of my Granddaughter, which is taking me on a new path I didn't expect to be on.
There is always a cross road – always.

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Daphne Bryson September 27, 2012 - 2:50 pm

Hello Sharon, I enjoyed reading your post. It's having the courage to take that step. For me it was starting a blog. I am retired and my daughter had been encouraging me for 2 years, yes 2 years, but I felt no one would be interested in my thoughts as there were so many wonderful blogs already out there, but she kept gently persuading me until I had the courage to start. I was very nervous at the beginning, but now, I absolutely love it. I have met wonderful people from around the world and been helped by the generous blogging community who share 'how to' information for us new bloggers to use. Yes I have a lot still to learn, but that is good as it means I am still growing. For me the phrase "There's Nothing to Fear, but Fear itself" was certainly true. Thank you for a thought provoking post. Best Wishes Daphne

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carolyn bradford September 27, 2012 - 3:31 pm

Sharon, that was beautiful and something I needed to read! Being an empty nester for the first time has definitely been a huge change for us but I am thoroughly enjoying it….MOST of the time! I do get sad every now and then but all in all it's been nice. I love having the peace and quiet and the ease of just being at home with my husband. I definitely have to stay busy though or I might get a little depressed I think. Luckily, I have my shop as an outlet and I'm so thankful for it.

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Stacey Snacks September 27, 2012 - 4:04 pm

I reinvent myself about every 2 years……….hmmmm, who I will be next time you see me? Maybe a bathing suit model!
xo

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Passionedeco...perchè le case hanno un'anima September 27, 2012 - 4:16 pm

Mmm…. this post makes me reflect…we (as a couple) and myself alone, have different projetcs in mind…but feel a bit (a lot) scared…we do not know if we have to follow the instict or not. I have alwayd followed my instinct..but now it's more difficult, with children to care for, a home to pay for….mmm..I know those words in the picture are just SO right. I know that…

Fra

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Lori E September 27, 2012 - 4:25 pm

I am not a very reflective person. I just go with whatever each day brings since it seems the more I plan the more things pop up to knock over my carefully thought out plans.
I tend to jump into things and I ride them out as long as they last or until I decide to switch tracks and journey down a new path.
I spend more time doing than I do thinking about what to do.

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PURA VIDA September 27, 2012 - 4:27 pm

great post! my crossroad is getting all the stuff out of all the places in my house and putting it where it belongs! in my new addition!!! SOON!!!

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EM September 27, 2012 - 6:02 pm

Great post! I´m moving house in just ten days. After living in a farm with horses for twenty-one years, we are now leaving. We are going to live in a small fishing village on an island… A total opposite from the farm in the woods far far away from any sea… I´m excited, scared, stressed, happy, dancing and laughing…

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[email protected] Pine Cones and Acorns September 27, 2012 - 6:23 pm

Sharon, a beautiful post and a reminder that just because we are aging does not mean that we cannot begin new careers, or lives or adventures.

I love coming here to read your beautiful posts and the doors that blogging has opened for you, it is wonderful to follow along.

Take care, Elizabeth

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Kristie Franklin September 27, 2012 - 6:29 pm

I can honestly say that I've reached many crossroads in my life with each one presenting a choice. Some easy with a choice that was evident and some not so easy. The choices I made at each junction brought me to a better place. What sometimes appears to be a roadblock is merely a chance for you to revaluate the direction you are headed in and while it can be a painfully hard and challenging decision to make, I believe you always come away in a better place. I think that second guessing yourself and decisions never brings you the challenges you need. 🙂

Thanks so much for a very inspiring post!

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LA CONTESSA September 27, 2012 - 6:30 pm

HOw odd you should write this post today!I'm leaving in a couple of hours for FRANCE.The bags are packed!The reason……..to figure out the next chapter!The Boys are gone.I find disaapointment all around me!Hopefully,this trip can jump start me.
PS.I'm the one that left the comment on FB yesterday!I'll let you know how I feel when I return!

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Blondie's Journal September 27, 2012 - 6:43 pm

Your posts always get me thinking and this one didn't fail. Sometimes it takes a big event in life to make us change paths. Sometimes these changes are not so welcome, but they do force us to make decisions and choices, take ourselves out of the comfort zone, accept new challenges. I think all of this makes us stronger. Life is about living in sections, it's up to us to make each one of them wonderful!

XO,
Jane

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Ana September 27, 2012 - 8:41 pm

Life never ceases to amaze me, I have been so busy that I have not been able to look at my favourite blogs, I have been feeling low today and then thought that i would catch up. Yours is the first that I read and you could have written them just for me. I so want to leap and the strings that are holding me back are slowly stretching, loosening, there is still a little bit holding me back, soon, soon. Thank you

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sharon santoni at my french country home September 27, 2012 - 9:10 pm

thank you too Barbara!

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sharon santoni at my french country home September 27, 2012 - 9:12 pm

Hi Paula, if you're having to search, then maybe you're not quite at the crossroad yet – oh dear! I sound like an agony aunt!!
x

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sharon santoni at my french country home September 27, 2012 - 9:12 pm

now those are wise words Helen, thank you
xx

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sharon santoni at my french country home September 27, 2012 - 9:14 pm

"scary and exciting" that is it in a nutshell Nicole
xx

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sharon santoni at my french country home September 27, 2012 - 9:15 pm

congratulations Stefy, wishing you both a long and happy life together
xx

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sharon santoni at my french country home September 27, 2012 - 9:15 pm

thank you, amd enjoy!
xx

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sharon santoni at my french country home September 27, 2012 - 9:17 pm

A move to france isn't the qnswer to everything! As for being blessed with commonsense and insight, I think you over estimate me – don't forget this is only a blog!
xx

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sharon santoni at my french country home September 27, 2012 - 9:19 pm

thank you glenda, your comments so are always so kind

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sharon santoni at my french country home September 27, 2012 - 9:19 pm

so pleased to have hit the spot Katharina
xx

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sharon santoni at my french country home September 27, 2012 - 9:20 pm

I so agree with you, I have never been able to say no to an open door
xx

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sharon santoni at my french country home September 27, 2012 - 9:20 pm

thank you Pamela
xx

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sharon santoni at my french country home September 27, 2012 - 9:22 pm

thank you Liz, it is easy to use our childrens lives as our cornerstones, but a little me-time can be good too
xx

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sharon santoni at my french country home September 27, 2012 - 9:23 pm

sounds like your crossroad is busy Katherine!
xx

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sharon santoni at my french country home September 27, 2012 - 9:24 pm

thank you Daphne, and all power to blogging!
xx

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sharon santoni at my french country home September 27, 2012 - 9:26 pm

thank you Carolyn, it sounds like you have found a great balance
xx

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sharon santoni at my french country home September 27, 2012 - 9:27 pm

well seeing how beautiful you are Stacey, I think that would be no problem at all!
xx

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sharon santoni at my french country home September 27, 2012 - 9:29 pm

you have to concentrate on your young and beautiful family fra, enjoy, enjoy, enjoy
xxx

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sharon santoni at my french country home September 27, 2012 - 9:30 pm

you are totally right Lori, that is your way of living each moment to the full
xx

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sharon santoni at my french country home September 27, 2012 - 9:31 pm

Bon courage!! 🙂
xx

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sharon santoni at my french country home September 27, 2012 - 9:32 pm

this sounds so exciting EM, hope the move goes well
xx

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sharon santoni at my french country home September 27, 2012 - 9:33 pm

thank you for your generous words Elizabeth
xx

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sharon santoni at my french country home September 27, 2012 - 9:35 pm

thank you Kristie, we think alike!
xx

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sharon santoni at my french country home September 27, 2012 - 9:36 pm

wishing you a wonderful trip and much excitement, I'd love to hear how it goes
xx

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sharon santoni at my french country home September 27, 2012 - 9:37 pm

hi Jane, thank you for your comment. Comfort zones are over-rated aren't they?!
xx

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sharon santoni at my french country home September 27, 2012 - 9:38 pm

thank you Ana, I hope it works out well
xx

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Inside a British Mum's Kitchen September 28, 2012 - 1:11 am

it's easy to fall into a rut, or accept what you don't want because it's too difficult to get what you DO want – I truly believe you have to move forward and follow what you truly want in your heart.
Mary x

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Anonymous September 28, 2012 - 7:57 am

Such an insightful post and comments that follow. Thank you all for sharing. It truly makes me reflect on the course of my own life in a good way. I am midway through life and I intend to live this "section" well.

Sarah 🙂

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Burlap Luxe September 28, 2012 - 8:28 am

Hi Sharon, I Love , love, love this post.
I have been through all of the above, you left out the heart breaking part that brings us to the point of no return, and with the past a part of our past re-inventing ourselves is all one can do to keep that spark in ones eyes.

Oh, Sharon I so wished I had a friend who would have told me about blogging when I went through so much in my life, I often tell myself if I knew about blogging it may have saved me a whole lot of time on my hands to sitting and inviting the pain and heartache into my life.

I am now blogging and re-inventing my life daily 🙂
Taking time to visit beautiful blogs and bloggers like you, and being of support that matters to ones heart and soul in what they create and write about.

Thank you friend for being sooooo! inspiring in ways you cannot count.

xoxo
keep re-inventing your life, and the beauty around you that we all love so.
You are amazing grace.

~Dore

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c. Joy September 28, 2012 - 10:04 am

Just wanted to stop in and tell you – I went and got my nails done yesterday, right after my haircut… I feel terrific! Thanks for reminding me to take care of myself (yes, I know I should/can/do – sometimes life gets so busy I forget). Your post a few days ago hit home and I took action – in a peaceful, beautiful salon. Life is good. What's next? Who knows… Whatever happens I will look good.

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sharon santoni at my french country home September 28, 2012 - 10:12 am

I totally agree Mary!
xx

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Diane James Home September 28, 2012 - 3:53 pm

Thank you Sharon for another wonderfully inspiring post and the perfect salve on this dark, rainy day in Connecticut! For me, autumn is a great time for re-invention – shedding old habits and dreaming of new adventures. Our family business is 15 years old this fall and we excited about some new opportunities on the horizon. But before taking the leap, we need to clean house which is never easy… Looking forward to the next section! XO, Cynthia

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peggy braswell September 28, 2012 - 5:33 pm

So right about Blogging, what a gift it has been + continues to be. Change goes hand + hand with "if I can learn something new today it will be a grand day". I always learn something from your post. xxpeggybraswelldesign.com

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CWoodyard September 28, 2012 - 6:12 pm

Great post, Sharon! You're a jewel in the blogging world. I love sharing your life in Normandy an corner of the world I've visited many times in the past. I can just taste that cream and Calvados when I see your green pastures and orchards. I've so happy that you discovered this way of expressing yourself. Who knew?

Cynthia

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vignette design September 28, 2012 - 6:20 pm

A great post, and one that spoke to me. I am feeling like I'm at a crossroads too. What's next? I am leaning towards travel. I too started my blog at a turning point in my life, but after three years am yearning to move on and get outside to explore more of this beautiful world while I still have the time and health. Great post. You inspire me and so many others.

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Yvonne @ StoneGable September 28, 2012 - 7:15 pm

This post provoked a whole lot of thinking!!!! I think women go through many stages of life… and most of us change with them. I know that I keep growing and stretching and as I get older I like who I am a whole lot better!
You are a very talented woman… so no wonder you were not at loose ends for very long!
Don't you love how life is a big surprise… at least most of the time!
Great and thoughtful post!

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april September 28, 2012 - 7:18 pm

So true… but hard to find energy and courage to make all our wishes come true.
it's quite a long time I'm at a crossroad… but I cannot decide where to go.
My head and my heart go towards opposite directions.
I started blogging in order to clear my mind, letting all my thoughts flow and my wishes explode.
on verra… 🙂
great blog Sharon, I love it
april

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Trish September 28, 2012 - 8:01 pm

Reading this post just helped me to really articulate to myself how and what I have been feeling over the past few months. Crafting the person that I want to become has been my goal this year. I want to become the best possible version of myself and hopefully be a gift to others. Thank you so much for writing this!

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La Brocanteuse September 29, 2012 - 5:42 pm

Simple words..and yet so huge..thank you for making me pause and reflect.
love to you
Colette xx

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Martha October 1, 2012 - 2:37 pm

I love this entry Sharon, and I find this so pertinent to the personal voyage I embarked upon some time back so that I could find clarity and reach my true potential in the midst of uncertainty in so many areas of my life.As I go from one chapter to the next one in my life, it sometimes feels difficult to connect them.After many struggles and years of "looking over my shoulder" I now embrace the joy and peace of living in this moment, the one right in front of me at this very second. Even though past chapters of life may be sweet to recall,I begin every day with a moment of gratitude for what is Right Now. Focusing on gratitude for what is in my life this minute, even for what isn't quite right and being thankful I'm able to recognize it, gives me a powerful feeling of optimism. We are never too old to learn to dance in the rain. It's amazing the feelings of love for self and others,how much creativity and belief in one's self come from 10 minutes a day of focusing on gratitude.Everything wonderful and amazing begins right here, right now. I was just about to begin my morning meditations on gratitude when I opened your blog which has no begun my day even more pleasantly than anticipated…
Much love to you,
Martha

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