Turning 40 with Gratitude: How a Crisis at 30 Led to My Best Decade (So Far)

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Big news for our family! We're expecting our second child, a boy, in January.

This last month has been an emotional one (surely I can blame it all on the pregnancy hormones).

Sharing so many sabbatical stories on my podcast has sparked so many memories of my own big leap in life.

The leap that brought me here, to this beautiful country, with landscapes like this one, that I never knew existed. The leap that led me to my husband, and to work I loved, two more things I never could have anticipated.

And now, the incredible blessing of not one, but two children. Our own rambunctious family.

The time of year also has something to do with my reflections. Autumn always lends itself to contemplation. There's also the fact that it was almost exactly five years ago when I first met my husband -- in my sabbatical travels through Europe -- and four years ago that we got married.

In December, I'm also turning 40.

As I approach that birthday, I'm feeling awe, gratitude, and even some overwhelm and disbelief, to have set off so much change and received so many staggering gifts in the last ten years.

I'm also feeling focused and determined. My husband and I are getting ready for some crazy times: juggling our businesses; a newborn and a toddler; and our cross-cultural marriage and two-continent family. Yet we're all in. These are all the manifestations of my biggest dreams in life, and I know they are worth all my efforts.

What a contrast to how I felt when I turned 30.

I felt stuck and dissatisfied. I even felt a little ashamed for how little I'd accomplished. There had been so much I'd intended to do. I'd fallen far behind on my dreams, and was at a loss as to how to find my way again.

I was underemployed, in a stagnant relationship, and lived in a cheap rental house with that shabby carpeting that you don't even want to touch (you know the kind). I had vague aspirations to write and grow my creativity, to make a difference, to travel and be adventurous, and to have a family, but I had no idea how to get there.

That's when I found my first life coach and started the work that has led me here today.

Yesterday I finished recording Part 1 of my own sabbatical story to share on Leap Like Me next week.

This episode is the most complete telling of my leap story that I've ever shared. What emerged clearly for me as I told my story was the simple 3-step strategy that created such radical, wondrous change in my life:

Step 1: Get clear on your dreams and give them their proper value in your life. Believe they are worth it, and that you deserve them.

Step 2: Keep taking whatever steps you can toward your dreams. No matter how small these steps are, or how fearfully you take them, or how random they seem, just take them. Consistently. With heart and faith.

Step 3: Be brave as you weather all that comes next. Remind yourself of why you're doing this (review all that came from Step 1). Enjoy, feel gratitude and wonder, and keep on.

These are the principles that brought such amazing gifts to my life. I offer them to you, because I know they can bring marvelous changes to your life too.

What question do you have about my sabbatical story that you want me to answer on the show? Write me a note - or come by the Leap Like Me Community and submit your question there.