I recently listened to a podcast that mentioned life is separated into three acts. Act one is birth to your 30s, act two is between 30s-60s, and your third, and final act, is life after 60. At fifty-seven years young, I am approaching my third act and I think it’s going to be my best one so far!
After twenty-five years at my beloved TCU, I announced my retirement. I, like many others, took stock of my life during COVID. When we were still and quiet at home I realized how much I’d enjoyed spending time with myself. I liked the work, life, balance the pandemic forced me to embrace. I will admit I had it easier than many people. I had no littles underfoot to homeschool; mommas I have huge respect that you had to pivot between teaching and working. I had a supportive boss who told us our physical and mental health mattered more than our work. I didn’t have to worry about my employment status (I did a little at first, but thankfully TCU’s mission was to keep everyone employed as long as they could).
I used the time while working from home to double up on my classes to finish my Master’s degree. I also began my journey in Pilates. Trying to finish my graduate degree a year in advance was stressful, but my consistent four to five days a week Pilates helped release that stress. I could feel, with each breath, the release of negative energy and anxiety while filling my lungs with fresh air and renewal. Working from home gave me a renewed passion for my job. I felt my creativity was less hampered because I wasn’t being pulled into a dozen directions. When I woke each morning, my commute was up the stairs to my home office. I sipped my coffee in my tiffany blue office among all my treasures. After the start of my day, I’d work for a bit, then take a walk. Come home, work a bit, and do laundry. Do you see where I am going? I became more in tune with how long my brain can take in and push out data. After a short break of folding towels or taking Hazel for a walk, I could go back to my desk and be more productive. When my workday ended, I taught virtual cooking classes which were such fun and a great way to connect women with each other over our love of cooking and baking.
I have loved every minute of my role at TCU producing events for alumni, in particular our senior adults. I made so many sweet connections and meaningful relationships over the last twenty-five years, and sadly, many of my dear friends died during our COVID lockdown. Once it was safe to return to the “real” office, I reflected on the last year and a half and concluded I am at my best self when I can be creative on my terms. I have many young, talented colleagues eager to try new things, so what better time than now to let them soar as I take flight for my new adventure. Leaving my precious work family will be bittersweet and the closer I get to March 25 the more melancholy I become. I know I leave my legacy of building strong programming in good hands. Good news – I can return as a guest now for all the fun Golden Frogs programming once I reach that magical age!
I’ve blogged before about our travels to the most beautiful place on earth – Ogunquit, Maine. You can read here and here and see the stunning photos of The Trellis House Properties. My husband and I not only fell in love with Ogunquit but also the couple who run it Laurence and Glen and their furry, four-pawed son Bentley. They truly made us feel like family – as they do for each of their guests. I often teased them after each stay that I might like to come to help them for a bit during a season. Calling my bluff, I think, they called me in January and after several hours of talks and a week of praying about it and talking it over with my family – I took the leap and said, yes to moving to Maine to help them run their newest addition the Blue Shutters Inn & Studios.
I head to Maine at the end of this month with my husband where I will spend six weeks learning everything there is to know about innkeeping. We will return for a quick trip home to watch our beautiful, 4.0 smart daughter graduate from TCU, then I will fly back solo to Maine and remain there until early November. I am pinching myself that God has blessed me with a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to live in a 100-year old home on the ocean and practice my spiritual gift of making people feel loved and special. I can’t wait to make new friends, learn all about this part of the country, develop new recipes and cocktails, garden, host gatherings, and clean toilets with style and finesse! I am so very grateful to my new employers, Laurence and Glen, for taking a chance on me and trusting me to help them grow their business.
Join me for an Instagram Live segment this Friday at 7 p.m. CST where I will answer all your questions like, “Will Home with a Twist continue?” “Will your family go with you?” “Are Hazel and the cats going, too?”
Stay in touch with all the latest by signing up for my weekly newsletter, follow me on Instagram, Facebook, and YouTube. Rest assured Home with a Twist will move with me with a different spin, tons of fun, and engaging content. I hope you will join this accidental innkeeper for the first season of Melissa Inn Maine!
I’m a Mainer y’all!