Small changes make big differences.

Tuesdays with MOJO / Let's Switch Gears

Marjorie Spitz RentoComment

Wow what a week!

The Pope

The UN Session

The changeover to fall (yet still beautiful summer weather)

The Super Moon

Lots of charged energy and electricity in the air!  I spent most of the week working from Montauk and hosting friends and family.   My mom stayed for one night, then my dear college roommate for two, and then my hubby.  Not that I have to “host” any of them, but put the roles of daughter, friend and wife in a blender and that’s a whole lot of switching gears in a short period of time.

Marry that with my desire to please and recovering master juggler behavior, that very well could have equaled significant stress.  But I actually love and thrive in that environment.  

I embarrassingly started throwing parties at around the age of 7 when I would sneak off with my mother’s address book, call all her friends and tell them what to bring for the upcoming anniversary surprise party I was planning for my parents.  Hot dogs and baked beans were always a staple request – what can I say, I wasn’t old enough to shop and it was my favorite dish!  I think my parents were horrified.

As I grew older, my friends started to call me “Julie McCoy,” in reference to the Cruise Director from the series The Love Boat.  It’s no wonder I was gala fundraising event planner for years!

I get a thrill out of bringing people together, especially the ones I love most.  Sharing my favorite spots, a good sunset, whipping up some guac and easy apps, and sitting on the deck having some laughs makes me feel at home and deeply happy. 

Transitioning from one visitor to the other feels natural, although I do admit to feeling super tired leading up to Sunday’s super moon.

Switching gears like that can be hard, especially if you're a person who dreads hosting.  When I Googled “stress of hosting friends,” a whopping 13,500,000 articles came up.  There’s even a name for it: “guest stress syndrome.”  Clearly, not everyone enjoys it.

But let’s dig a bit deeper and see where switching gears or change can be beneficial in other aspects of our lives.  We can get stuck in a job, relationship or health rut as the alternative takes us out of our comfort zone – it feels so much more comfortable to stay where we are that we get used to it, and even endure it.  In a Forbes Article by Tony Nittie, he hit the nail on the head in a paragraph that really struck me:  “One of the most amazing aspects of the human psyche is our ability to grow used to anything.  It’s the reason we’re able to endure a loveless marriage, the monotony of a go-nowhere job, or yes, the daily threat of death.  These things, though so horrible at the outset we think them unmanageable, eventually become a part of who we are, and while we may not admit it, a small part of us grows to enjoy our role as a sympathetic figure and the pity it garners from others.

Powerful!  You and I both know people who fit that description – they’d rather stay in a situation that doesn't serve them, and perhaps even enjoy playing the victim a bit given the attention that comes their way, rather than explore an alternative.

It takes courage and chutzpah to hit the pause button and pursue change, especially when we have to do it for ourselves – it’s particularly difficult to be objective about oneself.  How many times have you found yourself giving advice to someone that you would also benefit from taking (but don’t)?  You’re not alone!

So let’s take a few moments to consider:  Is it time to switch gears?  To make peace with (fill in the blank) and leave that identity behind?  In my humble opinion, you’re never too old to pursue what inspires you.

Laura Ingalls Wilder's best-selling series of books began with "Little House in the Big Woods," (which later became the popular Little House on the Prairie TV series) published her first book at age 64.  Susan Boyle was discovered on “Britain’s Got Talent” at age 48.  Ben Franklin was the oldest signer of The Declaration of Independence at age 70. Bill Wilson founded Alcoholics Anonymous (which now helps over 2 million people) at age 40.  Julia Child was in her mid 30’s before she knew what a shallot was.  "To think it has taken me 40 years to find my true passion," she once wrote to her sister-in-law.   

You get my point!  Heck, I didn’t find true love until my mid 40’s.

And that’s a gear I’m super-happy to have shifted.

With love and a shift,

Marjorie, Chief MOJO Maker™