Build a Portfolio Career

Building a Portfolio Career

Monday, June 6, 2011


       Guest Post by Sylvia Lafair             
I remember when I was 46 wondering what would happen when I was 64. That old Beatles song would play over and over “Will you still love me when I’m….”

I believe it is never too late to prepare for that time when we look in the mirror and say “Who, in heaven’s name, is that peering back at me.” So, I decided before I reached the big 50 to take my life in my own hands and make vital life decisions about what really mattered.

I told my husband my plan and he tossed me a “this should be interesting” look.

You see, I am totally challenged when it comes to directions. I believe that whatever way I am facing must be north. So, to take a sleeping bag, some water and a few energy bars and head into the desert near our home in Santa Fe was, well risky business at best.

He dropped me off and pointed me in the direction of Nambe Falls. My logic was I would be able to get more water and since I like the sound of running water I would be contented for the three nights and four days I was going to stop the world and listen to my inner self.

Vision quest; just the sound of the words made me tremble. It felt so, so ancient, so connected to Mother Earth. Vision quest, what a gutsy thing for a city bred gal to do. Vision quest, I would come back with all my deep questions answered.

Off I went, going due north (which meant following my nose). Time, as the poets like to say, stood still; actually way too still. It seemed like the sun never moved and evening was a long way away. I became, not really afraid; actually my fear was of being bored. And bored I was. My fast paced city life was far behind. I had no computer, no books, and no cell phone; only the silence of the desert.

Someday I will write about what I really learned in those three loooong days. Now, I just want to talk about my reentry into the world of bathrooms, cool Margaritas, reality television, and human relationships.
I marched back into town with my orange baseball cap perched on very grungy hair. I lost my canteen somewhere toward the end of my stay and walked, ever so the conquering hero, into the Eldorado Hotel smack in the center of Santa Fe.

It was late afternoon and very quiet. I was amazed at the tile floors, the clear glass that housed the water I had requested, the flushing sound that was made in the bathroom. It was as if I had entered a foreign planet. I sat waiting for my husband to pick me up.

Two women at the next lounge table were sipping their drinks looking over at me. They would put their heads together, chuckle and then look some more.  Finally one asked where I had been. With the pride of accomplishment I puffed myself up and told them about my vision quest.

When I finished there was silence. I was used to silence, it had become my friend so I just sat quietly and waited for what was next. They leaned toward me again and one woman queried “Does your mother approve of this vision quest thing.”

At that moment I knew the success of my journey; it saved me from ever needing a face lift!!!

Sylvia Lafair PhD is an author and business leadership and communications expert.

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