Our New Life on the Island: 10 Inspirational Takeaways From a Coastal Viewpoint

10 Inspirational Takeaways From a Coastal Viewpoint

While Rob’s and my life change didn’t hinge on one reason–there were a number of motivators as often is the case for transformative changes–the idea of a more simple, centered life prevailed throughout our decision-making process.

Our move to N. Padre Island, Texas, on June 26, 2020, also was the culmination of a goal from our early days of dating. Rob’s passion for the tropics was a priority, and likewise, I was drawn to the sandy beaches and languorous palm trees. The coast is infused with waves of hope as well as still quiet that both rocks me with calm and fuels me with enthusiasm.

Building Our First Chapter at the Lake

Because of these early feelings, we were on the verge of a move to Galveston Island in 2012, only a year after transitioning our lives to Lake Texoma (North Texas). But, our reasonable minds recalibrated, and we found joy in building our lives along the shore of the 89,000-acre lake. “Capt.” Rob building his career in the boating industry, and I elevating my careers business from resume writer to executive career storyteller and blogger, with an added emphasis on high-tech blogging for startups and rapid-growth enterprises in Silicon Valley.

Nine years ago, we rented a home with rambling porches and an inviting aura that engulfed us in lake life. Three years later we invested in a 3/4-acre property that included a sweet brick home and rambling spaces upon which several buildings resided. Most importantly was the 440+ sq. foot Morgan building in which my business, CareerTrend was located, and which also housed our guest quarters. This was my dream office!

Reigniting the Coastal Dream

After navigating a bumpy 2020, the loss of my husband’s job right before the pandemic hit, and then the rather quick decision to reignite the coastal dream, we put our house up for sale in late March. Fast forward to July 8th, and we were exiting North Texas home ownership to begin navigating the high seas of island life. We are now situated 1.6 miles from Whitecap Beach, the beach I fell in love with during our April exploration trip to N. Padre Island. The idea of living on an island, and in particular, living the coastal life, quickly took root.

Throughout this journey, thoughts have been flittering and insights beaming hope and angst and any number of feelings into my soul. I knew a blog was brewing, and today, the first really quiet Saturday since our move (despite a hurricane brewing outside our door), I am unfurling those thoughts.

Learning Through Change

Here are some of the biggest takeaways I’m currently experiencing and determinedly acting upon to squeeze the most out of this new life we are seizing:

1. Consume less news and in smaller dosages. It’s important to be informed; but detrimental to be ‘over-informed,’ especially in this news-as-entertainment and hyperbole digital age.

2. Embrace the blurbetween family, friends and acquaintances. Reap value from all; give back as relates to your natural abilities. Rather than bearing down on relationships, allow them to organically build, or not. Keep moving forward.

3. Work hard; play equally hard. You’ll never get time back. Leverage every opportunity for laughter, and dreamy rejuvenation (aka, sleep and toes-in-the-sand respite).

4. Don’t get mired in worry; what happens, happens–you’ll rise to emergencies as needed, as adrenalin kicks in (what a gift from God). The rest of the time, relax. Healthy stress propels you through deadlines, but be careful about multiplying your stress and then passing it on to others.

5. People are (generally) independent islands unto themselves. Be present with them when you are together. Give and receive love, often, but don’t get caught up in the hype that they are responsible for your happiness or you theirs. That’s entirely too much pressure on either of you. And it strips relationships of joy.

6. Drama sells – get off the drama horse, which again, means less news, less social media. While my work as a careers writer and strategist requires frequent immersion in social media channels, I’m becoming more intentional to focus on the who and the why with which I interact, and what content I consume and share.

7. Be passionate about what matters. I’m passionate about various topics: God, my marriage, love, hope, writing. Beyond that, I’ve been a-trimming, trimming, trimming. So much reduction in the past 60 days. I’ve discarded dozens of hefty bags FULL of noisy stuff (both physical and emotional) that blocked my passion and productivity and peace.

8. Look up. I can sit at my writing desk for hours without break. My husband can vouch for that. I’ll miss out on movement and blue skies if I’m not careful. Looking up now, I see the beauty of palm trees and sago palms through my office window. My husband and I have invested in a golf cart for early-morning rides to a) watch the sunrise, and b) exercise with our duly-measured 4-mile beach walks.

9. Grab at your goals. One of my goals is to publish a MicroPoetry book in the next 12 months. You can see samples of my musings by searching the hashtag #JBPMicropoetry on Facebook. I’m going to do it.

10. Find meaning and hope in every day. Being a Christ-centered person enables an undercurrent of joy and hope, but that doesn’t mean happiness inspirits each day, and that’s okay. Contentedness is much more than constant happy feelings. Those moments of pure happy, however, are icing on the cake. Lick the icing!

11. (Bonus) Accept hope that someone pours into you and leverage that hope for those low days. I did, and will close with some hopeful and beautifully timed words from a Lake Texoma friend who has known me since the beginning of the transition journey in 2011.

She surprised me with this note amid the turbulence of our relocation, shortly after Rob and I had settled into the transition Airbnb while our new home was being made ready on the island. The words she wrote helped me embrace the ultimate ‘why’ for moving here. It was extremely encouraging, and I carry the words forward.

I feel like at the level that you function, in your business and intellectually, that you deserve the prosperity that comes with success. Also, the artistic side of you will find new inspiration from a coastal viewpoint.

I remember the painting you guys have of a dock that reached out into the water — I think it has manifested for you!! It will be great, just gotta get through the discomfort of moving. And, remember to breathe!!!”

Final Thoughts

While my experience is unique in and of itself, the parallels to the experiences of the executive careerists with whom I work are many. As you navigate the complexity of a job and/or career change, it often — usually — is a disruptive and life-changing process. By applying some of these 11 takeaways to your journey, I hope you can discover a more peaceful, focused and satisfying outcome, while also being engulfed by the exhilarating processes along the way.

This article was named a Top Job Search Blog Post for 2020 by JobMob.co.il. The original article can be found here.



JeffAltman, The Big Game Hunter
JeffAltman, The Big Game Hunter

Jeff Altman, The Big Game Hunter is a coach who worked as a recruiter for what seems like one hundred years. His work involves career coaching, all as well as executive job search coaching, job coaching and interview coaching. He is the host of “No BS Job Search Advice Radio,” the #1 podcast in iTunes for job search with more than 2000 episodes and is a member of The Forbes Coaches Council.

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