Car,House,Spouse – Somethings Gotta Give

Published on June 10, 2011

A few years ago I was asked to do an exercise involving the creation of a timeline. A timeline that represented major benchmarks in my life from high school graduation to present date.

Talk about a revealing exercise.

If you have never done it, I highly recommend it.

In creating this timeline, it became apparent that I had a clearly defined cycle that I had followed.

At  first, it was scary to realize this because it had happened as if I was on some sort of auto-pilot setting and did not even recognize that every 3 years, I would go through a major shift in my life. Some of these changes were painful (for me and others) while others were merely challenges to be conquered.

I won’t bore you with the details because there are many. Suffice it to say that roughly every three years I either entered or ended a relationship, started or stopped a new career, moved to a new house or city, bought a new big toy (i.e. car, boat, etc.), or somehow “reinvented” myself. It was as if I got bored with the “old” me and decided to create a “new” me.

My husband, Chris, and I laughed one day when we were coming up on one of these 3 year cycles (after awareness of them) and he said

“So would you like to buy a new car?”

I was surprised by the question. He went on to say, “Well, I would rather you buy a new car than decide to find a new husband or burn down our business just to start it over!” It was funny, however a truly insightful and brilliant observation.

The awareness of this trend in my life has helped me with several things!

Here are a few.

First of all, the realization caused me to reflect and do some introspection into what compels me to make these major life changes on such a cycle.

Why do I feel the “need” to have this big changes so often? What I decided is, “Who cares.” It is what it is and there is no reason to “feel bad” about that. I had previously attached a little guilt (ok ... a lot of guilt) to this because I had bought into the idea at some point that this much change is “bad” or “abnormal.”

Others may choose to have the same career, car, house, or whatever else for their entire lives and that is perfectly fine ... for them! But for me... not so much. I need and crave variety and newness in my life...that is who I am (and I am now “OK” with that).

Secondly, knowing my typical cycle, I now make better decisions about what in my life warrants change.

I don’t look at my marriage every 3 years and ask myself if it is time to trade Chris in for a new model. My marriage works... leave it alone. When I “feel” (key word here is FEEL) this little (sometimes big) spark of desire to create chaos/change, I take inventory. I ask myself, “Am I living in alignment with my values in all areas of my life or am I just marching along without paying attention?” It is NO SURPRISE that the change that needs to occur is in an area of my life where I am not currently aligned with my values.

Lastly... and this is BIG.

I learned that it MY responsibility to CHOOSE what needs to be changed (if anything).

Before this awareness, I used to give away my power to choose by creating excuses or rationalizing that my decision was about someone or something else outside of myself. Examples: I didn’t like my boss, my car had too many miles, the house was too small/too big/wrong neighborhood, I wasn’t being paid enough, it was too cold and windy, my mate wasn’t _______, etc.

The truth is .... I was due for a course correction.

While being on auto-pilot (pre-awareness), I accepted/blamed whatever course correction was the easiest and most convenient at the time. I remember looking back even thinking to myself, “why the heck am I doing this?” I had no idea... I was unaware and my life was just running on auto.

Now days ... I CHOOSE.

I take inventory.

I make my choice based on my values and my purpose in life.

Since I started doing that, I have left fewer casualties in my wake! Interesting, yes? When I historically just “up and did something” with no rhyme or reason as to it’s purpose, I left casualties right and left.... my family, kids, friends, co-workers, bank account, and who knows who or what else was negatively affected by my decisions.

I love awareness! I love that I have a 3 year cycle that involves new adventures and new life experiences. I look forward to them and I embrace them. It’s a part of who I am!

Want to learn what your natural life cycle looks like? Start journaling. Just start typing away and reflecting on your life. It will show up in full color! And if you REALLY want to get into it...  make changes to what isn’t working or learn the art of acceptance for the things that are, let’s  start coaching!

I love helping others find their FLOW!


Nikki Buckelew is the Co-Founder and President of Coaching and Training, a coaching and training company specializing in real estate, leadership, and life coaching for Realtors, brokers, and leaders with SoulFire. Buckelew is also the Founder and CEO of the Seniors Real Estate Institute, a coaching and training company specializing in senior real estate and housing and administrator for the Certified Senior Housing Professional® (CSHP) designation.

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