The Next Chapter…
I love New Year’s Resolutions, goal-setting, re-evaluating, “re-do’s”, “Let’s try it agai occasions when we realize that even though we mess up, make mistakes, misjudge, get side-tracked, we all have the opportunity to push that imaginary “do-over” button and go again.
For some years now I have allowed myself a six-month “re-boot” around the beginning of July to check in on my goals, commitments, etc. Maybe it is because my birthday is in July, so it truly is the beginning of a new year for me. Or maybe it’s because it marks halfway through the calendar year, a good time to check in and see where we are on all things “goal” and “planning” oriented. And, I think, when July rolls around on the calendar, I instinctively start thinking of summer’s end, fall commitments, cooler weather, holidays – a new forward focus for the rest of the year.
So it is entirely appropriate that this month, July, 2013, marks the re-launch, renaming, rebranding, of Patti Allen Interiors (formerly McConnell Allen Interiors.) As most of you know, I AM Patti McConnell Allen, so we really are the same – same people, same company, same purpose. But after realizing over the years that McConnell Allen Interiors could sometimes be confusing to you all (Common question – Who is McConnell?) I know this is the right time to change the name to Patti Allen Interiors and end all the confusion.
It is also an appropriate time to tell you that with the re-launch, I am refocusing our services and my business to a specific niche – “designing interiors for the next chapter of your life.”
I have spent no small amount of time trying to find the niche that appropriately describes what Patti Allen Interiors is about. And this specific niche has really been following me, peeking around the corner, hinting to be discovered, teasing me by being so obvious and at the same time well-hidden, for quite some time. As Glinda the Good Witch told Dorothy in “The Wizard of Oz” – “You’ve always had it, my dear.” And I truly have.
We grow up, or at least I did, with a specific idea in mind of what my life would be about. I knew that I wanted to earn my college degree, set out on a career path, become a wife, become a mother. Though that’s not the path for everyone, I knew very early in my life that I wanted to have a family, to be a mother. Then comes “happily ever after”, right? Well, what happens after “happily ever after?”
A few years ago, when my older daughter, the oldest of my three children, moved away to college, I came face to face with the reality of my “emptying nest.” Although I have a busy life with work, friends, and family, I realized that I had, for a long time primarily defined myself as “mom” to my at-home children. It took a while to be comfortable with the fact that this chapter of my life is closing. Moving forward, defining what the next chapters in my life will be, has taken some thought, effort, and time. Now I look forward to those next chapters of my life with renewed energy and excitement, but I remember the pause, the hesitation, as one chapter ended and I faced the unknown of what was ahead.
Your experience is quite probably different than mine, but I think it’s safe to assume that we all at one time or another find ourselves in life situations we didn’t really plan or think about, a new baby, an “emptying” nest, retirement, losing a spouse through divorce or death, a new marriage, a blended family.
So what happens after “happily ever after,” after the last chapter you envisioned in your plan of your life? The answer is – whatever you want! And that is exactly how I came upon this niche – by realizing that life, everyone’s life, is a volume of sequential chapters, each one related and connected to the others, but at the same time, new and fresh.
Just because we have reached the end of one chapter, and even if it is the last chapter we planned, the chapter we never thought to plan beyond, it doesn’t mean “The End.” Rather, it is a new beginning, a new adventure, a new chapter.
So here’s to the next chapter in all of our lives. May it be the best one yet!
Looking forward with optimism!