Back in 2005 my husband and I sold everything and moved from the Main Line of Philadelphia to the Caribbean island country of Turks and Caicos. We had been through some tough years and really needed a change.
And we certainly got one!
We had what was outwardly a fabulous life. I owned and ran an award-winning Pilates studio, doing teacher training and lots of workshops. We had purchased a lovely two-bedroom, center-hall, stone colonial in the suburbs with two cars in the driveway. My step-son lived with us and attended school in one of the top three school districts in the country.
We were living the American dream.
We were in so much debt between the house (hello, sub-prime mortgage!), the business, and our credit lines. Even after a Chapter 7 bankruptcy we still were barely floating. (And we were being sued in bankruptcy court! I didn’t even know that was possible.) Some days I could barely breathe, literally suffocating from the stress. I gained 50 pounds. My step-son decided to move back in with his mother.
My goal at that point was simply to pay the bills, pay the staff, and just get through the day. To this day I have blocked out how much stress this was. That’s how bad it was. I am lucky I didn’t have a heart attack.
In the middle of this we flew to the lovely island of Providenciales for ten days so I could train some Pilates teachers. It’s true – I couldn’t even take a non-working vacation. We both received job offers while we were there, with hubby’s starting just two weeks from that moment.
We said, “Yes!”
In a completely unprecedented move, we said, “Yes” to change.
My first goal was to sell what I could and move as soon as possible. Within 6 weeks I sold what I could, donated the rest, signed the house over to the folks who were suing us in bankruptcy court, and moved. I met my first new goal.
Goals in the Caribbean were different.
Some days just cashing a check or paying a bill was a goal, with lines being 3-5 hours long. But ultimately my goal was to grow my client lists, and that I did.
Two years later, I heard of a vacancy in the Pilates position at the small, A-List private resort island of Parrot Cay, and then working there became a new goal.
I was able to cover some classes for them, submitted my CV, and got the job. We made another huge leap, sold more stuff, and went over.
Those moves helped us relax, realize what was truly important to us, and move forward in a healthier way.
Our next goal became saving enough money to move back the US and live in NYC. That took four years. Patience can sometimes be a virtue.
Now we live in a fabulous Gehry-designed skyscraper on the much larger island of Manhattan, near the Seaport and the water.
We would never have gotten here from that house in the suburbs without some radical change and some radical goal setting.
Was it always easy? Not at all.
Am I glad we did it? Oh yes!
What is my next goal? Not sure, but whatever it is I know that I can achieve it. Look how far I have come!
Lynda is the recipient of numerous awards in her field, including 2003 Best of Philly® Pilates Studio and the 2011 SpaFinder Magazine Reader’s Choice Award for Best Pilates in the World.