The courage to change ~ part two

October 16, 2009

Diana continues where she left off yesterday with the story of how she and her husband decided to leave the stresses of corporate life behind and create Baur B&B.

The Power of the Backpack – Part Two

The closer I looked, the more I saw that every thing I had ever done professionally (or strictly for survival) had helped to make me a pioneer, a person capable of going to a foreign country and starting something where nothing before had existed.

From cleaning motel rooms in high school to waitressing in college, from working with people from all over the world at IKEA to marketing and selling design services for hotels and restaurants, from learning foreign languages to teaching my own native language, there was literally nothing that I had done in a job related sense that was not a preparation for the task I had set for myself.

In a personal sense, I had married a foreigner, and knew intimately what cultural diversity actually meant. I had finished an apprenticeship in pottery, which had taught me not only how to make plates and cups, but also that how we eat is as important as what we eat. I understood the necessity and joy of making food look its best by giving it the right stage.

Exhausted from everything I had learned to the point that there was nothing else to do but rest and reflect, I could see the value of what my life had taught me and why I found myself at this point, doing this thing, this wonderfully interesting, tremendously difficult thing. I could finally see what I had stuffed in my particular backpack. The diamonds of my life, the moments of joy and of agony, the pain and the laughter, the seeds which I myself had refused to plant out of fear.

And I could finally see the love in my life, instead of just the hard work.

I decided, for better or worse, to fill the pockets of my heart with the wisdom I had learned instead of carrying it around like a burden. You see, I am the same person as before with my backpack. The components were all there. What has changed is how I view the substance of my life. By making this change, I was forced to take a good look at the person I had become.

Change is never easy, but it brings us face to face with parts of ourselves with which we would not otherwise need to become acquainted. Change at mid-life is particularly poignant, because we are sensing our own mortality and limits and we really want to make the most of our remaining time – but don’t always know the best way to go about it.

We go about it by looking in our backpack and pulling the treasures out, one by one, and then using those treasures to move forward, step by step. We know everything we need to know, and we have all we need. We really do. Now is the time we get to use it to make our lives better.

So sit, unburden yourself, and take a look at your diamonds. They cannot hurt you, because they are parts of you. And remember just how far you have come and how much good there is, and that you can do anything.

Anything at all.

Thank you, Diana. Your story resonates with so many of us in midlife. To see the beautiful B&B Diana and her husband have created, visit

5 comments on “The courage to change ~ part two
  1. west by south says:

    Diana, again…another beautiful gift. The timing of your posts…with my leaving a 25-year corporate career today…well, what can I say other than thank you more than you will ever know. Carol, so glad I have found you on Twitter and your wonderful blog!

  2. Kim B. says:

    So beautiful. I love how you told this story. And I love this line:

    pulling the treasures out, one by one, and then using those treasures to move forward,

    I waited until both were up to read them both together!

  3. Deborah says:

    I woke up this morning with the thought that maybe part two would be ready for me to contemplate with my coffee. Thanks Diane.

  4. Stresa Sights says:

    You are a wise woman diana baur…

  5. Francesca says:

    It was very interesting to learn a little about your background, Diana. And it’s good when one can find diamonds in their backpacks! I hope you still sit from time to time, and look at them.

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