The best is yet to come

My life has been turned a bit upside down recently by my mother’s death and my leaving the job I have had for the past seven years. Two big losses at the same time and lots of empty space in front of me.

No more dinners with my mother or shopping for her or calling or stopping by to check in.

And no more work emails or office to go to or meetings to attend.

I have to admit that it is a bit scary to stand in front of this vast empty canvas without the commitments that have structured my life for the past years. And yet…


I have decided to view the coming year as a sabbatical, a time to pause after thirty-five years of working in nonprofit management, to reflect on and say goodbye to what has been, and to prepare for what is to come.

Almost as soon as I made that decision, two retreat opportunities presented themselves—one is focused on discernment for people in transition and the other is for writers. I had not been looking for either one, but both seem opportune, and I signed up for them. One is virtual, and the other is in Texas—my first flight since the pandemic lockdown in March 2020.

As a child, I had no idea what I might be when I grew up—no passionate hopes or dreams to be this or that. As an adult, I tended to fall into jobs more than selecting them with a goal in mind.

So here I am in the third third of my life, still deciding what I want to be when I grow up. Only now, I have lots of experience and a pretty good idea of my gifts and talents.

And that knowledge and awareness energizes me—standing on the precipice of the next chapter in my life is thrilling.

My friend Jim used to say, “The best is yet to come.” I am in total agreement, and I am looking forward to what the next chapter of my life holds.


8 thoughts on “The best is yet to come

  1. Joan Neely

    Soo happy to read this❣️ Let’s talk soon…o

    On Sat, Jul 17, 2021 at 5:43 AM Madeline Bialecki wrote:

    > Madeline Bialecki posted: ” My life has been turned a bit upside down > recently by my mother’s death and my leaving the job I have had for the > past seven years. Two big losses at the same time and lots of empty space > in front of me. No more dinners with my mother or shopping for ” >

  2. Karen

    Love this, Madeline! You deserve a sabbatical! You have so much to offer, but a rest should sound very appealing to you for now. Keep on blogging! We love to hear from you.

  3. Patrick

    “The best is yet to come”!!! I read a meme lately that says striving to find one’s life purpose is largely a social construct, of the egoic mind. I too have fumbled my way into a good life…mr magoo like..God provides, I believe (much of the time anyway). Like the dreams I have, wondering how in the hell does this make sense? I can only hope that Love fills in the empty spaces of missed connections! Thanks Madeline! Happy work shopping!

    1. Madeline Bialecki Post author

      Thank you, Patrick. Perhaps we try too hard to find happiness, searching and looking (Mr. Magoo-like), when happiness actually comes to us and we only need receive it.

  4. Pazlo

    Similar disruptions have rippled my life’s pond this past year. Very recently, I decided to go on a vision quest. Just me and my boat and a tent and a fishing rod and my favorite remote lake high in the High Peaks of the Adirondack Mountains. I stood barefoot on the bedrock of the Earth and praised the sun and the wind, thanked the Earth and time for this tiny and precious life I have loved and continue to love. It was to be a two-day affair, from which I would return refreshed and refocused, with renewed clarity of my path and purpose.
    Silly boy.
    On my return to the world, the hippie-love feelings vanished at the first sign of stress and conflict. I fell immediately into old patterns. I felt angry and could not find the root of it. I felt as if I had failed at my vision quest, for here I was again, the same person of the world with the whirring brain; plans, responsibilities, time…
    After a string of expletives at the loss of my cell phone, I awakened. This, indeed, is still part of my vision quest. I was stilled enough to see, and gained sought-after clarity, coming in a form least expected: all of my life is a vision quest.



  5. Madeline Bialecki Post author

    So true (all life is a vision quest). In this time of loss and grief, I try to remember to be gentle with myself when anger flares unexpectedly (and at seemingly no provocation). Loss takes time to process. Mountaintop experiences are great gifts to remember/hold onto during the days of living in the valley. Thanks for sharing.


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