When we started Footsteps Group, our goal was to help others as they work to craft an original and authentic life. Our initial conversations centered around how we could support our parents during the aging process and how we could apply the lessons learned from their experience to our own lives. But in the quiet moment of personal reflection, I came to understand that it is not just about applying the lessons of aging to our lives but embracing the lessons of living. Yes, we want to be self-sufficient, fulfilled and independent as we age but what about today? As I shared my thoughts with colleagues, friends and family on this issue, I found that they too were feeling the same uncertainties about making the “correct” decisions in their lives. We have been bombarded daily with the news that we are living through the worst economic times since the Wall Street Crash of 1929. Millions of our countrymen and women have lost their jobs, their homes and the peace of mind that comes with a steady paycheck. We watch as the individuals we elected to public office have lost their way and spend their time squabbling and playing one upsmanship with the future of our country. I have learned from my own life that uncertainty breeds inaction. Fear sets in and paralysis takes over. Plans are put on hold while we hunker down and try to ride out what we hope to be a temporary storm. But what happens when one week turns to one month and one month turns to one year and before you know it, three years have gone by and the siege mentality has become a way of life. I took a look at my life and realized I needed to walk the talk. How can I lead a discussion on living an original and authentic life if I am afraid to take a chance? It is time to take a leap of faith and do the things NOW that I say I want to do. I will chase the dreams while my knees are good and my mind is clear. Yes, I want to learn the lessons of aging from my parents but I want to teach the lessons of living to my children and grandchildren. This blog will chronicle the experiences of my adventure over the next year as I take a time out from the routine. I am going on tour…a listening tour. I want to spend time with family, friends and strangers as I pursue my goals and aspirations. I am going to shake it up and share it.