It’s easy to become set in your ways as you age, thus creating a self-imposed box that makes exploration difficult, if not impossible. So how can you get out of that box? How can you move forward to follow your curiosity? How can you embrace your multipotentialite tendencies?
I recently had that conversation with my friend Kara. She’s reaching that time of life when her only child is in high school and the well-known routine of day-to-day motherhood will be ending soon. Kara is already starting to ponder the next chapter of her life and to that end, she found a book that provides a useful template for growth and exploration. I took her up on her offer to loan the book to me and after perusing the pages, I quickly decided that I needed my own copy – and I want to share this amazing resource with you!
The book, You Can Do It! The Merit Badge Handbook for Grown-Up Girls, was originally published in 2005. New copies are no longer published, but you can purchase a used copy through online book sellers such as Amazon and Barnes and Noble.
So here’s the back story: the author, Lauren Catuzzi Grandcolas, was born in Indiana but grew up in Houston. After graduating from the University of Texas, she worked as a marketing and advertising executive in San Francisco. In her spare time, Lauren explored far-flung interests, including jogging, hiking, kayaking, scuba diving, roller blading, gardening, cooking, wine, skydiving and serving as a certified medical technician. Not surprisingly, Lauren was a Girl Scout in her younger days and also enjoyed encouraging her friends and family members to explore new things. In fact, Lauren was so passionate about the need for people to follow their curiosity that she decided to write You Can Do It!
Sadly, Lauren was aboard United Airlines Flight 93 that crashed in Pennsylvania on Sept. 11, 2001. The book was not finished when Lauren died, but her family decided to complete and publish it in her honor. Her family has since formed the Lauren Catuzzi Grandcolas Foundation in her memory. The foundation funds projects and activities that benefit women and children’s health, education and welfare.
I can tell by reading the book that I really would have liked Lauren. The book offers 50 challenges that include family rituals, home maintenance, skydiving, travel, activism and art appreciation. Lauren put together a great guide that piques the reader’s interest and offers at least one expert mentor, steps to take and a wealth of resources for each challenge that she addresses. When a reader completes a challenge, the book has a “badge” sticker that can be displayed anywhere (much like Girl Scouts earn badges). How cool is that?
This book is the perfect guide for adults who find that they are unsure of how to try something new. It also opens new vistas of discovery for the most seasoned multipotentialite. I’m looking forward to earning a few new badges in the upcoming New Year and hope you’ll join me in exploring your interests in 2016!