Monday, August 22, 2011

Good Morning, Monday... Follow Your Bliss!

Well, hello Friends. I've got my cup of coffee with me, and I thought I'd stop for a moment before I start getting ready for work. I'm still in training, though I've been answering the phones and doing basic things. It's not a difficult job at all. In fact, it's nothing I haven't done before. What's difficult is getting back into the swing of things.

As you may know, I've been kicking it at the apartment for the last year, and before that, I was just kicking it in L.A., with book projects to work on, life stuff to get in order, that kind of thing. I was just hanging out, which at first was an adjustment, and then became rather easy. (Though I was still dreaming a lot about my last job, whose stresses hadn't quite left my system yet.)
It's been just me and the boys, basically, for months and months. I thought I was tired of it, and that I was ready to join the work force. I hadn't realized that I would miss the leisure, or the time with my "kids"... but I do.

However, I also enjoy the energy of the people I work with, and the feeling of being a part of something else. It's a new chapter for me, and it's a little bit of a jerky start, but I am going to embrace it. It'll take me a while to figure out how to juggle my time, I'm sure. I'm still working on other projects, and have business to finish. Somehow, I'll need to start utilizing my time more wisely, as I used to know how to do. I'm sure I'm not alone in this.

When I was busy with a career, I knew how to manage my time better. I could work 40-55 hours a week, and still find time in there to do other things like shop, (half-heartedly) work on projects, cook, clean, etc. I was exhausted, mind you. Most of the time I felt quite tired, but I also used to fall asleep in about 1-2 minutes. But then I'd be wide awake at 1, 2, 3 am, and not be able to fall back asleep right away. I think that was stress-related. Without a career, I seem to have gotten very little done! Did I waste my time? I guess that depends on how you define "waste". Because when I really consider it, that time was a healing time for me that I desperately needed. I think that we forget to tend to ourselves most of the time... we worry about others' needs and situations, and we put ourselves on the back-burner. I did that a lot when I lived in California. 

My last year and a half was mainly about me. I know my friends wondered what the hell I was doing, not working, not planning, just "hanging out." I guess I'd wonder too, if it was the other way around. But what I realize now is that I was healing. It's a very active practice, too: healing. I feel like I was ripped and shredded inside, and I had to find ways to mend those parts of myself that I had neglected over the past 20 years or so. Like many people, I've been working since before I could even drive myself to work. I felt like I had to get on the ball, and make some money! I think my ideas of what was important were definitely skewed by society. I never stopped for more than about two months, as I recall. After a particularly terrible three years as an interior decorator, I had made myself very sick and tired, and moved in with my mom until I could figure things out. Have you ever been so exhausted by where your life took you that you couldn't even get out of bed? That was me at that time. (I was 26 or 27.) It took me about two months to get a new job, start school again and revise my career.

In my memory, I have always either worked, worked and went to school, went to school and worked, worked two or even three jobs, or was absolutely exhausted and unable to do anything.

And then I figured a few things out. You know, Life doesn't have to be a rat race. I know it seems like it does sometimes. It seems like it IS, sometimes. But if you can allow yourself to step back, and ask yourself some hard-hitting questions, you might find that you have the nerve to pull out of that race. Here are some questions:

1. What are the most important things to you?

2. What do you love the most in your life?

3. What can you live without if you had to?

4. Is your health more important than new gadgets or new clothes, etc? 

5. What are you most grateful for?

If you can think outside the box, I'm sure that you'll find the path that's right for you. We're all so entrenched in thinking that we must have a career, we must buy a car, a house, whatever, and we must be "equal" to those in our peer groups, or we are failures. Look, the failure is in letting others tell you what kind of life to have and following that blindly. Make up your own mind, and allow yourself some happiness before this life is over! If Life has taught me anything, it's that most people think they have made decisions for themselves, but really, most people don't think. They just robotically weigh their choices with a "yes" or "no" answer against what OTHER people have done, and decide in an almost binary deduction from that. They don't actually stop and think about their own deep feelings. It's easy enough to say, if this then that. If that, then yes, or if that, then no. That's not making a real, true CHOICE. That's just following someone else's flowchart.

I hope I've give you some food for thought. REAL thought. Make magic happen for yourself! Be inspired by yourself! Use that juicy brain of yours for more than robotic decisions, and let yourself FLY... it's such a different path, and who knows? Maybe you'll be happier!

Last note: I'm not saying that I've made the right choice here, but that's my point. I'm making my OWN choice. I'm doing what feels good and right for ME. Everyone I know probably thinks I'm crazy for "settling" for an easy job, and not making tons of money... but I know what makes me happy more than anyone else could. I'm the writer for the story of my life. Are you?

I hope you have a blessed day. xoxox


Terriaw said...

Wow, Shari, it's amazing to me how much of what you're going through I can relate to! I grew up with the goal of establishing a career. After 18 years of that career, I realized it just wasn't what I wanted. So I enjoyed not working and going back to school over the past year. Of course, there are bills to pay, so working again has been a huge adjustment. But it will help us go on those adventures we've been missing, and allow me to continue on the new creative path I set out on a year ago.

I love the way you describe your time off as healing. Everyone should have an opportunity to take a sabbatical like that because it really recharges your batteries. Give yourself a couple weeks to adjust to your new schedule, and you will gradually figure out what's most important, and how to fit it into your new schedule.

Keep the faith that things will work out while you're following your bliss!

Beach Coast Style said...

I am so convinced where you are is where your supposed to be. It's what I consistently repeat to myself when I prefer doing something else. Glad you got to take some time off and relax your mind a bit. We all need to I think. Have a great week!

Anonymous said...

Shari! I love you my friend. Totally fabulous post. Much like you and Terri I started out wanting the big career and working like a crazy, studying, pushing myself to be the best at what I did. But you reach that point where mentally you just don't want to do it any more. You wonder how you ended up where you are when you are and how you can get out of it. I am so grateful that I got to take a few years out (does working 8 hours a week count lol), potter round my home, be there for the children - and I wouldn't trade that time for all the tea in China. I do think it's hard when you re-enter the work place not to get caught up in the stresses and the politics and I really do have to remind myself several times a day about what it is I want, and how I chose to live, because you can start being swept along by the hype again. So food for thought - definitely. A timely reminder - certainly. Thank you for putting your heart and thoughts down on 'paper' - I sincerely appreciate them today, especially after a hassled day at the office - I certainly do want to write my own story, and have fabulous friends throughout the pages. Have a blissful kind of day.

Love n hugs
Shell x

-E- said...

well said...voluntary poverty is what it's all about.

Shannon of ** Happiness Is...** said...

Love this post Shari. I wish you all the luck in your new job and I'm glad you're happy with it so far! :) xo

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