I mean, bloody hell… I would have HATED me five years ago. I’d worked full-time non stop for 20-25yrs and it was the norm. A ‘given’. So reading these posts (about the – *sigh* – trauma of returning to full-time work) would have resulted in a GINORMOUS eye-roll} from the former me. And possibly some ‘suck it up sweetheart’ type admonition.
However, as I was writing last week’s post I was struck by a thought. One I’ve had in the past and one worth exploring again as I’m now far more evolved as a person. Ahem.
As I was rabbiting on about planning for happiness and building time into my new life for exercise, writing and minimising other imposts on my time, it occurred to me that my biggest problem in the past was that I was always living for the future (the ‘when’) rather than the ‘now’.
It’s common I think: we focus on squirreling away money for our retirement, paying off our mortgage, having school and University fees ready when our kids need them. In many ways it’s something we NEED to do. As grown-ups. (Speaking for you all obviously, not moi as I’m determined to live the life of a petulant child for as long as possible!)
But, once upon a time my weekdays (therefore, most of my life) were all about work. I ‘lived’ for my free time on the weekends, or perhaps a few hours at night (for books, grocery shopping, washing, TV and chores. For non-work stuff.). That time was precious. But in essence I was grabbing time here and there. I was biding my time. Waiting for life to start.
And sadly, that became my existence. I recognised that of course which is why I made the seachange.
I like to think I’ve now seen life from both sides. My pre-seachange life of working long hours has made me appreciate my free time more – ie. time NOT spent working for someone else.
Conversely I’ve recently garnered more of an appreciation for doing ‘without’.
Pre-seachange I wasn’t wealthy, but comfortable. And though post-seachange I’ve struggled, I’ve not been completely skint, because asset-wise I’m okay off. (And – arrogance aside – I’ve worked bloody hard for 25yrs to get that way!) But suddenly I’ve had to prioritise my spending in a way I’d not had to do since my 20s.
So… I’ve had a glimpse of both extremes of my values (financial security and freedom) and – rather than think of my new job / life as a ‘necessary evil’ – I’ve realised I need to change my thinking to appreciate each and every day.
My job neither has to be my life, but nor does it have to be about biding my time until the fun starts.
I’m trying to remind myself of the fact that THIS (new, current) life is not my pre-seachange life. I can learn from past mistakes. And past joy.
And make the best of everything lying before me.
Are you good at ‘living in the now’? Any suggestions to really appreciate life? (Other than reminding myself it’s finite?)
The Lovin’ Life team includes: