Planning for happiness

Thursday, September 28, 2017 Permalink

When I was making my seachange I thought I’d planned pretty well. And – for the most part – I did.

Within a month of finishing work (this time, five years ago) I’d sold my city apartment, bought my beachside apartment and moved.

So it won’t surprise you to know that I’ve been pondering my next ‘life’ change. (Well, hardly a life change, but lifestyle change, if you like.)

As I mentioned in last week’s post, despite vowing I’d never work full-time again, I am – in fact – starting a full time job next week.

I made the decision for a range of reasons (set out in that post), but it’s interesting that I’m expecting (going back to full time work) to be hard and horrible. Which is good, as (in typical me fashion) I’m expecting the worst. I’ll be very surprised if I cope with it all okay and don’t feel resentful that my ‘me’ (free) time has been stolen.

But… because I know what a catastrophising bitch I can, I’ve been doing some planning.

planning for happiness

But, just a reminder for those playing along at home… my job of the last 18mths has involved working 5 days a fortnight. My new job is full time AND is based in a nearby town; in my childhood hometown (where my mother still resides) about 30mins drive away.

Avoiding grumpiness and exhaustion

I’ve talked to my mother about the idea of staying with her 1-2 nights a week to cut down on my driving. Not that the distance is excessive, but in all honesty she lives about 2mins drive from where I’ll be working. If we weren’t heading into summer I’d think about walking to work each day.

I tend to visit / stay with my mum on a weekly basis anyway and weekday visits (sleepovers) allows us time together while keeping our weekends free for frivolous stuff (in my case, sleeping and eating).

Health and fitness for my mind and body

As her town is kinda smaller and more condensed I’ve already talked to one of my school friends about her exercise regime. For ages I’ve been meaning to do something ‘extra’. As I work part-time and live just out of town I find myself far too lazy to drive into classes on my days off or in the evening.

I’ve no desire AT ALL to go to bootcamp or similar but I would like to perhaps add in a yoga / pilates class and a higher-energy exercise class. My friend goes to Zumba twice a week and said she doesn’t mind me tagging along so I’m thinking – if work commitments permit – I’ll coordinate to stay at my mum’s that night / those nights and head to Zumba with them. Or yoga. Meaning, I’ll build exercise INTO my weekly routine. If possible.

planning for happiness

 

Blogging and writing – ie. living creatively and saving my sanity

I actually doubt my reading will suffer much (as I don’t currently ‘allow’ myself to read during the day anyway). I’m okay with the idea of it dropping back a little (maybe I’ll aim for just 2 books/week), but I’m a tad worried about my blogging. I’m scratching around for ideas but figure – those mornings I stay at my mother’s I’ll spend time on the blog.

I’m also pondering using a voice to text app for my phone so I can perhaps dictate some book reviews during the commute. #maybe

I must admit the writing I love doing the most are my personal blog posts (like these) rather than the book reviews, so perhaps I could consider different platforms for reviews: podcasts or perhaps short Facebook videos.

I probably should also admit, in the past I’ve occasionally been more productive when I’ve been busy, so less free time may bode well. I tend to skulk a lot around the house and flopping on my bed feeling bored and directionless when I have too much time on my hands.

Outsourcing and the preciousness of time

When I last worked full time (although I earned more money, worked long hours and had a lengthy commute) I outsourced as much as possible – I had a cleaner, mowing company and did my grocery shopping online etc. And I didn’t feel guilty about it. In my professional and personal life I’m more than happy to recognise when I don’t have the time / skills I need for certain things. So I’m thinking that won’t change.

Plus I’ll hopefully be able to afford to get someone to fix my verandah balustrades and my rotting porch floorboards! 🙂

And yes, I know… you can’t exactly plan for success or happiness. Unexpected crap always pops up and sometimes the unplanned stuff is the best, but I figure IF I go into this new gig with some ideas it’ll help. Surely.

Any other suggestions? 

the-lovin-life-linky The Lovin’ Life team includes:

* Both pics adapted from pexels.com

44 Comments
  • budget jan
    September 28, 2017

    You’ve got it covered. I too am more productive when pushed for time.

    • Debbish
      September 28, 2017

      I used to blog 5-6 days a week when I worked full time previously Jan, so fingers crossed. Of course they were ‘personal’ posts so didn’t take long to write as they were stream of consciousness kind of things!

  • Jo
    September 28, 2017

    We’ve talked before about deadlines & productivity. I don’t think there’s any doubt that you’ll be more tired, but hopefully also more fulfilled.

    • Debbish
      September 28, 2017

      Oh yes, fingers crossed on the fulfilment thing Jo! I had a good chat to my (old / current) boss yesterday during my handover and tried to make sure I explained why I’d decided to move on. (And was prepared to resign to do so!)

  • Margaret Finlay
    September 28, 2017

    You are awesome and inspiring and I wish you much luck, light and love in the next chapter of your journey 🙂

    • Debbish
      September 28, 2017

      Oh Margaret, that’s the loveliest comment ever and I feel like crying. The last few weeks have felt pretty fraught. I was getting less and less contented in my job (and more frustrated) and then this opportunity came up and then I had problems getting released and had to resign, so it’s all felt a bit stressful. I texted my mum when I was leaving work yesterday and she said ‘Welcome to your new life,’ and that’s a bit how it feels. Fingers crossed! x

  • Michelle W (@pinkypoinker)
    September 28, 2017

    Good luck with it! Working full time cuts down unnecessary spending for me and that’s good!

    • Debbish
      September 28, 2017

      Thanks Michelle. I’m actually hoping it cuts down on procrastin-eating as much as anything. I tend to eat unhealthily / mindlessly when I’m home alone or bored or frustrated. I’m usually more focussed on the ‘food as energy’ thing when I’m at work etc, so I’m hoping I’m a bit more focused on that sense as well!

  • Katie Clews
    September 28, 2017

    I find you get more done when you’re busy, so I’m sure it will all work out fine for you.. Just finding your feet and getting the balance with work, blogging, reading etc right.. might take a little time to adjust.. plus having mum there allows you to overnight as you please.. Hubby is a carpenter so if you need a quote for your deck, just let me know 🙂

    • Debbish
      September 28, 2017

      Oh good idea Katie – I definitely will do that with your hubby. I’m pretty sure the people who built my house knew little about life by the sea. I went ‘through’ the back patio just a month or two after moving in. The timber didn’t snap though so now I walk on the bits where the nails are. (Thankfully the front deck is tiled!)

  • Vanessa
    September 28, 2017

    Sounds like the exercise and sleepovers will work well. Why not skip a commute a day or two per week if you can! You know I’d love to haha.
    I do not get bootcamp in the slightest. I’m sorry, but why would I pay someone to yell at me. You yell at me, you’re like to get a %^&* off as a reply. I’ve had bosses (try to) yell at me at crappy jobs and I walk out until they have gotten their knickers out of a knot. People do not get to yell at me!
    Have you thought about Rev? They transcribe for $1/min. You could just use your in built recording feature on your phone and get someone else to type it up for you. Then edit, publish, done.

    • Debbish
      September 28, 2017

      Oh good idea re Rev Vanessa. I’ve not heard of them but also hadn’t looked into any voice to text apps yet. Radio’s pretty limited here and though my phone bluetooths (can that be a verb?!) to my car it only does as a phone and not to play music. So I’m thinking I could be more productive on the drive.

      And a definite yes to skipping the commute sometimes.

      I did ask my mum and she’s always surprised when I ask and says “Of course,” I can stay there as it’s still my home etc… but I am conscious of not wanting to intrude on her space and life. I think a night or two will be good as it’ll give us time to catch up but not get sick of each other.

  • Ingrid Ingrid
    September 28, 2017

    I wonder why we’re always more productive when we’re busy? all the best with this lifestyle change. It sounds like you’ve thought through everything!

    Ingrid
    http://www.fabulousandfunlife.blogspot.com.au

    • Debbish
      September 28, 2017

      I know when I have my day stretching before me Ingrid there’s no sense of urgency. I’ll not be in the mood so let myself off the hook and tell myself I can write that later rather than knuckling down and doing it. In my pre-seachange life I used to sit on my home computer at night for a bit and it was a routine for me to blog / write then.

      In reality I’m not watching much TV nowadays. I tape stuff and then turn it on to watch what I’ve recorded once-twice a week only so hopefully I can keep that habit and not vege too much at night once I start working every day.

  • kathymarris
    September 28, 2017

    Congratulations on your new job. This all sounds like a well organised and thought through plan. The only other thing I would suggest is consider getting meals delivered too. There are some good fresh options available now. Good luck! #TeamLovinLife

    • Debbish
      September 28, 2017

      Ahh… I forgot to mention that. My darling mum loves cooking. Like LOVES it and cooks and bakes all of the time. I’ve been very lucky since moving here as I’m constantly getting little containers of leftovers which I usually use for work lunches. Thankfully post weight-loss surgery I can’t eat as much so small meals are good and most things I cook (when I rarely cook) will do me two nights anyway. But yes, having pre-prepared meals is a great idea (and should mean less junk food!).

  • pamela007
    September 28, 2017

    Good luck in your new job, Deb.

  • writeofthemiddle
    September 28, 2017

    I think once you get used to it and into a routine you will love the new job! Hope so. The fab thing about getting a wee bit older is that we get to know and understand ourselves better. You know yourself and it sounds like you’re planning well to try and get the right balance that you’ll need when you’re back workign full time. All the very best of luck with it. Oh and by the way – that catastrophizing stuff – that is so me too – LOL!! #TeamLovinLife

    • Debbish
      September 28, 2017

      Yes, I’m really hoping I’ll be surprised by how easily I slip back into full-time work and its routines Min. At least by preparing for the worst I should have my bases covered!

  • Natalie
    September 28, 2017

    Excellent idea, Deborah, to start your health & fitness plan and reduce commute time. When you feel fit, guaranteed you won’t be grumpy, and will be more creative and productive.

    • Debbish
      September 28, 2017

      In a previous life I worked long hours Natalie and so used to schedule gym classes in my lunch breaks. I never took a break and ate at my desk and figured being away from home for 11-12hrs/day meant I should fit my exercise into that and I did. Everyone knew I used to do a gym class at lunch and I had it in my diary and only missed the class when I really had to.

      And… I was doing 4-5 days of classes a week so it meant that I didn’t ‘need’ to HAVE to do any formal exercise on the weekend.

  • Jodie
    September 28, 2017

    I think you can plan for happiness, Deb. Maybe? At least the more you plan for it, the more apt it’ll happen. Because even the bumps in the road can be counted as good things depending on your perspective. (that’s the Pollyanna in me talking—but trust me, I’m a bear at times too!!)
    XOXO
    Jodie
    http://www.jtouchofstyle.com

    • Debbish
      September 28, 2017

      Ah yes, I shared a ‘No sidebar’ meme on Facebook today that reflects that exact point Jodie! (Making the most of what we have / are given!)

  • Sydney Shop Girl
    September 28, 2017

    Exciting times. I’m also making plans for the next step work wise as well as pondering how my social life will change as my son gets older. Things to look forward to.

    SSG xxx

    • Debbish
      September 28, 2017

      Oh yes, I know friends whose kids have moved from daycare to primary school or primary to secondary and their friends have changed and resulted in changes for their parents as well. (And different relationships!)

  • Jan Wild
    September 28, 2017

    I think we are all more productive when we have a bit of structure. I like the way you are approaching this change. I hope it goes well.

    • Debbish
      September 28, 2017

      Thanks Jan. I think I’m covering most – if not all – of my bases!

  • leannelc
    September 28, 2017

    I’m a great believer in having a plan – it keeps me from feeling like my life is spiralling into chaos (especially if there is a change involved). I also think it’s lovely that you get to have a weekday sleepover at your mum’s and manage to combine that with an exercise class – win/win. Good luck with the new job – my job is sucking atm so who knows what my future holds in that regard….

    • Debbish
      September 29, 2017

      I’ve been there Leanne and very recently. Options (part-time) were limited for me, hence the jump to full-time. I realised the position I was in was sucking the life out of me and I needed to make a change and had the good fortune that it worked out. (Well, so far!)

  • Jenni | Unclutter Your Universe
    September 28, 2017

    I”m also a planner, it’s how I manage to keep some balance in my life. Staying with your mum in town a few nights a week and going to Zumba and Yoga, would be a great way to break up the week and get your exercise in.

    • Debbish
      September 29, 2017

      Absolutely Jenni. It (the lack of exercise) has been one of those things still plaguing me. In some ways I’ve used my (lack of) finances as an excuse as well as logistics but that will change with the new job cos more hours, so I’ll have no excuses at all!

  • Kate W
    September 28, 2017

    I think it’s a really smart move planning for happiness – will keep you positive if your energy flags 🙂 If I’m doing too much work stuff and not enough fun stuff, I spend five minutes (or less!) adding pictures to my holiday planning board on Pinterest (keeps me focused!).

    • Debbish
      September 29, 2017

      Keep adding those pics! I think I mentioned in last week’s post, it was the trade-off for me… I knew I’d be sacrificing my free time and ‘balance’ but… (like your holiday planning) if I remember the things I need more money to do (get stuff fixed and perhaps even have a holiday) then I’ll remember why I’m doing it. (Well, why we have to work at all…. #paythebills)

  • Denyse
    September 29, 2017

    I am stoked reading this as I can sense a feeling of upliftedness (you know what I mean!!) in your words. It seems that the notion of full time work, a chance to have more responsibility again & still endeavour to do what you’d like with off – work hours is giving you more to think about & plan for! I’m excited for you! Best of luck! d xx

    • Debbish
      September 29, 2017

      Thanks Denyse. I’m really hopeful that this will all work out well! xx

  • sizzlesue15
    September 29, 2017

    Such positive vibes coming from you Deb which I’m happy to see. Happiness doesn’t just happen we really have to work for it and make it happen. I really love the ideas you are putting in place to accommodate for working full time. I totally believe in outsourcing – you need your time off for you not vacuuming! I also think its a good idea about staying close a couple of nights a week with your Mum and you could even do some exercise with your friends in the area 🙂 The voice to text app is a fabulous idea! I think you are going to be right on top of things. Good luck with the new job! It is very exciting!

    • Debbish
      September 29, 2017

      Thanks Sue and yes, I think I’ve got most of the bases covered. I know I’ll have to cut myself some slack for a while but not let myself wallow too much and use the ‘new job’ as an excuse – which I’m sure will be tempting.

      I get inexplicably tired at night (early) at the moment and have far more 7pm bedtimes (aided by medication) than I should have so think that’s going to have to change.

  • Carol Cameleon
    September 30, 2017

    Great idea to plan to get some jobs done with any extra money, but I know all too well what you mean when you say that there’s always something! All the best in your new job and thanks for sharing with #HighlightsofHappy

    • Debbish
      October 1, 2017

      Ah yes Carol I have a lengthy ‘to-do’ list for the full-time wage already. I’ve splurged a little so far – new bag for work, some earrings and need a few new outfits but I need to schedule in the bigger things so I don’t forget about them!

  • Charlie @ Girl of 1000 Wonders
    October 1, 2017

    There is indeed always something! I wish The Man would outsource the lawn to a landscaping company. It would save us both some grief about the lawn and the HOA stalkers. I had a friend assigned to a hospital closer to me than where she lived, so for a month she lived with me during the week to save money from the drive. I hope you enjoy going back to work full time and like the new job and the new coworkers.

    • Debbish
      October 2, 2017

      Thanks and I’m a big fan of outsourcing if I can afford it – and even if I can’t sometimes. Well, more so if I know it’s not something I can do or others can do more easily and I’d prefer to spend my time elsewhere. And cutting corners will be my first priority for a while, until I get used to the full time gig again! xx

  • Emily
    October 4, 2017

    Hi Deb,
    In your post about Jane Harper’s new book you mention another book about people who head off on a hike/trip and not all return. I immediately thought of this one:
    http://www.simonandschuster.com/books/The-River-at-Night/Erica-Ferencik/9781501143205

    • Debbish
      October 4, 2017

      Oh thanks Emily. It wasn’t the book I was thinking of, but it sounds good!

I'd love to hear your thoughts