Ever have a string of events occur that dramatically alter your life perspective? Or in a moment of uncertainty stop to consider that there is a road less traveled to pursue? Until recently I was stuck in a rut of my own making and because I was too scared to contemplate the “what if’s” of my particular story, forever in a circle of pushing ahead only to remain in the same spot. It’s tiring. And in addition to being counterproductive, tends to spill over in ways that yield an emotionally exhausted psyche. I was constantly tired. Even after a good night’s sleep. So I made some changes. ♡
1. I started this blog.
In the beginning it was just to see if I could. I worried “maybe no one will read it” and in the same thought feared “maybe they will. ” However it was a new challenge, and forced me to focus on something outside of work. I have always worked too much. And there is so much more out there to do. Seizing an opportunity to try something new seemed ideal. Admittedly writing can be terrifyingly personal, and without the right audience, often lost in this age of technology. But if even one person reads it, I’ve can consider it “shared”. So with that in mind…
2. I resumed hobbies.
Life is a busy complicated jumble of time blocks, and for way too long I cast away passions and interests because of a lack of time. But why? Did the things I replace them with tap into my creative side or allow me to relax? Since the answer was ultimately no…finding a way to remedy this became a priority. I craft, I cook, and I garden. It’s not a waste of time to do things that make you happy. Plus a blog on life musings would have been quite dry and dull. I even try new things. It’s not that I didn’t before…but it’s all related to the same goal. ☆
3. I have reestablished friendships.
As anyone will tell you, the older you get, the more you realize that any relationship takes work. Whether it be a family dynamic that drives you bonkers, or a friend that lives far away, or perhaps a significant other that has a different work schedule than yours – it takes efforts on both parties parts to maintain the level of intimacy that brings about true happiness. While I cannot control the universe, I can help create moments of connection. I make phone dates, send packages, leave handwritten messages and voicemails, plus show up for life events whenever possible. I am not perfect, nor can I claim that there aren’t people in my life that I wish I could see more or spend more time with. But letting the people in my life that I love and care for KNOW that they ARE loved and cared for is not only satisfying in a way words cannot articulate, it also yields great moments of shared joy. Being able to celebrate exciting news or witness big moments are the things in life we all wish there were more of. Cherish these opportunities. They are the ones not to be missed. ♢
4. I spend time by myself.
I have 3 younger siblings. As a result being alone is something I have never had much experience with. Except for a brief 6 months in my early 20’s, I have never lived without a roommate or group of people that were constantly in and out of my space. I have always considered other people’s needs ahead of my own. It’s just me. (They did not nickname me “Mama” by accident.) While I am very capable of finding things to do solo or occupying my time at home – I often typically scheduled all of my free time doing the opposite. Lately I have made sure that I am more protective of my days off and time away from work. Perhaps this seems a strange concept to some; but it has done wonders for my stress levels, and I am happier than I have been in years. Noticeably so. I am not usually one to put my emotional state-of-being to a vote…but the number of people who have noticed this change in my day-to-day mood and commented is staggering. If you are thinking right now that this choice is a selfish one; I would be in full agreement. However, when it yields such a wonderful result, I also argue that the selfishness is warranted. ♡
Which brings me to the actual reason for this entry: I have accepted a new job. Yep, after more than 11 years I am leaving a company I know and love for the unknown. This was a shocking decision for many – and not so much for those who know me well. I will dearly miss the people that I work with and the people that we assist; but life is too short to stay in one place marking time. I need to continue on my path, head away from the familiar and forge a new fork of my own.
At the end of my shift yesterday I handed in my store keys for the third time in my career. Having transferred in the past, this was a ritual I was not wholly unprepared for, and in the course of the day seemed merely a matter of operational procedure. In actuality it was different this time. It felt different this time. It is different this time. I think that this is a good thing.
So this week has put me in a reflective mood. It is not often that many of us take a moment to ponder our life path or the many various decisions and circumstances that landed us where we are on said journey. It is a difficult process for most of us and can be emotionally gut wrenching or for the lucky ones incredibly joyful. Change is hard. And if being completely honest, sometimes it feels impossible – yet folks somehow it happens whether you consciously decide to shift or rudder or simply wait for the wind to blow you in a new direction. I no longer am waiting. This time I am steering the rudder towards something different and with intention. It feels like a good choice. ♡
I firmly believe that if you pay attention that your day-to-day interactions provide valuable information to reinforce your assessment of your own world. This one is my recent favorite: I pulled into work for my last official meeting with our management team on Thursday, my car also hit a milestone of it’s own, 100,000 miles. I fully realize that this is unrelated to the recent events of my life, yet in many regards it too confirms the passing of time. Maybe you don’t believe in signs, but for me it felt like a confirmation that this chapter was officially closing.