A good holiday is one spent among people whose notions of time are vaguer than yours. ~John B. Priestly
It is definitely true that as a kid time seems to go on forever. The anticipation of waiting to grow up so you can finally roam free to do as you please, seems to drag on and on. Yet once you reach that point somewhere between adolescence and the new quarter life crisis, the clock speeds up almost mockingly, and next thing you know you’re sitting there with blank wonder asking “where did the time go?” Or more dramatically, “what have I done with my life?”
My previous post was my first attempt to start a new challenge this year that would mark a vital point in time for me. That point in time being one of complete change in how I choose to live my life from hereon. It has taken me over two months to start a second post, so while I have obviously procrastinated, I congratulate myself on not having given up and managing to finalize a second post. So to somewhat endeavour in embracing this desperate change and before any more time flies by, here it goes.
I have made several lists of goals – those suckers that keep teasing me “come and get me if you can”. I could list them all now but I would probably tire of writing by the end of it, then be faced with the challenge I face all too often – ‘to procrastinate or not to procrastinate?’. Then again my list of goals would sit before me and ask me “are you just gonna stare at me all day?” After twelve months of reading up on personal development my response would be “No, I’m trying to bloody focus on creating the images of achieving each of you in my head!” They can really annoy me some days.
I can say I have experienced change in the pursuit of a few goals which I’ll mention. I have attempted to read each of my goals regularly so I can somehow put into practice the ‘laws of attraction’ and manifest them sooner. I suppose I have an idle hope that somehow they will imprint into my subconscious and then maybe something ‘magical’ will happen overnight. Perhaps I will have a vision that will reveal all to me? But then could it ever be that simple?
The ultimate goal – Happiness. Apparently there seems to be a depression epidemic going on in the world greater and more harmful than any epidemic in history. If one more person can have true happiness then surely there is hope for the rest of mankind. I wish to finally be free of the constant depression I have dragged around with me for so many years. Free of all the damaging self-talk, free of the past and its haunting memories, free of everything that has kept me from being truly happy. Last year I met up with a friend I hadn’t seen in over a year who handed me a book – Marci Shimoff’s ‘Happy for No Reason’. We were discussing our own individual journeys, and this book was one she felt I could appreciate. While it might appear common sense to others that one can be happy right now despite being in a dire situation, I never truly felt what that meant until reading this book. I did wonder why that despite having a Baptist upbringing with all its spiritual teachings, its taken a self-help book for me to come to terms with this idea. (That is of course another blog topic). But reading this definitely gave me the motivation to be happy right now, not when I finally reach a size 8, or meet Mr. Perfect, not when I’ve finished reading a whole volume of ‘how to’ books, but right now. Setting aside all the crap that goes through my mind on a daily basis, I realise I am such a different person with so much freedom to achieve anything. How liberating that is! http://www.happyfornoreason.com/
The inner peace goal – The pursuit of inner peace might seem too airy-fairy for some people, but if like me you are determined to find true balance and happiness having tried numerous other routes to find complete satisfaction, then you too will no doubt seek inner peace at some point. I have made time to be still each day, or simply sit in silence and let go of all the mind traffic. This might be either at night before bed or going for a walk or simply sitting at the park. I took a free meditation class which made so much difference to me so I plan to continue. Of course I have never managed to achieve any session without a million thoughts going through my head but I figure with practice I will get there and the outcome will be worth it. What do I have to lose? And the best part is that most meditation classes and retreats are free or run on donations. Not that money should be the one motivator but when you don’t have much to begin with it does help yeah? I have taken more interest in spirituality so I intend to read up on that a bit more and see what I can discover and learn. I have noticed a more calm approach in my day and feeling more relaxed. This is a huge achievement considering having inherited my mother’s quick-temper and having my own tendency to become completely overwhelmed by my emotions – sometimes to a frightening point I scare myself. I figure the meditation has got to be working.
The work goal – In the past few months I have gone through some major changes. I quit my job in February, then moved cities. I am now living with relatives in a new city. I am unemployed and feeling far more calm and free than I have in a long time. The whole monotonous routine of getting up at 5.30am to get my daughter ready for school, catch the bus, then train, bus again, walk to school, walk back to the bus, bus again, arrive at work 8.30am, work unmotivated dreading every day, then to have to do the routine all over again arriving home 7.30pm exhausted, was of course insane. While I hoped things would change once I found my own place closer to work, I knew in my heart I wasn’t happy where I was. So rather than continue hoping I would somehow find happiness in the next day I chose to change my situation completely. Because I had to either change it or accept it (This I learned from ‘The Power of Now’). And I most definitely wasn’t going to accept a situation that left me feeling exhausted, unappreciated and trapped. I thought, “I have goals! I want to travel and see the world, not be stuck in this office space! I don’t want a mediocre life!” All around me people seemed to be the same, that is, committed to work for a company for years of their life despite the daily complaints of being underpaid and overworked, getting married (of course complaining about that too), having kids, paying mortgages, and then more complaints. That life to me is mediocre and has never held any appeal to me whatsoever. None. Zilch. It may be perfect bliss to someone else and there of course is nothing wrong with that. But I however know that life is not for me. I being 31, a single mum with no assets and no clear vision of a career, roaming from one city to the next talking of true happiness seemed somewhat the amusing exception. I refuse to conform simply because it is the norm.
Leaving work was a strange situation where I was both nervous and waiting in suspense. I called a meeting with my boss who was already in a bad mood so he wasn’t interested in why I was leaving and certainly didn’t care that I had put in almost a year of dedication despite his erratic mood swings and a lack of training and support for my role. On my final day, I received a mere handshake. I suppose it’s more than I have received in some other jobs but that made me realise I can never again work for someone who only views me as a means to benefit the company. I refuse to work in a role where I am unappreciated and taken for granted. It is degrading and I am worth more than that.
Now I am seeking out that one job – that job that is so amazing it makes me feel ecstatic to know I even have it. It’s the job that I love, and that is one of my goals this year. I’ve spent time surfing the net looking for those gemstone articles to really get my blood pumping and this is one of them. http://positivesharing.com/2007/01/how-to-find-a-job-youll-love/
I have a history of only working short roles so in hindsight it seems that maybe it’s because I have never been happy. I am always looking to try something new because I know I cannot work somewhere where I am not happy. The only problem is I obviously haven’t been using the right strategy to land that one job that I know I will work in for life. So this is where the happiness goal comes in, to help me with the work goal. I have been in Sydney almost a month and have been fighting a nagging voice in my head telling me that I should be working by now. But as Alexander Kjerulf says on his article above, I must be patient. I know I could have easily gotten a job by now if I just took what I was offered by another agency. When I get a call about a job I know I don’t really want, I get this immediate sinking feeling in my stomach and I figure straight away it’s a sign. I am fighting between taking a job so I can finally get an income and stop living here rent-free, or hold out for that amazing job I have dreamed of for years. I have to start listening to my gut and focus on what it is I really want. It’s a great feeling knowing that I am trying to make a difference in my life and that I am slowly breaking out of my own cycle of short-term, uninteresting, soul-destroying roles. So I am happy to be in this situation where I am no longer a corporate robot, but in control of my destiny on the path to finally working in my dream job that I love!
The surround myself with positivity goal – In moving cities I have also managed to get away from a few people who have had a negative hold on me. At the same time I think I can say that changing the scenario for my daily life has given me a chance to renew my own attitude and change my own negative views on various issues.
It was important to me to somehow deal with the situation with my daughter’s father however I wasn’t sure exactly how I would deal with it. I could go on about all the reasons why I consider him unfit to be a parent but I have learned I must let go of any negativity and embrace the hope of love in everything. So while I do feel there are some positive aspects in the distance between them, I do wish him the best in his own pursuits and acknowledge the loss in him not being able to see his daughter regularly. I do pray and hope that things will only get better for him, for me, and our daughter.
I firmly believe that this is a major turning point in my life and that what I am doing is not just for me but for daughter. Even now I am somewhat nervous about the effect that moving cities will have on my daughter. Surely having a mother who loves her and wants the best for her will carry her through thick and thin? And of course, soon she will have a great step-father (Another highly important goal to be achieved).
It is a shame that sometimes family as well as other people who mean well can unknowingly hurt you but that’s how a lot of us can be. I know I have been a negative presence in someone’s life before and I intend to change my life now so I can be a positive and inspiring presence to everyone I meet. All I know is that moving cities has given me room to breathe and start over, something I have tried several times over but now it is different. Being where I am now I may be unemployed and have $3 in my bank account but I am surrounded by love and support and it makes all the difference in the world. It is so much easier to think through my goals, relax and meditate when I am surrounded by a calm and peaceful environment.
So the clock keeps ticking reminding me it’s now March and I have until December to reach my goals…tick, tick, tick…I feel I ought to be in a mad rush to get the ball rolling. But for now I will relax after all, time is an illusion is it not? I will continue revising my goals and looking for new ways to achieve them sooner (I’m gonna eat those sly goals one by one) but I am confident at this point that I have taken a good number of steps forward. I am unsure of what will happen next but I’m still moving forward…I am already excited about my third post and what progress I would have made.