Back in 2017, on New Years Day to be exact, I decided to start this blog. I wanted an outlet to be creative and to also record my memories, particularly our travels.
So, I wrote a few posts. But then I took an unintentional hiatus after only 6 months due to work commitments and, well, life. I got stuck on one of those mouse toys that goes around and around. Doing the same thing day in and day for long periods of time.
My blog wasn’t the only thing I took a break from. I think I took a break from having fun, being creative and essentially anything that wasn’t based around my career.
You see, I’ve been working in the corporate world for close to 20 years. And during that time, I spent some time working a second job, completed a Bachelors degree and Graduate Diploma and I also started not one, not two, but three new businesses. So, you can see why I may have been a little preoccupied.
I think one of the triggers for my mind shift was a question the lovely Amanda Kendle from Amanda Kendle Consulting asked at the first mastermind session I attended – “What is your legacy”. This really got me thinking, what is my legacy?
Fast forward 2 years and it seems I have come a full circle, with a few small, but vital changes. I am closing two of the businesses and stepping away from the third (I had a partner with this one).
Searching for the elusive life balance
I have spent the last few years searching for something. Perhaps I was searching for my younger years when things just seemed so much easier and more carefree. Maybe I was looking for something that would tell me what my next step was or maybe I was simply seeking something that set my soul on fire.
A professional I was seeing at the time mentioned that it wasn’t unusual for a woman in her mid to late ’30s to start questioning what she was doing in life. You realise that you still have a lot of years to go in life and multiple years of the work-life left, yet you’re young enough to change the direction. So, with that in mind, I’ve begun thinking and considering what’s next?
I also engaged a life coach, Shauna Thomson, who helped me to see what really matters to me. My family matters, my husband matters and looking after myself matters. We talked about the hobbies I enjoyed when I was younger – photography, drawing, sitting on the beach during an electrical storm (probably not the smartest idea, but I loved doing it nonetheless) and travelling.
When I started working at my current workplace, I loved it. I couldn’t imagine working anywhere else. But over 10 years of dealing with people who are not always genuine or are just looking for the next deal (and to be honest, mainly men) I was exhausted.
So, I sat down with hubby and talked about us, what we wanted in life and he also helped me think about what I wanted to do work-wise. We were on the same page. Hubby has the uncanny ability to see what I need before I realise it, it just takes me a little while to catch up.
I started the year by resigning from my job (I can tell you that was one of the scariest and hardest things I have ever done) and then decided to stay. Even though I decided to stay, I negotiated a much-improved work-life balance which included:
- a 4-day week that would go to 3 days over the next 12 months;
- establishing a set of boundaries so that I no longer felt I was being pulled in multiple directions at all hours of the day;
- I would get assistance by hiring a PA; and
- I would look to do something that benefited the community.
Re-evaluating how I want to live my life has given me an opportunity to take a breath and start getting back to basics.
I know have more time to spend my family, time to just sit on the couch and read the day away, time to plan our new home, time to plan our upcoming holidays (because we all know how I much I love doing this if you read my travel planning post) and well time to do anything I want really.
Instead of attending multiple “small business” related workshops and courses I have started going to workshops that are purely for the enjoyment. I attended a botanical drawing workshop with Open Hands Creative.
And I even participated in a native floral arrangement course held by floral artist, Debra Hayes.
While I don’t have all the answers yet and it’s hard not to go back into old habits at least I feel like I have more control of what I chose to spend my time doing and doing it with.
It’s important to recognise that change doesn’t happen overnight, and I acknowledge it will take time to recover from working so hard for such an extended period of time. But I’m excited by the possibilities of what may be and explore what my future holds.
I’d love to hear your stories of how you’ve positively made changes in your life to achieve your happiness.