Last night my honey and I went to a wedding for one of my co-workers. It was a short, sweet ceremony followed by an hour-long cocktail hour, buffet dinner and wrapped up with some dancing. The night was a lot of fun and it was good to let loose a bit!
Now this freshly married co-worker is getting ready for her honeymoon and I am going to cover her shifts for the next 2 weeks. Then another co-worker is taking the following 2 weeks off and I am covering for her too. During this time I will also have a few yardwork jobs lined up.
Yup 4 weeks of essentially full-time work. I can’t believe I agreed to this. When I get stressed I lose my composure, I get off track and life gets chaotic. I don’t want this to happen this time so I thought I would do some planning in advance to ensure I stay sane for the next month!
Can you believe 2017 is half over? 6 months have flown by and it is time to do a formal check in to see how I am doing with the goals I set for myself back in January. I set some finance, health, happiness and relationship goals and now we will see if I am on track, need to get in gear or need to adjust them to fit my current situation. This is a critical step to ensure my goals are not simply words on a piece of paper or ideas in my head.
I like to write down my goals and keep them in my face so I don’t neglect them or forget about them. My Google Keep Page comes up every time I turn on my computer so that is where I jotted them down. I like that I can color code it and rearrange it and check things off when completed. Unfortunately I am not computer savvy enough to move it to this post so I will need to type it over!
One year ago I picked up a book at the library by Allisom Rimm titled The Joy of Strategy: A Business Plan for Life” The introduction begins with: “The joy of a life well lived – our work well done, our cherished ones well loved, our potential realized. Isn’t that what we’re all after? You don’t need to leave your dreams to chance. However achieving this most fundamental and often elusive goal doesn’t just happen. It requires a strategy. To create a meaningful plan, you need a structured approach that guides your through the process of defining what is most important to you and what you must do to get it. The world’s most successful businesses do this as a matter of course, and there is no more essential business than the business of your life”.
I read those words and got excited. I had already been doing a lot of soul searching and had a pretty good idea of what was important to me and the type of life I wanted to live. I had already gotten a taste of freedom by moving the lake and I wanted more! At that time, the life I so desperately wanted looked like this:
Thanksgiving is a day to give thanks and express gratitude for all that you have. A day to celebrate a delicious meal with family and friends. In my house the preparations would begin 2 days before with everyone pitching in to clean the house. Mother Fran would give out instruction to ensure everything got done in time for the big meal. Desserts were usually made the night before and tucked away so as not to tempt us.
I strive to live a simple life, I imagine most people do. But lately it seems a bit more chaotic than usual. I feel stress settling into my bones and little tasks are tiring. With the holidays quickly approaching, things are likely to get even busier, and crazier.
Recognizing when you are on the brink of falling into a pit of stress filled days, before the actual fall, gives you the time to make a change.
How many hours a week do you spend working at a full-time job? What if you include your travel time, your lunch hour, the extra time spent to look professional, the time it takes to de-stress after work? That 40-hour work week is starting to use up 60 hours of your week.
What do you earn per hour? What if you subtract the cost of your travel to and from work, what you spend on eating out for lunch, coffee, snacks, what you spend escaping from thinking about work? What if you subtract what Uncle Sam takes? That $25 per hour is starting to look like $14.
As you know, I am a Lake Girl! I love the lake. I love the quiet, the solitude, nature at its finest. On a beautiful, calm day at the cottage, I am outside from dawn to dusk. I love to dip my feet in the water while kayaking, to drink my tea while waiting for the sunrise. I lay in the sun and jump in the water whenever I get hot. I keep busy by raking leaves, cleaning out the boathouse, and sweeping the decks.
On days like these, I can be out in a kayak or swimming and not even see a ripple to break the surface of the lake. When the lake is calm, you can look down and see the rocks, logs, and fish swimming below. The water looks almost turquoise. The skies overhead are an amazing blue and the sun is streaming down with a handful of clouds providing brief moments of shade. I love days like these. There is nothing to break the relaxation, the quiet, the gentleness of the day.
One of my goals for 2016 was to go on a bike trip with my honey. The purpose was to spend a few days getting away from home, doing something we both enjoy. Glad to report this goal has been met and thoroughly enjoyed.
I found us a rustic cabin in Pennsylvania that had Pine Creek in front of it and a bike trail behind it.
I spent 25 years living away from my family. Not because I wanted to be away, it just kind of happened. I moved to Boston at the age of 22 with 3 close friends from college. My plan was to stay for 1 year and then do something different. I had an amazing year and I found a job I liked, friends I loved and important relationships along the way.
Then I blinked and it was no longer 1988 but 2013 and I wasn’t 22 I was 47! How does that happen?
I have never thought of myself as a procrastinator. I am the type of person who likes to get things done and get them done on time, if not early. I don’t like the feeling of being late or letting someone down because I didn’t do my part. In college one of my best friends was a procrastinator. She would have a 10 page paper to write and start her paper at 10PM the night before it was due. Her boyfriend and I would stress out for her! I don’t know if she did her best work under pressure or really didn’t want to do it in the first place. But she simply couldn’t prioritize finishing her work before the final whistle was about to blow.