I had many major life changes in 2017. My dream job that I had been working for the past 4+ years that I absolutely loved ended when the company went out of business. I was fortunate to find a new job, but am now working in a new city and on first shift after spending the past 15+ years working second shift. I love that the new job is closer to home, but the hours wreck havoc with me on multiple levels.
When all of this change took place, I was fortunate enough that I was able to pull back from pretty much everything I was doing and regroup. I said no to a lot of things because I needed to focus on this new life that was unexpectedly thrust upon me.
Saying no, stopping everything but self-care and regrouping were the best things I could have possibly done. I honestly think that if this situation had occurred before I discovered minimalism that I would have had complete meltdown. Before I started to slow down my life, I was overscheduled, overextended, and stressed to the max. I did not even know how to relax.
Living intentionally, I was still thrown for a loop by the circumstances, but I have been able to come back from the devastation in a much more positive way than I would have a few years ago.
I am now at the point where I need to start saying yes to things again. I’m honestly not quite sure if I am ready to start saying yes to things, but I feel that I need to say yes to things. Nothing creates problems of its own sort.
I have been able to keep up with my positive coping skills and lifestyle habits such as running, reading, and relaxing at home. However, now I feel its time to get out and start meeting people again. New town and new work hours make me quite isolated.
The challenge is being intentional in what I say yes to.
I have lots of options.
I want to be sure I am only saying yes to what I can handle. I hate saying yes, then no, shortly after. Sometimes it happens. We say yes to something only to discover that we don’t like it, or life circumstances change. I guess I’m looking to make good choices about trying new things.
My running schedule is my top priority, and with the new (horrible) work hours, its a struggle. But running is a solitary sport, so I need to figure out a way to get out and meet people too.
I have come to the conclusion that with my running schedule, being that I am training for a full marathon this fall, that I do not want to commit to anything that occurs on a weekly basis. For example, I’m not going to say yes to something that happens every Wednesday (or any Wednesday really) because I need to prioritize my running schedule and still keep some down time.
I’m trying to live intentionally.
So what am I going to do? I have some options. First, I have found a book club that looks interesting that I am going to be trying next week. Book club meets once a month, which is something I can totally swing. I don’t mind once a month commitments. It’s the once a week variety that I am not up for.
Second, some of my positive coping skills are going to be coming back in style pretty soon here. Mother Nature has clobbered us with three nor’easters in the past two weeks, with a fourth on the way. As soon as the weather is done throwing a fit, it will be beach weather and baseball season.
I have also signed up for a farm share this year to go with my focus on nutrition for my running plan. Now, farm shares are a weekly commitment, but it’s one I can handle. I just pick up the vegetables every week, and then I have to prepare them. I have to cook to eat anyway, so what difference does it make if I am picking up my vegetables that are part of my farm share or making a trip to the grocery store?
One thing I have discovered with these new work hours is that I value my time more. This is probably because I now have less time available. Maybe you have to understand how much these new hours really screw with me to understand, but believe me, I get way less done during the week now than I did when I was working second shift. I have so much crammed into my weekends now that used to get done during the week that it’s ridiculous.
I’m going to start saying yes, but I’m going to do it slowly. This is what living intentionally is all about. My life may have slowed down, but it has not stopped.
Intentional living is about doing what makes you happy. I no longer want to be stressed or overscheduled, but I do need human interaction. So I’m going to start inserting myself in activities again, but I’m going to do it slowly. Besides, these new hours have me so tired, I’m not functioning optimally. I want life to be full, but not overflowing.
It’s all about balance and being able to prioritize what is important in life. For me, that is what minimalism is all about. If I have less to worry about at home, then I have more time and energy to spend on people I love hanging out with and things I like doing.
Time to start living intentionally.