I usually try to keep this blog light. The topics are encouraging and fun. My mission for SHEbirdie is to be a ray of light, a motivator, a welcoming space to look at pretty things. But sometimes life is a little darker than that. Sometimes hard things happen and we need some encouragement through those times as well.
The past 6 months have been tough for me. There have been some challenging and heartbreaking things that happened in my family. Though it’s been a hard 6 months, it was an experience that I know I had to go through. Sometimes things happen that become lessons and eye-openers and more fuel for grateful living.
So here we are in the New Year. I am more grateful than ever for what I have and who I have in my life. I feel more grown-up and more ready for whatever comes my way. January is usually a time of renewal and goal-setting. That certainly still holds true for me, but I also happen to feel more at peace with my current situation than I ever have before at the start of a new year. Yes, I’ve set some goals – in my love life, for my weight-loss journey, for my career happiness – but there is less pressure and anxiety and more calm and acceptance. I have determination to accomplish many things this year, but I’ve decided it shouldn’t feel like a chore. It should feel more like an opportunity.
This is my hope and wish for you in the New Year – Embrace the dark days and the hard things in your life. Choose to see the light inside them. Use that light to move you forward. Make your plans and set your goals, but keep an opportunistic point of view. Don’t let pressures and guilt drive you. You can accomplish anything for yourself with hard work and ambition, but keep your peace and remember to be grateful for every small win.
Five years ago I came across this poster online and immediately connected with its powerful message. I ordered one and pinned it to my wall, positioned so I could read it from my bed. In fact I read it nearly everyday upon waking. It's no exaggeration to say this is the inspiration for my life as it is now and what I hope it will become. I still have it on my wall by my bed. It still moves me and challenges me. Thank you Holstee for voicing this beautiful system of beliefs so perfectly. SHEbirdie is the fruit of this inspiration.
What inspires you?
Is there a quote, a work of art, or a person that has inspired you to step out of your box and live/think differently?
Though my school days are long over, whenever Summer Break rolls around each year, I find myself reminiscing on summers past. It's a feeling of happy nostalgia for me. I remember my high school days being a carefree teenager with nothing in my pocket but plenty of time on my hands. My college days brought even more freedom with late nights out driving around town with friends, stitching together plans on the fly, and making the little we had go so far.
Even when I worked a 9-5 corporate gig after graduation, Summer Break retained its effect on me. I happened to work right next to a high school, so the memories really didn't have a chance to fade. In a way, I've always sought to rediscover that feeling in my life. I've always wanted to live in a bubble of chill, carefree summer nights.
Of course over time responsibilities grow, financial pressures build, and our once uninhibited friends become unavailable (which is the worst because what's a "summer break lifestyle" without companions to live it with?).
Life gets more complicated and we are expected to follow the rules society has laid out for us. Get a job, dive into your work, save money, buy a house, start a family, plan life around the children, put them through school, pay off your loans, and then finally, maybe, if you have the resources, retire and have some time for a hobby and a senior vacation.
It's not hard to see why so many millennials are rejecting this formula. Just attempting to type it out objectively was a task for me! Today things are changing. Mindsets, systems, expectations - all are adjusting to the legitimacy of a "summer break lifestyle" that can be moderated and interwoven into everyday life. What we desire from work, family, and even the society we live in is more fluidity and freedom. We can set up our lives to feel like Summer Break and still take care of business. This is the new expectation for many. Hopefully one day soon it will be the new normal.
What is your ideal work/life balance?
Do you think there is a shift happening in corporations and societal expectations?
Any outward change starts inside. It begins as an idea, or even a nagging thought...some concept that won't leave you. If you're a thinker, you'll mull over it for a while. You may question it and research it and ponder it until you decide to make a move. And if you're a little more extreme (like me), you'll plan it and attempt to assure its success before you even begin to act on it.
This is how my life-changing journey began, way back in September 2012. It started with a restlessness in my spirit about my life in general - my job, my financial situation, my health, my lack of happiness. I first focused on my job and looked for ways out - other opportunities to start working at something I actually cared about. Then I thought about how I had been neglecting my health and what I needed to do to change that. I had also been longing for adventure and cultural experiences that I'd only gotten a glimpse of as a child. I soon realized that a complete overhaul was the only solution that would actually create the life transformation that I craved.
The past 830 days have been intense, freeing, challenging, emotional, inspiring, scary, educational, liberating, and so many other things that words can't describe. It's an upheaval that I highly recommend - it's life and learning and has been so important for my personal growth. But this post is about a 1000 day journey. The reason is because I still have a way to go and I hope to reach a new milestone by May of 2015.
Now, I realize from first hand experience how uncontrollable time is - it either goes too fast or drags too slow, takes longer than expected or sneaks up on you. But goals still drive us and mine are pushing me towards a new line (a finish and an inevitable new start). For my health, I want to reach my goal weight by May. For my business, I want to reach that first level of success that I envision. For my adventuring spirit, I want to get back on a plane to somewhere I've never been. I believe in the power of my 1000 day journey and when this one is over, I can't wait to start the next one.
Share your thoughts:
Think about your last 1000 days - you may have been on a journey and not even known it.