A few weeks ago I was utterly frustrated with myself. Here I was, a person who quit a full-time job for the sake of my sanity and to spend more time doing the things I love. Yet, even after almost a year, I hadn’t done any of the things I set out to do.
I was still engrossed in work and every moment of free time was spent watching TV shows again. You can hardly blame me. They say we’re in the Golden Age of Television. Haha!
Still I had fallen back into old patterns… and I know why I felt this way. I was mentally drained.
Since, I started working 15 years ago, the only proper holiday I took was when I gave birth to my daughter (that was almost 12 years ago!). I’ve been working non-stop after that. I’ve worked on my phone or laptop through my holidays and even when traveling. I still remember one holiday, when I was desperately looking for WiFi to check my emails, like an addict looking for fix.
I may sound dramatic but, I felt my last job left me scarred. It was the straw that broke the camel’s back. And even after I left, I still had ties to them working on a consulting project so nothing really changed. I was also anxious about making enough money to survive. The first year of being self-employed is not at all easy. Not by any standards.
I was not in a good place.
I wanted to do something about it; I know I had to do something about it.
Here’s what I’m changing to get my life back on track:
1) Writing: I’ve started to take my blog seriously. Something I should have probably done a long time ago. I’ve also started to write for a publication on Medium and finally I started, my own website for financial consulting posts. I’m still trying to catch up on that one.
I have to say though, as I sat to write, I couldn’t even get more than 10 sentences down. I struggled for a while and now, I’m quite happily typing away almost every other day.
2) Reading: I have shelves of books that I haven’t read. I’m quite sure the number would be close to 200. I love books. Sometimes, I will just stand and stare at my bookshelves, which probably doesn’t help much. So, I’ve decided to up my game. Every time, I think of watching an episode on Netflix, I pick up my book instead.
3) Teaching: A big part of quitting the full-time job was spending more time with my daughter. A single parent, working over 70 hours a week, just wasn’t right. I felt like I was missing my daughter’s life completely and that’s so unfair to her and to me. I’m grateful that she’s growing with her grandmother at least, but it’s still wrong.
Now, I spend at least two hours a day teaching her. With the crappy education system these days, all the school seems to be focusing on is STEM. We study History, Geography, Poetry and just a whole host of interesting things. It’s the best part of my day and I’m so grateful to have the time. Better late, than never!
4) Painting / Art / Design: I used to draw, paint and design. Boy, have I lost my touch! Still, with practice, I hope it will eventually come back to me. There’s something immensely satisfying about creating something artistic.
5) Exercise: This is very new for me. When I was working, I always made sure to get plenty of walking done during the day. I always walked over to people’s desks instead of using the phone, always used the stairs when I could and made sure that I’d walk around the office block every couple of hours when I took breaks. There’s none of that anymore. Over the past few months, I’ve not only put on some weight but also feel very rusted. I can feel parts of my body have started to creak. So this week, I decided to start walking around the block in the morning and doing some freestyle exercise at home.
I can feel that I’m becoming a happier person. I can feel that I’m letting go of all the ugliness in my past and moving forward towards something positive.
I’m not holding myself to schedules yet. Right now, I’m taking baby steps.