|On a beach in Hawaii, 2009|
My new husband is extremely work oriented. Forging a path in his career to put him on the right course to success is his number one priority. And where I support and respect his dedication to finding a job that is fulfilling and meets his ambitious needs, I sometimes have a hard time understanding it. Don't get me wrong, I want to live "The American Dream" (or what's left of it) as much as the next gal. But I have this desire to expand my horizons and inner happiness another way...by living as much as possible.
With my aunt passing away suddenly, finishing my master's degree, and getting married all happening within 3 months of each other, I've had a hard time digesting what it is that makes me happy. What is it that makes life worth living each day? I'm sure there is a mathematical way to figure this out. But since I am pretty bad at math, I've deduced three possibilities simply based on what I've experienced and learned so far.
1. Do something you love full time. This is the "find a job you enjoy" philosophy. It's not easy, I can tell you. Finding a job you love that pays well isn't always a possibility. Finding a job that isn't shite usually gets a "whoo hoo" in our current economy. But if you can find this position. This magical occupation that actually makes it easy to wake up at 6am and head to work...hold on to it with 2 hands and don't let go!!!
If you can't, I give you:
2. Hobbies! Get some! Join a club. Join a gym. Knit. Play a sport. Go to quiz nights at local pubs. Start an evening out club with friends. Start a game night. Blog. Play music. Listen to music. Travel (which is also number 3). Check out classes at your community center. Zumba. Join a parenting group. Anything to get your mind off the daily grind and the job you may not love. I personally have a few I love doing and I've met amazing people from them. There is something to be said in enjoying the fact that you can do fun things - even little things...
And 3 to living a full life...
TRAVEL! It doesn't need to be far. It doesn't have to be expensive. But getting out of your town/city and checking out what other places have to offer is eye opening and refreshing. It can recharge you. We spend so much time attached to our computers, our jobs, this compact life we can't stuff anything else in...that we just don't. Make a deal with yourself to get the hell out of your cage! Take a mini-break to the ocean...or that cute little B&B 5 towns over. Travel abroad for a few days/weeks/months if you can do it, and immerse yourself in the culture.
Life is truly amazing. Ferris Bueller said it best: "Life moves pretty fast. If you don't stop to look around once in a while, you could miss it." A job is time consuming - so find something you enjoy (or can at least tolerate). Hobbies let us do and be who we are - it adds a little something to your week beyond "work, eat sleep". Find something you find fun and do it! And travel beyond your town - it lets you see things you don't normally see and meet people you normally wouldn't have met. Dream big here! You can learn a lot by hoping on a train/plane/or in a car...
Of course, these are just my opinions and I know there's a bigger, deeper philosophical conversation at work here, as well. But for me and my personal reflection to what makes my life fulfilling...these are the things I cherish most (with the exception of family...but that's another story). Please feel free to let me know what you would add to the list!