Permission Granted: It’s Okay to Want Less

*something I wrote a while ago when I was trying to sort out my thoughts…

I’d worked my way up in the library. I’d worked my way up in the university.  I thought, “Why shouldn’t I be grateful to move to salary. A contract position! So glamorous. Somebody actually thought I was good at what I did and that I deserved to be rewarded by that. Man, I should jump at that- just because it’s there!

But the truth is, I was happy to punch the clock and put in my measly 25 hours a week. I was happy to do my work (and do it well) and then go home and not worry about it. I was happy not to have to be the person to make decisions or come up with new ideas or plan events. But I felt guilty and lazy about that. I started thinking what a terrible person I was and what a lazy person I was, not to desire to do more at my job. I knew I could plan a killer new project-I just didn’t want to.

Don’t get me wrong- I love the library. I love what goes on there. I love the programs implemented by the library. I love supporting the library. I just didn’t want to plan those programs or be in charge of anything. At least, not now. I could see myself getting amped up about that kind of work in the future– but not right now. I can’t explain it, but I just felt like I didn’t want a job that required too much brain power at this time.

Being the creative-new idea-event and display implementing person was a lot of pressure. I don’t want pressure right now. I want easy and relaxing. I know what pressure like that does to an otherwise enjoyable job: It sucks all the happiness and joy out of it. It makes it stressful.

So there I was with a shiny new salary position and an important title and I just wanted to give it all back. I felt ungrateful. A lot of people would kill for the opportunities that I had. But I’m not interested in climbing the ladder right now. I want to be a mom. I want to do volunteer work. I want to craft and sell my crafts. I want to practice Pilates and get my Pilates certification. I want to finally choose a grad school program and get started on it. Minus the grad school part, I feel guilty about wanting all that. It seems that in this day and age I should want to be a career woman. Don’t get me wrong, I do want to further my career. But right now I want other things more.

At one point my boss had to get surgery and would be out two months. We talked about what this meant for me. Being ‘next in line’ I would essentially have to be her for two months. As I sat there in the chair listening to her chatter off all the meetings I would need to attend in her absence, I could literally feel the dread creeping up from my stomach to my throat. But I nodded, smiled, and said, ‘No problem, I got this.’ And I did have it. I could do it. I just didn’t want to. I didn’t want the anxiety that came with all that. The anxiety that comes with anything that you subconsciously realize you don’t want, but are too afraid to admit it.

I didn’t want to be important or in charge. I’d been important and in charge for a lot of years as the owner of my own dance studio and head coach of a high school drill team, and I stepped away from it in an effort to cut the stress. Now I found myself back in that position. But I just wanted to be little old me, sitting in my corner, working on my little projects, and never being called on to step up. Honestly I beat myself up about this for months. I felt so guilty for not wanting to do it all. It’s not that I was a half-ass employee. I did my tasks to the fullest- I just didn’t want to be the all important go-to person.

I started looking back at the hourlies who seemed so stress free. They did their work, they went home, and forgot about it until the next day. I did more work (which never seemed to be enough) and then went home and obsessively checked my work email all night long, just to make sure that I was prepared for whatever would hit me the next morning. I busted my ass to get to work before anyone else and stayed after everyone left. I ate my lunch at my desk, while I kept working. I didn’t stop working while my coworkers talked about Once Upon A Time and Dancing with the Stars. I listened and interjected my thoughts- but I kept typing all the while. I wanted to keep up appearances. I felt obligated to do all this.

I convinced myself to stick with the new salary position and new responsibilities, even though I knew I was unhappy. Afterall- I was damn good at my job. I should want more opportunity to show what I could really do, right? But I never wanted to be a slave to my job, and that’s exactly what I was. I was at my boss’s beck and call. I came running any time she instant messaged me and summoned me to her office. I did everything she asked and more, even though it left me stressed, exhausted, and in a bad mood by the time I went home each night. I didn’t want my life to revolve around my job (and I still don’t.) I wanted want to put in my hours and then go home and enjoy my life with my husband. 

It thought that if I went in to my boss and was just honest with her and told her that I wasn’t happy in the new position, then she would look down on me and be disappointed in me. That she would tell everyone else that I just couldn’t handle it. Then I realized, just because I can handle something and I am good at something, doesn’t mean I have to do it or should want to do it. It’s okay to want less responsibility at times in your life.

It’s okay to want simplicity and peace.

It’s okay to want your life to revolve around your family, rather than your job.

It’s okay to want your job to be a small speck in a large life fulfilled by other things, like cooking dinner with your husband, and doing Pilates in your pajamas, and pulling weeds in your garden, while listening to audio books on your ipod.

It’s okay. I need and still need to convince myself that it’s okay to want and do less.

Advertisements

Taking Chances

Tomorrow I’m going to take a great leap of faith. I’m leaving my current position and starting a new one. I’m scared and excited all at once. It’s a little nerve wracking going from a job that you’ve pretty much got down to a science to one that you know nothing about. I’ve never liked that transition point between not even knowing where the copy machine in the building is to being an expert at your job. It always feels awkward. I much prefer to be in that place where I’m awesome at my job already.
But I also know what can happen at that point-which is where I’m at now. The job no longer challenges me, and more often than not, it bores me to death. I’m looking forward to becoming good at something else. I’m looking forward to a job that is always changing and evolving so that it keeps me on my toes and excited for the next thing. 
Tomorrow I will take that leap of faith into the unknown and become a ‘newbie’ again. I’m nervous for that but taking chances has paid off for me in the past and I’m hoping that it will in this case too. There’s one thing I’ve learned- never taking a chance means staying stagnant. If I want to continue to grow and learn as a person, then I have to challenge myself to take leaps of faith once in awhile in order to make that happen.

Favorite finds today

Just some things I came across today and loved.

Photobucket

Bike planters. How cool are these little guys? Kind of a fun accessory for your bike, don’t you think?

Photobucket 
I am in love with this cute little house. See the tour on YHL.

Photobucket 
Love this different take on a wall gallery.

Photobucket 
I’m kind of a sucker for urban gardens. I love the creativity of this one.

Photobucket 
I entertain the idea of buying another motorcycle all the time but at this stage in my life, how practical would it really be? Still- I wouldn’t mind if this Vintage Sunbean showed up in my driveway.
Did you find anything cool today in your internet travels?

A wall arrangement finally materializes

What a Monday! I was insanely busy at work today and the work was filled with constant frustrations. I came home and made asian noodles and egg rolls for dinner and now I’m sitting here exhausted. But I wanted to show you a little project I worked on this past weekend.

Photobucket
I finally hung the small picture gallery I had planned for the bedroom wall above the dresser. I’ve had a couple of these pieces for over a year now but was just taking my time rounding up enough frames. I finally made it a priority and I’m so glad I did because I love it!

Photobucket
Would you like to see them up close?

Photobucket
I bought this image when I went back to school. It reads “It’s never too late to be what you want to be.” It also serves as a constant reminder not to stress too much about the future and just live in the moment. The tiny print at the top reads “there is no time limit start whenever you want” Bought from Evajuliet on Etsy.

Photobucket

There’s no story behind this one- I just liked it. Bought from miniMooshee on Etsy.

Photobucket

I bought this photograph for Andy because he likes Studebakers. It was purchased on Etsy from NebraskaSky.

Photobucket 
This is a photograph of the Post Office at the ghost town Cisco in Utah. We bought this print in Moab.

Photobucket 
This is my birthday card from Andy that I framed. I just think it’s perfect! It reads “Just counting up all the wonderful things I love about you.”
The zinc Ampersand is from Anthropologie. You can purchase it here.

Photobucket

I love the way it turned out and I love that each part of it really represents us. It’s the perfect addition to the bare walls in our bedroom. So glad I finally made time for this project.
ps- I hung the gallery following the ‘newspaper’ method. You can see an example here. It was so easy!

A Post Birthday Post

Well, yesterday was my 31st birthday! I love having my birthday in March and I love that it’s on the 1st. March is the best month in my opinion and yesterday was great! There was lots of love from friends and family and fun birthday texts, calls, and messages all day. Year 30 was pretty damn amazing. So many great things happened. I’m determined to make year 31 even better!

Her Weekend

We mostly rested at home this weekend. I did some baking and cleaning and we picked up a new puzzle to work on. We spent the evenings reading and watching movies-never watch Contagion. Freaked me out! I think I washed my hands ten times in the next hour after it was over. On Sunday we drove to Wyoming to meet my new nephew- Nixon Clay. He is the super cutest little stud!!

Photobucket

Photobucket

Photobucket

Photobucket

Photobucket

Photobucket

Photobucket

Photobucket

Photobucket

How was your weekend?

Valentines at Home

We haven’t established too many holiday traditions since we’ve been together, we always just assumed that traditions would start when we had kids. But Valentine’s Day is different. Every year on Valentine’s Day Andy plans a fancy dinner and buys the ingredients to make it and then we have a fun time cooking it together and sitting down to candlelight to enjoy it. After dinner we usually lounge on the couch and watch a movie. It’s always one of my most favorite nights of the year. Cooking as a couple is always so much fun for us.

Photobucket
This year Andy’s menu consisted of Chicken Madeira, Butternut Squash Risotto and Asparagus. Chicken Madeira is one of my favorite things and I always order it at restaurants if they have it so I was pretty excited. Everything turned out great and we ended up having a fantastic Valentine’s Day!

Photobucket

Photobucket
Andy even sent me flowers to work and picked up some White Chocolate Macadamia Nut cookies- my favorite! He’s quite a catch and I’m sure glad he picked me.

I hope you all had a wonderful Valentine’s Day too! Sending lots of love your way.

Sometimes it’s hard

I’ve been struggling lately. You could say that I’ve lost my mojo but I think it’s a little more than that. I feel sluggish…a little sad…bored…blank. Sounds horrible, right? It can be frustrating when this happens, but it’s also a wonderful time too. Why? Because it forces me to just stop. Stop doing. Stop working. Stop moving. It forces me to reconnect with myself, to realize that it’s time to recenter again and refocus. It gives me a chance to ask myself important questions about where my life is going and whether or not I’m happy with my choices. And in the end, it always leaves me quite contented. It takes some time to get to that feeling of peace but if I handle it right, then it always happens.

You see, I’m well aware that it is the winter weather that puts me in this state. So there are a few tricks that I have that help me make it to May.
1. The husband and I try to plan a weekend getaway to somewhere a little warmer. Just a few days is all it takes to rejuvenate me.
2. I fill the house with fresh flowers. Their bright blooms are the perfect thing to come home to every afternoon.
3. I get my butt to the gym. My boss is kind enough to allow me to eat at my desk so I can use my lunch hour to work out. Those happy endorphins that exercising creates do wonders for helping me get through the day to day.
4. I make time for something that I enjoy every day: reading a chapter in my book, watching my favorite television show, online window shopping, bubble baths, pedicures, or something else that I would normally consider a ‘frivolous’ use of my time.

5. Put on some music and dance! Yes, I really do this. In the privacy of my own living room of course. Ha Ha. It’s amazing fun. Secretly I can’t wait until I have a little one so we can have mini dance parties in our living room together. 

It’s not much and some days are harder than others, but the little things help. Like today when I clicked over to Design is Mine. I stopped on this lovely little image and immediately smiled.

Photobucket

It’s funny how one image can brighten things, isn’t it? This room just looks happy and peaceful to me. Just as I’d like to feel today.
What do you do to chase the blues away, get your mojo back, or get through rough patches?