Write it on your heart

Are you fascinated by other people’s New Year resolutions? Naw, not me, either. But you can’t help thinking about it this time of year, can you? The media is in our faces with resolutions that are made and not kept and they’re all so predictable.

Mine is: don’t change a thing this year. I think it’s the first time ever that I haven’t had some major aspect of life to repair/renovate/retrieve and I couldn’t be happier. The thing is, I didn’t consciously make all of the changes that add up to what’s going right for me. That’s because lot of it had to do with letting go.

Four years ago we were under the Sydney harbor bridge for New Year’s Eve. I was a magazine editor enjoying a decent salary after a 20-year climb in my career but not happy with lots of things in my life. I thought I was near the top of my game professionally but was juggling like mad to deal with family stuff, never having enough time to really enjoy the fruits of my labor. That all changed a few months later as I was laid off and my magazine shut down due to the economy. For two years I struggled to get back into the game while biking, running and exploring away the unwanted free time. The tumult turned out to be a gift in disguise.

I accepted the first full-time job I was offered, and despite it being technical and tedious and having nothing to do with my career in journalism, it is the best thing that could have happened to me. It took a while to make the transition but the hardest part was shutting up and learning to enjoy the benefits. It’s work-from-home and completely flexible, allowing me to take a laptop on the road to pursue adventures anywhere, or to check in with the fish on the bay rather than being tethered to a desk just about anytime I feel like it. It has freed me from the professional aggravation of climbing a corporate ladder or sitting in an office on a sunny day that’s perfect for being outside. I’m still putting money away for retirement, but I’m not putting off enjoying life.

Emerson said, “Write it on your heart that every day is the best day in the year.” And that’s what I’m doing.

Could I have made these changes consciously? Probably not. The Kool-Aid has been in my system since birth, telling me to pursue corporate success but not really justifying the servitude. Now I am learning to look at situations that we assume are “normal” and asking whether I want to take that route. It took major upheaval to alter the path of my life, but it was a good kick in the pants. I just wish it had happened sooner.

I wasn't ready for my life's path to veer off-track but now I am glad it did.

I wasn’t ready for my life’s path to veer off-track but now I am glad it did.

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One Response to “Write it on your heart”

  1. Kitty Ann Says:

    I’ve read and re-read this and it keeps feeding me. I’m somewhere at the beginning of this path, so it’s good to get word that there are good places ahead somewhere around the bend.

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