Life continues to march steadily onward. It’s the end of March 2016 and I’m busy wondering how that even happened.
For anyone that hasn’t been following along, between January and now I quit my previous job, took a month off to recover, and started a brand new job at a non-profit psychiatric clinic for the under-served.
It’s been a big adjustment, but a highly welcomed change. As an eternal optimist, my initial enthusiasm for any change in my life can sometimes be attributed to that glorious “honeymoon” phase where everything seems sensational and I willingly adapt to any new circumstance thrown my way. However, now that I’ve settled in for a bit I can tell you that I am still very content and truly enjoying my new digs.
Balance. It’s the advice I preach to all my patients, but up until now have really struggled to manage myself. For the past two years I’ve been seriously stressed out.
So between jobs I took a month off. And did what might, to some, look like nothing. I didn’t travel, I sat at home a lot, I powered through a hefty number of escapist fantasy novels. I did manage to get to the beach several times, as you can tell by the photo evidence. But, most importantly, I learned a heck of a lot about myself by adjusting the pace of life down, like, 1000 notches.
And I’m going to share what I learned with you. Just in case anyone else can relate. And as fellow bloggers/ cooks I imagine a few of these at least will hit home.
- Not everyone is creative, but I absolutely am. If I can’t be creative I’m miserable. End of story. Blogging is just one of my outlets, but I also love to paint. Photography is fast becoming a new medium of interest as you can probably tell by this blog 🙂
- To be creative I unequivocally need to foster a certain mind state that includes feeling happy, relaxed, and inspired. I also need time. (Something spending 2 hours a day commuting on “the 5” quickly eats away).
- I realized that I really truly need time alone. Particularly time alone when I’m outside, in nature, or taking walks by myself when I can just think and feel at peace.
- So that means sometimes (often) saying no to other obligations, social gatherings, work dinners, etc.
- But saying yes to the people that matter the most.
- Exercise, sleep, and eating well…. Also critical.
- And having a job that, while critical for financial stability, doesn’t leave me feeling drained, stressed, and unhappy week after week.
I feel a little silly posting about “updates” as there’s really been nothing dramatic or exciting to report in the last several months- no trips (although we are planning a big trip to Peru in May, so stay tuned!), no moves, no pregnancies (thank goodness because Zika… yikes!).
(My parents did manage to sneak a trip in to visit us here in San Diego earlier this month, which was lovely!)
But, while there are really no superficially showy changes in my life to post on Instagram or Facebook, what has really what has changed the most for me has been a reset of the balance button in my life. A new start to focus on managing day-to-day relationships, routines, activities, hobbies, and focusing on ample time for rest. And staying creative. Always that.
(Photos in order of appearance: The Pacific Ocean at Point Loma, View from Devil’s Punchbowl, A Lifeguard Tower at Torrey Pines, An Original Oil Painting of Morro Bay by Your’s Truly, An Inspirational Quote from the Public Library in La Quinta, CA).
So great to hear your new job is treating you well! And just because your month off wasn’t exciting doesn’t mean it’s not worth updating about. It’s really important for people (me) to hear that taking the time off just to relax and reset was so good for you.
I LOVE that painting of Morro Bay. Do you sell any of your artwork?
Hey Raquel- Thanks so much! It means a lot to hear that other people feel the same way I do and that we all need reminders to take care of ourselves 🙂 I think that’s the burden of ambition….. you have the drive and motivation to do it all, but maybe not the reset button to turn it off when you need to?
And thank you so much for the painting compliments! I actually gifted this painting to my mom so it isn’t for sale, sadly, but I am definitely open to the idea of selling my work. I haven’t actually started selling anything yet as I’ve only recently restarted painting and I don’t have a body of work yet to set up shop really… but am super open to doing commissions! 😉
Saying no is such an important skill. May balance continue to be a part of every day life ?
Wow, you have had one heck of a change and adjustment, but I’m glad you found time for YOU! That is so important! I’m guilty of not knowing how to relax or reset, so your tips on how to find balance are MUCH needed! Tip number 2 especially hit home, because to be creative I MUST feel relaxed, inspired and NOT stressed. Often times I will have to shut myself off from the world to foster creativity. Anyways, thank you for the tips, dear! And bravo for doing you! Cheers – to a fabulous Easter weekend! 😉
Uhm yes. It’s embarrassing how long it took me to figure out that feeling rested/rejuvenated is the key to producing creative work. I feel like annually I’m going to plan a weekend to just go to the mountains by myself and do nothing. Forcing solitude might be what it takes 😉 Happy Easter to you too!!
Your timing could not be more perfect! I’ve been needing to take a day off for quite some time, but with so much going on, I feel like there isn’t any time!! So today I forced myself to take the day off and just RELAX! It’s harder than it sounds, right?? So good for you for taking a month off and just slowing down! I can totally relate. 🙂 Congrats on the new job!
DO IT!!!! You will be so much happier with yourself, and more productive at the end of the day! Thank you so much for commenting, and so glad I was able to hit home with you- I sometimes feel like the people in my life don’t know what the heck I’m talking about when I start rambling about blogging/creative process sometimes, so it’s *way* cool to know that I have you awesome blogger-friends to share the experience with 🙂
It’s nice that you made a change for you. I’m a very unique person and know that I will never be able to work a 9 to 5 without being completely and totally miserable. I love writing and I just have to make it happen. As much as I have been rejected, I still love it. It’s kind of crazy. Yes to being creative, for sure.
Hey Laura! Good for you for doing what you love- I think that more people need to own what makes them happy and jump in head first!! (Even though I’m not exactly doing that..) I definitely have a very tolerable 9-5 right now so it works for me, but I absolutely have felt that dread of having to go into my non-creative job and feel like I’m sucked dry and miserable…. have definitely felt the appeal of working entirely for myself JUST focusing on my creative work. Love that you’re actually living the dream.. Us creatives need to stick together and push each other to stay true to ourselves!! 🙂
Yes! Yes! Yes! So proud of you, Sarah! ???
Thanks Aunt Carol 🙂 🙂 We are both having our Eat, Pray, Love moment I think!!!
Where is that amazing waterfall? Fab photos!
It’s called Devil’s Punchbowl.. it’s right outside San Diego if you can believe it- we don’t have much water here and it dries up to a trickle by late Nov. but in the spring it’s just gorgeous!! 🙂