I have to call this “personal change” because the word “change” has kind of been co-opted :D People might think I’m talking about Obama, which I do often enough. But no, this is about my life. For YEARS, I’ve been talking about changing my life, to the point where every time I say, “just a few more months and things will be different,” no-one believes me anymore.
But the fact is, I’m there!! And I just have to share it because it’s been a constant blogging theme over the years. I’ve been talking about the change I want to make happen, and it finally occurred to me that now that it’s here, I should say something :D So, what has changed?
In the last 5 years, I have moved three times (actually four, if you count the apartment I was living in while looking for a house). I am finally in the house that is really right for me, in a town I love, in a neighborhood I enjoy and with lots of wonderful things to do. Yay! I am no longer paying for a house that is too big for me, and my mortgage payments are under $1000. I have a manageable size yard and just enough space in the house, not too big, not too small. It’s open and airy and unique in style, in a woodsy green part of the city.
Probably the biggest piece of the puzzle and the one that will finally keep my colleagues from scoffing at my claims of change ;) is that I have finally made my career transition. I am no longer taking technical work (unless I really decide I want to take a small, interesting project) and I have finished all but one of my existing technical projects. That one is waiting on some agency decisions before writing the final report. I have enough mediation work to support myself full-time at a strong income level. My technical editing work is going well and more than paying the mortgage each month. Most importantly – I am no longer working the equivalent of three jobs.
Which leads to the biggest change of all – free time. My calender is open. I have major facilitation commitments for one week every two months, with maintenance work in between, and editing jobs on about an every other day basis, that don’t take up the full day. To see those empty pages on my calendar is just joy materialized, especially in contrast to the last three years, where every day of every page was filled with meetings, conference calls, appointments and work that had to be done in the evenings and weekends. As of this week, I feel free.
Free to exercise and get healthier – I spent yesterday researching the various studios and gyms that offer yoga, tai chi, and pilates in this area (of which there are many). I can go bike riding or kayaking or walking. I can dink around the farmer’s market and buy healthy food to cook, or just enjoy the day. I have a brand new wonderful gas stove on which to cook the healthy food. Time to sleep…
Free to write and continue to move more of my work online, always with the goal of diversifying and being able to live in Latin America someday. I am excited about revamping my website, finishing my book (which has been 2/3 done for years), offering new kinds of readings, and teaching classes online. I want to try self-publishing. For a change, I am a student in an online tarot study group.
Free to let my body be what it is, and have the down-time it needs, without always having to force myself to work through it because there were deadlines that had to be met and commitments to clients to keep.
Free to have a relationship, when and if that manifests itself, and free to enjoy social time with my friends without feeling like it impossibly cuts into my energy level and workload. Maybe I can finally have a dinner party here :) What I would really love is a dinner group – once a month or so we all cook for each other.
Free to travel and take a vacation of more than one week. I honestly can’t remember how long it’s been since I had more than one week or 10 days on vacation at a time – probably around 10 years. Maybe I can finally really learn Spanish.
Obviously, I won’t get to do all these things at once. But I have a choice now to do any of them I want – and that’s a change for the better, and hard-earned. Thank you for celebrating that with me.