I wrote a post about balance the other day, specifically about trying to balance work and life, and how I’ll probably never master that balance, because I don’t think balancing is something you can actually master. You can only try your hardest and keep learning and adjusting as life throws things at you, no matter what. And that’s totally okay.
But as I was thinking about balance, I also thought about some pretty key elements that come into play in that, too.
Happiness, contentment and change.
I live a pretty happy life. I’m really freakin’ lucky. Yet, sometimes, I get caught up in all the things that I don’t have or things that are yet to come and I become impatient or anxious. Like wanting a job that’s your traditional 8am-5pm so I can have my evenings free to see the few groups of people that are important in my life, instead of cramming everyone I want to see into two days on the weekends and never having enough time. Or wanting a house with a fence so I can get a dog instead of living in a 600 square foot apartment. Or wanting to sign with an agent and get a book deal and a publishing contract.
Thinking about all of those things, I find myself wishing this was already my reality now or trying to figure out ways to make that happen immediately. Yet, at the same time, I think I also, at this point in my life, should focus on where I am right now and being content with where I am. Not that I’m saying I shouldn’t look at ways to improve or increase my happiness or make things better. I’ll always search for that. But I also need to focus and work on just enjoying the moment and situation I’m in right now, because honestly? I’m in a pretty great place.
It’s just easy to forget that, at times, wanting more.
The job one is a pretty big one, so that’s what I’m going to focus on breaking down here, in this post. Working 3pm-12am Sunday through Thursday is a really weird schedule. It makes seeing my family, my friends and boyfriend really difficult, especially on a regular basis (especially if you count me trying to just have a lazy day or time to run errands). Then, there is having to cook dinner before going to work and heating it up later, limiting what I can actually cook. There’s staying up super late and having a schedule that changes a couple different times a year, every year. It’s strange and, recently, it’s been tolling and I think often about wanting an 8am-5pm.
It’s so easy to focus on those things I want to change, instead of looking at what makes me happy about it already.
Like the fact that I can sleep in or if I oversleep, I’m not screwed and missing work. I have time to work out in the mornings, which I find harder to do when I work 8am-5pm, like I do a couple weeks out of the year during this job. I can run errands or make appointments in the mornings without missing work. The work week seems to go by quicker, when Tuesdays are your “halfway point”. My job, thanks to the hours and the type of work I do, allows me to work on other things, like writing or blogging, during the slower times at the library, allowing me to be much more present in the writing community and blog more consistently than I would at your traditional 8am-5pm. I make enough money to support myself. And I enjoy my job and the people I work with, which isn’t always the case (sadly, it’s much more rare).
When you read that paragraph, there are actually a lot of positives, even if my job is a bit unconventional and there are some things I wouldn’t mind being different. Sure, if an 8am-5pm turned up that I think I’d enjoy, I’d probably look into that opportunity, but at the moment, I don’t think I need to stress and worry about changing my job to try and get the benefits of working an 8am-5pm when I already have a wonderful opportunity that is working for me.
Instead, I think I need to get more creative with my time, because not getting to see the people I want each week is the big drag for me. So I just gotta think about what I really want to do, protect that time, make plans in advance and be honest with the people I want to see about how busy I am with a limited weekend and hope that they are empathetic when plans don’t work out or if plans change. Plus, not to mention not being afraid to just take a weekend for myself without feeling guilty.
That’s just one aspect of my life, where if I look at things a little differently and realize I actually am happy, just have a couple hangups that I need to work around, then I can continue on the path I am now, just with some tweaks to increase my overall contentment to consistent happiness with minimal change.
Of course, that isn’t always the answer. Sometimes, drastic change is necessary, especially when you look at whatever situation you’re in and you realize you’re actually unhappy, instead of simply content and wishing for a few changes.
But sometimes, it’s simply a matter of perspective and getting creative with the solutions available to you now, instead of trying to change everything.
And for me, right now? That’s exactly what I need.