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I love littlegreybox! Lately it has had to take a back seat to my real job, you know, the one that pays the bills. If you’ve been wondering where I have been this past month, I have been perched at my desk, shrouded in halogen lighting, wishing I could be at home blogging.
Writing gives me a lot of joy, but no money. Terrible combination, I know. As much as I wish the electricity company would allow me to pay my bill with the sense of self-satisfaction I get from writing, they just won’t. They’re so unreasonable!
It’s hard trying to carve time out of your every-day life for the things you really love when you have so many other things going on. If you work all day, have kids to look after, try to eat right and exercise, well then you’re probably struggling to find any time in your life for anything else too, and who could blame you?!
After sitting at my work desk at all day sometimes the last thing I feel like doing at night is sitting down trying to write, because it feels like I am still at work. My brain often has other ideas though, and it can take me hours to get to sleep as all these thoughts and sentences course through my imagination. It’s cruel really, because by the time I’ve woken up I’ve forgotten all the good ideas I had.
Finding the thing that makes you happy and trying to balance it with everything else going on in your life is a huge challenge for most people out there. We’re quite often bound by these expectations that are set for us and they tend to glue us to the spot we are in, because of fear.
In Brisbane at the moment there is a huge sense of ‘You’re lucky to even have a job’. This vibe has been floating around our city for the last 12 months because huge numbers of people are being made redundant. Because it had been said so often and because I was afraid, I subscribed to this theory and started counting my lucky stars I have a job, even though it is far from my dream job.
Every day I wake up and grumble about going to work, but I catch myself and remind myself just how lucky I am to even have a job to go as thousands of people are struggling without one. Then one day, one of my co-workers turned around and declared this theory was absolutely ridiculous. Her point of view isn’t that we should feel lucky and settle in unhappiness just because we are afraid, oh no, she believes we should always seek the best for ourselves and never compromise out of fear.
This idea rocked my world and for a few days it was all I thought about. How often have we been doing this in our lives? Settling for something we aren’t really happy with just because we’re afraid we’ll lose what we have. We may not even like what we have, would it be so bad if we lost it? Probably not. It would probably be the good, swift kick up the rear we needed to seek something better for ourselves.
Matt often tells me that being made redundant from a job some years ago was one of the best things that ever happened to him. Mainly because it forced him in a new direction and gave him some clarity around what he wanted to do
I think we are all creatures of habit, we can’t help ourselves. We crave a routine, something to give us a sense of purpose and achievement each day “I got up and went to work today, I did what I was supposed to do. Go me! Let’s celebrate by eating cake!” That’s why settling into a routine is so easy for us and leaving that routine is so hard, because quite often it signifies failure in our minds.
I’m trying to tell you not to be afraid. You can spend every day for the rest of your life doing something you don’t enjoy doing and saying to yourself “I should just be grateful for what I have.” The only person who suffers in this situation, is you. You are missing out on what you really need in your life to make you truly happy, from the inside out.
Don’t be afraid to change your routine, even if it is just a little bit at first. Instead of sitting down at night to watch 3 hours of television, start reading that book you’ve been meaning to get to, then get stuck into the television. Start training for that triathlon you’ve always wanted to run but never thought you could do. Start building up your skills through online tutorials for that dream job you want to get. Start planning your European gap-year, even if you are 36 years old, because it’s never too late for a gap-year.
There is no reason fear should bind you to where you are, none whatsoever. Fear is something we create in our mind from expectations, social pressures and guilt. If you’ve created this fear for yourself, there’s no reason you can’t take it away too.
I’ve been working for the same organisation for the past 7 years and it is mainly the people I work with who have kept me here, I’ve met my best friends and my soon to-be-husband through this place. I’ve had two of the most amazing and supportive bosses you could ever hope to encounter and my job has allowed me so much flexibility to follow my love of travel.
Because of these reasons, it has been hard to leave. In my mind I think I should feel grateful for the job I have and stick to this routine, because it is easy and I know how it goes. But this little voice in my head and my heart keep telling me it isn’t the right fit for me, that there’s something else out there for me. Most of all, I know I don’t get anywhere near the same joy from my current job as I do from littlegreybox.
Lately an idea has been brewing in my mind, something bigger than littlegreybox, a business that takes all the things I love to do and puts them together into one idea. It would be my business, my baby, and the idea of it makes me ridiculously happy. I’d love to tell you more about it, but it’s just an idea at the moment. But I will tell you this, if you love littlegreybox, I think you’ll love this next chapter too.
Wherever you are in the world today, just remember you don’t have to settle for anything in your life. You have the right to demand more from your life and yourself. You have the right to follow your heart and start changing your routine and taking some risks for yourself. Don’t let fear hold you back, let it inspire you to move forward.
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