It has been just over 3 weeks since Matt and I got home from our big China trip, which means it has been 3 weeks of us both working from home full-time. The trip to China felt like it was marking the official start of us both living our dreams and it was one heck of a start. I worked while we were away while Matt treated the break as a holiday, a well-deserved one at that. Before we returned home we were both a bit nervous, unsure what our routine would be like. Would we have enough work come in and earn enough of an income to keep living a normal life? There were quite a few fears, but also a lot of excitement too.
It turns out we had nothing to worry about, just another one of those times when your mind is coming up with scenarios or problems that aren’t real. They’re just possible issues that could arise, but don’t…. and if you had have listened to them, you may have never taken the chance. It has been really fun working out a routine and getting used to it, especially for Matt. He’s in the exact spot I was this time last year when I left my office job. It’s a weird feeling, a strange transition to make from going into an office every day to just… not.
The biggest thing has been making sure we’re being kind to ourselves, so trying to not feel guilty about working from home and enjoying each day. Somehow the guilt starts to creep into your mind a little, it’s almost like you feel really happy so your mind says, “Hey, you’re not supposed to feel happy at work. Do more work to even that out.” It’s a learning curve to give yourself permission to have fun and take it easy. Work doesn’t have to be gut-wrenching, back-braking, soul-destroying stuff. It can be fun!
There have been a few times I’ve had to tell Matt to stop working. He’s enjoying working on LGB so much that he can easily work all day and late into the night, not realising that he’s been sitting at the computer for a really long time. That’s a quick way to burn out though, so I have to peel him off the computer and get him outside for some sunshine.
It has been really great moving from our apartment into the new house. We were both a bit worried we might regret moving from an inner-city spot with great views, but we’re loving life. There’s so much space and the house is surrounded by beautiful national forest, so there’s greenery everywhere. I’ve never felt more settled and grounded, it’s even had a big impact on the way I sleep. Usually it takes me an hour or two to fall asleep, but I’ve been out like a light within 20 minutes! It is bliss. There are some cheeky possums who come to visit at night and some beautiful native birds who visit during the day.
Also, very importantly, we have become the proud parents of a very weird cat. She is a Cornish Rex and has been living with my Grandma for the last few years, but has come to live with us and we’re both absolutely in love with her. She’s the weirdest little thing, more like a dog really. Her name is P and she’s just the most loving, weird, chirpy, funny cat. It’s really nice having her sleep on our laps while we work, she’s just part of the crew.
I’d always had the feeling in my heart that once Matt left his job and we both fully committed to this being our lives that we’d have a lot more wonderful opportunities come up. It would also mean that we are able to take advantage of more opportunities together, seeing as we aren’t bound by annual leave or anything like that. My heart was right!
We’ve got some really great things coming up over the next seven weeks!
Next week we’re taking off up to the Sunshine Coast Hinterland for a two night stay at Spicers Clovelly Estate in Montville. We’re doing a video review of the property, which shouldn’t be hard because they’re absolutely incredibly beautiful places to stay and the service is always amazing. I’m picturing an open fireplace, great food and wine, trips to the Maleny Dairy and Eumundi Markets.
Later this month we may be taking off up to beautiful Hervey Bay for a few nights of fun winter activities, thanks to Tourism Events Queensland, including whale watching! It’s the start of the whale watching season, which is really exciting. There will be photos and videos of this great trip, you can bet your bottom dollar.
Also, later this month, we are hoping to team up with a large hotel group to spend five days staying at a number of their hotels and resorts around Australia. This is something new for me and I’m really excited to do some ambassador work for them and take their hotels for a test drive.
August brings with it both Matt and my birthdays, so we’re taking off to stunning New Zealand for a week and a half of snow, scenery, great food and wine and a whole lot of fun. We’re lucky enough to be staying at some stunning hotels and resorts while we’re there and taking part in ridiculously fun activities like the shotover jet, bungy jumping, dog sledding, snowboarding and a whole lot more.
It’s surreal to think this could be what our lives are like now, but it’s also really wonderful and I’m so thankful we get to do what we love. The hard work and big leap of faith has all been worth it. I can’t wait to share all of these exciting things with you over the next few weeks and have you come along with us.
My personal theme for this month is all about slowing down and enjoying the moment, something I’m always working on. I took some time out on the weekend to do some gardening, something I really enjoy doing. When I started I realised that I was really tense, trying to rush myself to get my gardening done. I realised I felt guilty for taking time out to do it and felt like I should be inside cleaning the house or organising my clothes or something like that. I had to actively tell myself to stop, just to stop and let that go, to relax and enjoy my time gardening and take as long as I needed.
The tension left my shoulders and I relaxed, forcing myself to slow down. Since then I’ve been trying to take more notice of when I feel like this and actively give myself permission to enjoy things and not rush through the moment.
This has meant eating my breakfast and having a cup of coffee on the back deck each morning, soaking in the soft morning sun. When I wake up in the morning I don’t jump out of bed immediately, I spend a few minutes gently waking up and laying there peacefully, then getting up when I’m ready. It’s small things like this that can help to slow you down and make you feel more wonderful, like you’re important enough to deserve the relaxation and happiness… which, of course, you always are.
So, as we settle into this new routine and this new phase of our lives, it’s all about treading gently, being kind to ourselves, embracing all the wonderful things that are coming our way and not allowing any guilt or fears to creep in.
I’d love to know what you feel your theme for this month could be. If you haven’t noticed one yet, take a moment to now. Just sit somewhere quiet, sit comfortably and close your eyes. Relax. What has challenged you lately? What have you noticed? What would you like to work on? There’s no right or wrong answer. Just bringing awareness to these things creates change.
Phoebe Lee is a writer, award-winning blogger and travel lover sharing helpful travel tips, insight and reviews for regular people. Follow her adventures at home and around the world, right here on Little Grey Box and on Instagram, Facebook and YouTube.