When you don't like something in your life or things do not go as you planned, what do you do?
Personally, I complain about it for a while. I let it get me down. And then, when I am tired of feeling let down or aggravated, I release the build-up of "oomph" inside and embark on a journey to fix it.
My career aspirations have pretty much gone unattained at this point. I stepped backward for the sake of my then baby girl, because the only day care where I felt peace and joy was only available for part-time hours. I found a friendly career home, a perfect fit, that satisfied my needs for several years. I had plans for a long-term future there, but circumstances beyond my control changed that plan as I faced reduced work hours. Plus, the 70-minute one-way commute, even at only twice a week, was wearing me thin. Baby Andrew came along and I felt lucky to not have to worry about too many work hours. I took several months away from work entirely. As he reached 6 months old, however, I did not enjoy the isolation from grown-up discussion and yearned to work again. I finally realized that I was depressed and bored and not treating myself well. I took the unexpected curves in life and allowed them to veer me into a ditch where I sat and felt bad.
This is what I do. I get sad, feel bad, and eventually something snaps. A fire burns in me again and I set my mind to making a change.
You cannot expect anyone to make your positive life changes for you.
A mere seven months later, I no longer commute.
I work entirely from home and make my own hours.
I am available for my daughter when she needs me after school.
I have backup plans for Andrew's child care on an as-needed basis.
I feel amazingly proud of my growth as a freelance consultant.
From the moment I decided to take control of my own work load, my mission was born. It is a mission that is both challenging and rewarding. I am my own small business owner. I have a luxury that others may not; thanks to my husband's career, my fluctuating income is not a life-changer for us. I will be forever grateful for that. I work to earn new business, not as a burden or under stress, but because it coerces the best "me" to come out and shine. I am proud of my accomplishments. I finally see myself as a valuable specialist in my own area and after some time of self-doubt hiding and/or pushed behind others, I can stand up alone and sell my knowledge.
My little business is doing so much better than I could have expected after less than one year. I no longer base my happiness on a long-term plan. I set my own goals, step by step. Little by little. I have learned that I am adaptable. I can tackle change. Now I can enjoy the ride a little bit more.
Even if I have no idea what the future holds.