Friday, March 20, 2015

Find what makes you happy, then do what it takes

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.

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