For awhile now I have been wondering, “Is this all there is?”
Specifically, when it comes to work and everyday life. It’s so boring! I have talked about this with my sisters and some close friends. Basically, we came to the conclusion that our 40’s and 50’s are spent doing the necessary things that will ultimately allow us to enjoy life later. I call it The Grind.
See, unless you are born fabulously wealthy and gorgeous and live on a tropical island…..then maybe it is all ok. But for the rest of us, we are figuring out how we got this far in the first place, do we really want to be here, do we want to stay here, what lies ahead and how do we get there. Whew. I am exhausted.
At least I am not in my twenties. At the time I thought it was great, but I was totally clueless and my life kind of just ‘happened’. I hope it is different now and that young adults have more common sense and maturity than I had. Basically, I went to the same college my sisters attended, did the same stuff, had a blast, and graduated with a History of Science degree. My Dad asked me what I would do with a History of Science degree. I said, “Nothing! I have to go to school some more to actually do something.” Wow. Now, I kind of get why Mom and Dad encouraged me to get a degree like accounting, nursing, teaching, engineering,….you know, the kind you can actually get a job with after you graduate. Anyway, it all worked out. I took a year off, tended bar, cleaned a lot of toilets on a dude ranch, worked in a hospital and figured out that I would/should be an Optometrist. All’s well that ends well…right?
Yesterday I read an article by Betty Liu- Anchor at “In the Loop” at Bloomberg TV on linkedIn called: Why Jeffrey Katzenberg Thinks You Should Stop Following Your Passion. I liked it. The gist of the discussion is that we are always being told to “follow your passion” and you will have a great career and life. Jeffrey Katzenberg actually advised to “follow your skill” and the passion will follow. Interesting. That makes a lot of sense to me.
What is my skill?
The gift of gab? I think maybe so. ( After all, I was voted Most Talkative in high school – scary, but true.) That actually works for being an Optometrist so I am going to go with it.
I digress. Back to The Grind. I am currently reading Thrive by Arianna Huffington. So far, it is hitting home for me. I think this book could be useful for both women and men. It starts out with the notion that we have all been brainwashed to think that success is achieved by accumulating wealth and power. Sure, both of those things are nice to have. But at what cost to our health, relationships and overall well-being? Arianna talks about Thriving which is completely different than Succeeding.
Thriving involves four elements which include: Well-being, Wisdom, Wonder and Giving.
Well-being involves being physically, emotionally, and mentally engaged in the act of living. Right now. Not later. Take a minute to breathe.
Some days I feel like I haven’t taken a breath all day.
I won’t go into too much of the book except to say that I am going to make an effort to get more sleep, disconnect from media now and again, enjoy quality time with people I care about, give thanks, and pay attention to the stuff that really matters to me. I am going to have to think about that part. What really matters to me?
For awhile now I have been doing Affirmations. Sometimes, they come very easily to me. You know, the obvious (but important) ones such as my health is good, my family’s health is good, I have a job, I like my little house, I love my dog. …
Sometimes they don’t come as easily. That is when I say to myself, ” I am thankful that so and so isn’t driving me crazy anymore.” That is probably a borderline affirmation, but beggars can’t be choosers. Or when I am grateful that my life isn’t someone else’s…. that is probably considered bad affirmation etiquette. It’s a work in progress.
I think with a some effort and good humor it’s possible that The Grind may turn into Thriving. Wouldn’t that be grand? On that note, I will go for that walk and breathe…and do some affirmations (the good kind.)