Listen up guys, I must get something off my chest. So lately I have been thinking about me which is not such a terrible thing. I know it sounds strange putting it this way, but a lot of you can relate right? We do not spend enough time thinking about ourselves. So, when we do find the time to do it, it is always riddled with guilt because we have more important things to do. Maybe it is time to change this.
Work; children; friends; partners; studies; bills, life has kept all of us quite busy. If you ask me, I will tell you that I have been living my life to the fullest. As a working mother and wife, my hands have been full indeed. Ensuring that everyone around me is taken care of has been the only way I know how to live. Honestly, I am grateful for everything that I have or accomplished in my life. I even appreciate all compliments about being a great friend, you know the one that always shows up. But is it all there is to what I call my life?
I recently started to feel an emptiness within me. An empty hole that I did not know how to fill. Asking myself questions which I used to think were all too cliched. Why am I here, what is the reason for my existence? If I am alive what parts of this life are truly me?
One day I got so emotional after making a bucket list in the middle of the night. The list kept getting longer, continuously adding things that were important to me. These are things I wanted to do but did not think the timing was ever right. I cannot even say it was about money because I spent it on other people’s wants. Not even lack of time because I invested some of it in people who did not deserve or value it.
After doing a bit of soul searching, I quickly realised that the bucket list idea was depressing so I dumped it. Instead of feeling like I was counting down, I decided to make a list of things I wanted to improve and add to my life. The real reason I felt unfulfilled was because I had not checked up on me for a while. I had lost touch of what life meant to me.
I was using productivity as a measure of how good my life was going. If everyone around me was happy, mission accomplished. It was time to make some meaningful changes.
This transformation had to happen for me and within me. I did not really know where to start though. I began with a list of things I wanted to do more of, new things I wanted to try and added certain things that used to bring me so much joy but were no longer priorities.
The wonderful thing about my list of changes is that there is no pressure at all. There are no strict time limits, very flexible and can be as colourful as I want it to be.
Deciding to make the change was not easy, especially if how I had lived my life seemed all too normal. When life is so busy, we rarely prioritize ourselves. I had to acknowledge that I did not have to spread myself thin by juggling too many things at once while running. Burn out was bound to kick in. I wanted to be the best for everyone, at everything but me, becoming less visible to myself.
Some of the things on my list include learning to know me again. What really ignites my passion and how I go about achieving the things I have set out to do. This list has ignited passion for things I once loved like reading, writing even road trips. A future visit to the museum who knows.
Change is allowing me to:
do more of things that make me happy: being available to write and express myself in ways that I never thought possible before.
get rid of monotony and bring adventure to my life: my daily routine does not feel robotic anymore. I get to incorporate other things that diversify my daily tasks
become more aware of myself: self-awareness allows me to see things from the perspective of others, practice self-control, work creatively and productively, be a lot kinder to myself
experience new and exciting things: learning new skills and have fun while doing it
We all have things in our lives we would like to improve. It could be relationships, careers, home décor or even how to better manage finances. To make these changes, we need to do things differently. Start making your own list of changes no matter how insignificant they may seem. Change can mean just one small move at a time; these small alterations will eventually lead you to the desired big one.
Most of us say these things to our family members and friends, “Get rid of baggage, make time for yourself, have fun, let go of things that do not add value to your life”. Maybe it is time to put our own advice into action. You may have to change your list a few times before you find the right balance. Take your time, do not feel pressured. Even if it is just one thing for now, go for it.
If your changes require financial resources, you may need time to raise the money. For example, saving up for a holiday or starting a new hobby. Also remember that not all changes are immediate, they may only apply later in your life. Certain changes may be put on hold due to situations beyond your control, do not be discouraged. What matters most is you have taken a step towards improving the quality of your life.
Just like learning anything new, it will take some time to get used to the change. There will be moments when you have to say no to some things that took up your time in the past. Sometimes you will have to make choices between completing your assignment or a night out with your friends. Family members who have you on speed dial may not understand why you are suddenly not available to run errands for them. Do not get me wrong, spending time with people you love is important, however, it should never be out of guilt.
Believe me I have my challenges. There will be times when you feel like you are losing your identity. You may even feel like it is not worth it. I still sometimes feel guilty for doing things for me without sharing with my children. Or just needing time to be unproductive. It takes a lot of work to change this mindset, but I am not giving up just yet.
Not everything will go according to plan, so what if it does not it is a work in progress after all. The difference this time is that I am the main event and not the after party and I am worth it.
Let me know in the reply section below of what changes you made lately and what your experience has been.
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