So often times it happens that we live our lives in chains And we never even know we have the key.
~ lyrics from Already Gone, by the Eagles ~
Today was a bitter-sweet day for me. It was my last day at work at a position I have been in for the last year. Last year I left a full-time, permanent job to take this position. The job is in the same field but this was filling a maternity leave spot so it would only be for one year. The difference would be the 50+ hours I spent commuting every month. I left the job that was 100 kms from home to be 4 kms down the road. And even though I’m now unemployed, I don’t regret it.
It’s scary making big changes, changes where you don’t always know what the outcome will be. Changes that will inevitably have a resounding effect on you, your lifestyle and perhaps your family. When I was considering leaving my old job we ultimately had to take money out of the equation (and we are still feeling that) and look at the bigger picture. We were juggling two shift working parents, 4 children, 1 who needed full-time childcare, another who needed part-time childcare, plus all the sports and recreational events that come along with the joys of family. Throw in the 50+ hours of commuting and it was inevitable something was going to give. One year later, stepping back it is amazing to look at just how close to the edge our family was to collapse. It’s amazing what a year can do for the soul.
In the last year:
- I have lost 60lbs
- I have run a half marathon (amazing what you can do when you don’t drive for 50 hours a month)
- I have made wonderful new friends at my, as of today, “old” job
- I have contributed to increasing the stability in my family
- I have more peace within myself
- Amazingly, this new job helped increase my confidence in my abilities and skills in a line of work that I have been doing for almost 14 years!
- I started studying to become a Holistic Nutritionist
- I received my certification as a Nutrition and Wellness Specialist
- I found a new sense of community in the group of people I work out with
- I started blogging!
Don’t get me wrong. We took a big risk. One that wouldn’t be for everyone. I am now in limbo as I search for another job. Do I stay in the same field I have been in? Do I consider commuting again (it’s almost inevitable as the town where I live does not have a lot of opportunities in my field). Can I find work that will allow me to continue or even complement my nutrition studies?
With all of those concerns, the big thing is knowing that we are now aware of how close we came as a family to falling apart. How close I came to falling apart, both emotionally and physically. It’s amazing what the body can do, but even it can only take so much. So when I am considering new work, I know that this time I will be aware of what to look for as warning signs.
Often it takes stepping back from a situation to see the whole picture. When we are immersed in “it” we can be just surviving. I was often told in my previous job “I don’t know how you do it!”, to which I often replied, “you just do what you have to do”. But that’s not entirely true. I look back now, and I don’t know how I did it!! I was existing but not living. So that is my goal now. To make sure that I don’t fall into that routine again. That life isn’t just about existing, that it is about being the fullest, most alive, most complete, best version of yourself possible.
Here’s to a fantastic year of growth under my belt, and a fantastic year of challenges (they aren’t all bad!) ahead.
Reach high, for stars lie hidden in your soul. Dream deep, for every dream precedes the goal.
~Pamela Vaull Starr~