As 2009 begins, I find myself in a place I've been aiming at for a very long time. Or at least the starting point, the jumping off point of that place.
Dashing out to get groceries in the middle of the day, I realized I need never be bound by office hours again - I don't need to plan around them, or conform my activities to their schedules. If I need to make an appointment for 2 in the afternoon, I can. If I want to do all my Xmas shopping from 8 to 10 on a weekday, I can. If I want to slog until 3 in the morning on a complicated website, then sleep until 9, I can. Unless you've spent your entire working life turning up at a certain time and leaving at a certain time - no matter whether you have work to do or not - you'll have no idea how liberating that realization can be! (I do still set my alarm clock - but it's for half an hour later, on my own schedule)
With this sense of freedom, I'm finding "myself" again - the me who knows her strengths, her passions, her interests and remembers her dreams. I've been delving deeply into things that inspire me, re-igniting my long-given-up goals for what life should look like, what my home should be, and what makes me happy. I'm walking the dog each day, camera in hand - both exercise and creativity had taken a back seat until recently.
I've been pondering the notion of success too. Self-employed... so how do I measure it? Is it by reaching my daily financial goals? By accomplishing my to-do list before bedtime? By being able to plot how I'm growing personally, how business is growing? And how do I classify failure - or is apparent failure simply a lesson to learn, a step on the road forward? I've been defining exactly what success for me should be, and slowly orienting my days toward that. (I still have many battles to fight, but at least now I know what I'm aiming for)
I'm finding a sense of place - working my way through the things I've put off that make these four walls more home-like, incorporating both my safe haven and office space. There's a "One a day" list on the fridge of big jobs that would take weeks if I tried to get to them all at once. But one a day.. that I can handle, can see things crossed off and completed, and can feel satisfied at my progress come day's end. My work activities are tackled on a simlar basis - one big job daily, with associated smaller tasks tying in yet not distracting from the finish line.
I'm relishing the variety that each day brings - a bit of this, a bit of that, my time my own to manage. And there is now time enough to fiddle with interesting projects, explore new directions, hang out on the Land Rover forum again, learn new skills (php takes some getting used to!), even take time out to relax with my family, meditate in early morning stillness, bake a milktart or knead up a batch of breadsticks. There's a rhythm to each day developing that fits us all.
It's been a mere week and a bit. I know I have a huge journey ahead of me as the pace picks up in the coming days. I've spent a lot of time on computer work this week, the physical stuff and some dedicated Virgin Earth focus gets a turn next. I have very big challenges to stare down and sort out, decisions to implement and long-pondered plans to put into practice.
But I'm doing it increasingly happier in my skin. More self-aware, more centered, more connected, more confident, and not as terrified of the great unknown as I was mere weeks ago.
It's a very good place to be as the new year kicks off.