Creating my happy life on the other side of fear.

Sunday, 18 May 2014

School of Life v.2

Here we are again, on to the second week of School of Life lessons. Thank you all so much for linking up last Sunday!

What have I learnt this week?

1. I forgot how much I really, truly love evening walks. 
My habitual evening constitutionals have been sadly neglected as of late. Work, TV, laziness and other distractions are the usual culprits. But tonight I forced myself to get up and go after dinner, and how lovely it was!
The sunset. The balmy air. And the smells! The smells are the best: heady flower scents (they are always strongest at dusk), freshly cut grass, BBQ smells. Mmmhhh. It's a pleasure for all senses!
Another added bonus is that since I'm now walking with two dogs, I can pretend I'm a Roman gladiator. How, you may ask? Whenever they see a cat in the distance, they both start to pull on their leashes like crazy, dragging me along. With the darkening sky, the breeze in my hair and the dog force propelling me forward, I imagine that they are my horses, pulling me in one of those Roman arena carts. It's awesome!

2. Running your own business is hard work
Pink and Blue toes ;-)
After work yesterday, I spontaneously decided to get a pedicure. Pedicures are something I love but don't get very often, so it always feels like a special treat.
I've been going to the same place for years, and the lady who runs it is immensely capable. First off, she is always there. No matter what time of the day or day of the week, there she is, standing behind her desk, with a ready smile for every customer.
She greets every single person that walks in, even if she's busy in a different corner of her salon, and has something nice to say to everyone.
She is always in motion. Emptying garbage cans, re-stacking fresh towels, cleaning utensils, directing her staff and the customers, answering the phone.

Being employed there doesn't seem to be an easy job, because she never turns a customer down. Her employees have to work just as hard as she does, going from client to client with no break in between.
But the salon is hopping! It's very successful, and there's no secret to its success: a lot of hard work, long hours and a competent lady as the leader.

3. Working part-time when you don't have kids makes you feel guilty sometimes
This is not something I have learnt last week, but something that's been going around in my head lately.
I work 4 days a week, then I'm off for 4 days. It's the best rotation in the entire world. On days off I'm never bored: with the dogs, farm, blogging, writing, husband, friends and trying to keep the house clean, there is more than enough to do to fill my days.
But here's the thing. Sometimes I feel guilty. Because I don't have the universally accepted reason to be home 4 days in a row: I don't have kids to look after. This may be entirely in my head, but I imagine people to think: why doesn't she work full-time? She could make more money! She is at her prime working age, what's this nonsense gallivating around at home?

Being "busy" is so celebrated in our culture. The busier you are (or you say you are), the more people admire you. I made the conscious decision to work to live, and not vice versa. I don't want to wait to find out my passions and indulge in hobbies until I'm retired. I want to live in the here and now.
We don't know how much time we have on this earth. Being married to an older man always makes me want to enjoy every second of every day. We don't make far-flung plans for years down the road, because we don't know what is in store for us down that road. Nobody does.

I grew up having to work every day of the week. School, jobs, playing the organ on Sundays. In my mind it felt like a day without work was a wasted day. Then, the first two years of working in the hospital, I never turned down a shift. I worked as much as I could, to build up seniority and to make enough money to pay off my staggering credit card bill.

Now I finally feel like I can slow down. Over the past year I have not worked full-time for the first time in my life. I love it. But, once in a while, the guilt creeps in. I ask myself: Am I lazy? Should I be a more productive member of society? Millions of people work 5 or more days a week, why don't I?

Well, I've decided to tell that annoying, nagging voice in my head to shut the f*ck up. Who knows if I will be able to sustain this life forever - maybe one day I will have to work more again? But until that happens, I will enjoy the heck out of it!

Share your stories with us my friends! And if you so desire, you can grab Mariah's nifty button and link back to Brass Honey.

Cheers my dears!
xoxo Miriam


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11 comments

  1. Miriam, I just love you. Someday we will hug IRL. You have the most amazing imagination. I'm never jealous of people's things, but experiences and qualities, absolutely. I so wish I were more carefree and that I could find the side of myself again. If you can afford it, work as little as possible and never feel guilty for it. There was once a time I could have that same luxury but instead I turned my nose up in pursuit of the almighty dollar. Xo

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  2. Totally feel you on #3! I live for my days off! I can't wait for them so I can read more photography books, dream up more blog posts, cook dinners with my husband, do some clumsy yoga ;) Next time I feel the guilt, I'll tell my inner voice to shut the f*ck up :D

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  3. Love the purple sky you captured! You are 100% right in telling that voice to shut it :) You should enjoy your time. I'm seriously considering working part-time...just need to make the leap. Besides, you guys running that farm is pretty much it's own part-time job...seriously that post about watering all those rabbits alone was enough to make me tired (and feel lazy) :)

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  4. I don't want to have kids or work AT ALL! ;)

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  5. I don't have children and work about 4 days a week. Some people think I should work more or have a full time job or even work two jobs. But, it is important to take time for ourselves. Something I've learned is that you can't spend your life trying to always please other people. You will spend your life miserable and exhausted if you do that.

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  6. i'm still in school, but when i get a job.. i really really want it to be part time too. there's so much to do in this world, it would feel like such a waste to spend all my time working. i once was a full time intern for 3 months and that felt like i hadn't lived for that whole period of time.. it didn't make me happy. i admire you for making that choice :)

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  7. I've known people who have owned their own business and yes it takes a lot of hard work and long hours to be successful. they totally deserved every penny they made!

    Emmett - Hippie Lace

    also, evening walks are the best :)

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  8. i've seen the chores you take on in the farm... you are busy busy busy even when your not at your day job. balancing a full life is one of the hardest thing to do... and it looks like you are doing a great job of it!!! definitely no room for guilt... i love how you quieted that nagging voice... apostrophe and all

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    Replies
    1. Hehe, that darn voice rears its ugly head often, and needs to put in its place once in a while. Best thing I read when it comes to money is this: "Money often costs too much". You said it, Ralph Waldo Emerson!

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  9. I love the Roman gladiator image. Perfect!

    And good for you to shut that voice down! You are busy busy busy - but on your terms and that is so important. I think people so often become busy just to be busy and let their busy-ness revolve around other people, forgetting what they want and need for themselves. Keep up the excellent balance. You're awesome!

    -Amy

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  10. i love the school of life blog - such good inspiration for intentional living. also, your words about feeling guilty about not working full-time ring true over here -- isn't it silly how our culture values money and productivity and output so much? i try not to concern myself and just focus on creativity and family and giving back :)

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