Although I feel like we place weird connotations on specific days of the typical work week I am still going to celebrate Friday because I get to see my mom and step dad tomorrow and I know they are taking the weekend off to come get me in Kelowna and that is too sweet. I am absolutely thrilled to see them!
Today I want to talk about finding the freedom in our usual busy lives. Especially if you are finding yourself at a crossroads right now where there are a lot of decisions to be made and they are weighing you down. For some it might mean finding what to do after you graduate and for others it could be your next career move or maybe you're just super busy and finding it hard to see the empty spaces in your schedule. Let's talk about finding the openness and creating an environment where we can make the best choices for us right now!
Listen to what your body and mind are telling you
Often times we already know what we want. You might have even said it out loud " I just want to find something better", "I can't wait to leave this job", "I'm not interested in anything I'm learning", "I don't know why I put up with them". These are all your subconscious letting you know that what is going on is no longer serving you the way it did before. It's possible that after reading those phrases your monkey mind started making excuses like: "I just say that when I'm angry, hurt, sad, bored, have a bad day etc." While that could be true it still does not erase the fact that you have been daydreaming about something different. It's ok to be unhappy!! There is no need to feel guilty about it either. Try sitting down with yourself and actually opening up this conversation. Debate the pros and cons of your choices and you could surprise yourself! For those of you who are on the hesitant side, I feel you so much. I used to debate for days and weeks and months and still not do anything but all the while I saw that I was just becoming increasingly more unhappy with settling instead of choosing different for myself. To you, I say: go for it!!! There is no harm in doing what makes you happy and if it doesn't work out try something else. There are endless possibilities for each of us.
Don't forget about those body signals too! If you feel burnt out or get a headache at the thought of going to school or spending one more shift with your less than kind manager those are equally valid signs that a change may be in order.
So, your schedule is full but your heart is not
You have mastered juggling full time courses and working as much as possible to support your Oreo addiction but "wake up, school, work, sleep" is on repeat and you are fully convinced that you are slowly morphing into a robot. Totally heard that record before and I was not a fan. I love to feel like I am productive but these cycles can feel like a trap. You do not need to be faced with the choice of showering or sleep! I mean sometimes that is the case but when it happens every week it's time to reevaluate. My first piece of advice would be to write out your schedule on a piece of paper or in a planner with the week days and times. The visual can help you see exactly what times during the day you are the most available, and yes five minutes counts! I was told to do this during my first year in acting because we literally had things back to back and going all day into the night. Initially I wasn't convinced that I would be able to sleep ever again or find any time to be free but writing it out like this and blocking off times really helped me see the windows I had. If I had a five minute gap I would use it for a short music break and a snack. If it was a little longer then I could start on some reading or just sit and rest. The next thing I'd say is find what is absolutely necessary and then cut out the rest. Asked to cover someones shift but it's your day off? Politely decline and sleep instead. Of course it sounds easier than it is but from being a full schedule person I quickly saw that some things were not good for me and once I saw those I could use my time for things that made me happier. Like showering AND sleeping in the same night!
What things do I cut out? How?
Truthfully this is all up to you. I don't know your life or how you feel about what you are going through so I can't exactly give you a direct answer. What I can say is that you know what your priorities are in this moment and that is more than enough as a starting point. I find it helpful to think about the core things that I need to accomplish my current goals and then cut accordingly. Sometimes that means going out less and reading more and other times it means easing up on myself and reducing my work load so I can care for my friendships. I worked two jobs during my first year at University because my course load allowed for it. That was before I starting the acting program though. When I started studying in Vancouver I worked weekends and by the second semester in first year I was spent. The people around me noticed my mental health decreasing and I was tired most of the time. For me that was my cue to leave my job and focus solely on school work. Yes I applied for more student loans and I had to budget better but that was worth it to me. That being said I know people who have been working all through the program and are doing fine. It's all about what works for you. Trust in what you need and let that help you decide what's a priority and what is unnecessary. There is no shame in putting your needs at the top of your list.
The best thing I can say about acknowledging the freedom in our lives is that sometimes it's there and yet we can't see it. I have come to the conclusion that we are the only ones who can choose to find it. It has been an ongoing learning experience but I've found that with some good reflection and sometimes literally asking myself what my choices are or where the freedom is has changed my perception in a new way.
Be fun, fierce and fricken fearless!
Love and Light,