Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Gearing Up for Change

As a teenager I used to be fond of change, or at least I told myself that to cope with the many moves my family made where I had to start over at school and with friendships. As I've settled into my adult life, however I've found that I prefer routine and stability over change.

These days I'm gearing up to make some major life changes and I'm getting more comfortable with the idea of a bit of ambiguity. That's considerable progress for someone who has claimed to hate 'the unknown' for the past several years.

I know it's too soon to start talking about resolutions for 2012, but honestly I can't wait. I've been working to change the way I think about my current lifestyle and schedule so that when next year comes I'll be more likely to let the changes become permanent.

Here are a few things from my lifestyle changing list:

  • Have more free time: I literally run from one thing to the next every weekday and sometimes weekends, too, and I'm so tired of being tired

  • Garden and live off the land more: we already have a small garden and compost bin in our backyard, but I haven't learned to can and dehydrate our produce yet

  • Bake more: I would love have home baked goodies around the house more often, and I'm confident with more free time this will become possible

  • Create more and sell more: I love to not only crochet, but also to embroider and sew, and I want to learn to love knitting, too; my plan is to make more stuff to list in my etsy shop

  • Work less: enough said I think

  • Exercise daily: I consider myself to be an active person but I certainly don't dedicate a regular block of time each day for promoting physical well being.

My husband is on board with all of these changes, and we're working together to see how we can make it happen. Over the past several years we've scaled way back on 'extras' around the house like satellite tv, having a land line phone, frivolous shopping sprees and buying on credit. We're happy to be independent of all credit card debt and we discuss purchases before we make them even if the total may seem insignificant.

One of the things that's helping me gear up for more lifestyle changes is basic mental preparation. I've thought long and hard about what I want out of this life, I started making notes and referring back to them to see what 'wants' were recurring, and I've tried to map out a plan for how to allow those changes to take place. I'm amazed at just how much mental adjustment these proposed lifestyle changes have caused me to embrace. I can't tell you how many tearful episodes I've endured where I've had to basically brainwash myself into thinking that I can let go of what I consider to be 'normal' in order to have a more fulfilling life. I've had to let go of some close friendships in the process because it's really hard for me to relate to people who don't share the same basic lifestyle. I've had to accept that's ok. I still have the friends in my life, but definitely not on the level that I used to have. I'm finally ok with that.

I'm also gearing up for resistance from family. My parents want certain things for me, and scaling back instead of blasting forward into a higher level of career will be difficult for them. I'm confident I can show them that everything will be all right, and that I'll be a happier person over all.

The biggest obstacle has been me, though. I'm having to let go of security and that's tough. Like I mentioned, there's been a lot of brainwashing going on inside my head. Conforming to the norms of society has been easy, becoming a nonconformist isn't. But, I'm still gearing up for change. Change is going to be good. And I will continue to keep my hands stitchin' throughout it all!