Stories, observations, random musings, and unsolicited advice from a former executive who ran away from the corporate rat race to redefine her life.
Thursday, July 1, 2010
Adjusting My Expectations
When I quit my corporate job I thought I would have more time for everything. More time to read, to connect in a meaningful way with my friends, to exercise regularly, to take care of my home, and to travel. In short – I expected to be able to do everything I didn’t have time to do when I was working. I always felt a sense of loss because there were so many things I yearned to do, for which I couldn’t make time. Retirement, I was sure, would take care of all that.
Au contraire, mes amis! You wouldn’t believe how time gets away from you. How did I ever get anything done when I was working? The truth is that if you aren’t at least a little disciplined with your time, it gets frittered away. In the morning, I dawdle over coffee and the morning news. By the time I make the bed, have breakfast, shower, and get dressed, a good chunk of the morning is - gone. A few errands, and we’re into the afternoon. Lunch, laundry and other housekeeping chores eat up the afternoon and push us right into Wheel of Fortune. (Oh, yes we do!) Then dinner and a little TV, and the day is over. Where did it go?
I’m not complaining – I wouldn’t dare. What I’ve discovered is that with our new lifestyle we still the need to purposefully plan the special things we want to do in life, or we’ll feel that time is just passing us by. We go out of our way to put leisure activities like golf, concerts, and museum visits on our calendar. We pursue opportunities to see friends as often as possible, because some of our best recent memories are created that way. We are working the Chicago “Bucket List” since we will move to Prescott in 2012, and there are still so many things to do here.
There are always distractions on the periphery of life that consume your time (and money, for that matter). Sometimes we are too quick to succumb, and allow less important things to monopolize precious moments and energy. For me, it’s time to adjust expectations of myself, and focus on exactly who I want to be in this stage of my life.
Some self-exploratory reading may be in order. Any recommendations for good books from my friends?