manifest

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dorajar
Posts: 3870
Joined: Tue Aug 29, 2006 2:35 pm
Location: Minneapolis

manifest

Post by dorajar » Wed Feb 25, 2009 9:31 am

"Often people attempt to live their lives backwards: they try to have more things, or more money, in order to do more of what they want so they will be happier. The way it actually works is the reverse. You must first be who you really are, then, do what you need to do, in order to have what you want." --Margaret Young

I understand this quote, but living it is difficult. How do you balance the need for security and stability with a commitment to being who you really are? How do you avoid falling into the trap of spending the bulk of your waking hours selling yourself, your brain, and your time to the highest bidder?

I'm thinking about cutting my hours back here, from 40 to 32 hours a week. It would mean a fairly significant pay cut, but that would be 8 more hours a week I can spend being Me in the World, instead of Me in a Cubicle. And I think it might be worth it to me. I could do more yoga, more theatre gigs, commit that time to building my freelance writing career, just make more space for magic and freedom. And 32 hours/week is the minimum to keep your benefits and still be able to take free classes. It might be the best of all worlds for me. Just thinking about it. Taking steps toward What I Want, manifesting it. As far as day jobs go, this one is about as cushy as they get and I'm grateful for it. But I also want to feel fulfilled.

Anyway--what's your ideal work/life balance? Security/Self-fulfillment balance? How do you work toward creating that balance?

thrice
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Joined: Thu Dec 07, 2006 10:28 am

Post by thrice » Wed Feb 25, 2009 11:22 am

Big question, Dora. To me, responsibilities- home, financial, family, work- is the white noise of life that distracts us from creative thinking, quiet observation and thoughtful analysis of the issues we see around us. To that end, I consider having money to be the thing that gives me the freedom to do and explore what I want to do without distractions.

On the other hand, the socialization of the workplace and interaction with other people is the thing that keeps us grounded in reality. While it can restrict our thinking and give us the tunnel vision of seeing the world from a particular role or mode, it also keeps us in touch with the hopes and fears and struggles of people who are dealing with the world and functioning in it. I sometimes wonder if people with nothing to do but observe and record others don't lose some sense of feel for everyday normal struggles of working adults. I know that in my own case, having moved up the ladder of my company a little, I've quickly forgotten some of the challenges and problems that people on the entry level jobs have to deal with and I no longer have to.

I would have to say that the harsh reality is that we need to perfect the art of compartmentalizing our lives. I always promise myself that when I have more free time, I will use it in creative pursuits, but often when I do get it, I fritter it away on distractions, catching up on neglected projects, or mindless amusements that pass the time. Even with free time and creativity, there is a discipline required that we have to really make an effort to embrace if it's going to fill the purpose we set it aside for. It doesn't matter if we free up an hour a week or a day a week with the intention of using it to refine and practice a creative skill. If we're not determined to use it that way, it evaporates.

How's that for a ramble?

dorajar
Posts: 3870
Joined: Tue Aug 29, 2006 2:35 pm
Location: Minneapolis

Post by dorajar » Wed Feb 25, 2009 11:35 am

I hear ya, thrice. I guess what I'm after is trying to find that thing that is such a perfect match for my skills and passion that the boundary between work and pleasure becomes fuzzy. And a situation in which I'm rewarded for the quality of my output rather than the sheer presence of my ass in a chair from this hour to that hour, when a monkey's would do just as well.

I'm a worker. My brain wants food, almost constantly. I work from the time I get up to the time I go to bed, most days. Day job, rehearsal, reading, writing, freelance web writing...and when I get too bored for too long at work, I enroll in a class. Currently taking Macroeconomics. It's great, and gives me even more to do with my head during the long stretches of down time at work.

My current situation is not at all BAD. In fact, it's pretty enviable. But I envision a day that my life and my work are so seamless that I'm creating all of it, I'm in charge of all of it, and I have full pride and ownership over all of it. Just weighing what that would look like and how best to get there.

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