I’m at that point in my life-as-I-know-it where I’ve come to a decision making situation. I have to decide what I have time for and what I don’t. I have to decide where my time and effort should go and what things can be left by the wayside to gather dust (and dirt and grime, because in my metaphorical wayside there is no pavement… just woodlands and dirt roads).
This is a rather unfortunate thought to have. I’ve only just begun my journey to the life-as-I-picture-it. These are the things I need to think about:
1) Is my current job helping or hindering my journey to the life-as-I-picture it? I’m getting a lot of experience and it pays the bills. But my stress levels are high, my mental capacity and ability to focus are low during off hours and frankly, I’m not an office person.
2) Should I even consider pursuing other career paths (like, say, investing in a small, local bookstore) when I haven’t managed to complete other career goals (such as going freelance).
3) How much time to I want to spend working versus having a life? At the moment, my life happens after 5. I rarely have time to sit a home and work on extra stuff (hence the freelance not working out so well), but I like my life. I’m not writing this to complain, just to state the facts.
These are three things I am thinking about. Here are my answers of the day:
1) If my job isn’t helping, it’s not right for me. A job should be something that, if you aren’t happy there, at least will help get you where you need to be to take the next step into a position and/or career that will make you happier. Settling is never the answer (just like with relationships… never, ever settle). That being said, my job also has it bonuses – a steady income, people to chat with, occasional gossip to spice up life. Without those things, I might go crazy. Or maybe I’ll be the happiest person alive. Who knows!
2) I have more goals in life than I realized. First – to be a published novelist. That goal is far harder to acheive than initially assumed and I probably haven’t even reached the most difficult part. That being said, I recently joined this excellent website for budding authors – www.bookcountry.com. It acts as a large workshop group and the people online are very friendly. I recently added the first 50 pages of my novel – have yet to receive any reviews but I’m still hoping. They’ve helped me improve my cover letter immensely. It’s not perfect yet, but it’ll get there and maybe when it does, I’ll get published.
Second – to be a Freelance writer and editor (aka my own boss). This goal is attainable, I’m sure of it. It’s just so damn difficult to swim upstream like a little trout in a river of rejection, false promises and low wages. Although, with my article on Tidings magazine’s website (it’s about shopping for kitchen countertops) and a potential to write for them again, this is starting to look up… just a little. My little trout self can kind of, sort of, see the big pond at the top of the river.
Third – I’m sure there’s a third. It’d be cool to have more money than I already do. But mostly my third would be to just be happy. That’s not easy when you’re not entirely certain what is needed to make you happy.
3) I thought that if I went freelance, I’d have more time to myself in the long run. Right now, bills need to be paid, so I’m expecting a certain amount of my life to be put on hold. The problem is that I haven’t done that yet. Ok, that’s not a problem. It is what it is. I know how to solve this – balance my life and my freelance equally outside of my 9-5 work day. But I don’t wanna!!
Those are my thoughts for the day. I would love to hear any comments or advice!
I’ve also posted a blog on my freelance website – Toning down your tone for Wikipedia