The Adventure Continues…

The Structures I Broke

by | Feb 6, 2019

“Yesterday I was clever, so I wanted to change the world. Today I am wise, so I am changing myself.” ― Rumi

One thing I didn’t expect to happen on this journey has. On the edge of this awareness, I’m in awe with myself. Darn tootin’ proud of myself, actually.

I’m busting through a lifetime of programming that I didn’t realize I’d fallen entrapped. And, I have a virtual assistant client to thank for the AHA moments that followed.

When I started on this disconnect-from-everything-to-connect-with-me journey, I chose not to expand my virtual assistant client roster. My intent was to maintain only a select number of websites. I may have sold my home, but I paid off my enormous debt. Income flowing to my bank account is still a necessity. In my mind, I figured I’d work a couple hours here and a couple hours there and wah-la! I’d be financially good. Then enter my need to do. You know, that crazy always chores to be done mentality.

Boredom is was is was not a friend of mine. Anyone who’s known me for any amount of time knows I never sit idle. For Pete’s sake I used to spend my days, weeks and months out in the woods droppin’ trees, cutting them into fourteen to eighteen inch lengths (depending on the size of the wood stove I used), toss the logs into the back of my truck or bucket of my Kabota, haul them to the house, drop the load and go back out for more. Then, when I had access to a friend’s splitter, I split the firewood and stacked it in preparation for winter. I could have had the seventeen cord of firewood delivered so all I had to do was stack it, but no. I chose to spend my time outside of work working on my twenty acres. Again, always chores to be done.

I’m happy to report that last week I purposely started taking the time to sit outside and read Elizabeth Gilbert’s book Signature of All Things. After a twenty mile drive to the nearest gas station and post office, I took my time returning to the campground. I turned down a few roads with National Park signs to explore what I might find. I participated in another pictograph tour at a location near the Seminole Canyon State Park site I toured the week previous. Holly magnolia! I’m doing what vacationers do! Woot! Woot! Y’all, I could get used to this vacationing concept.

Now that I have completely diverted you from the point of this week’s installment, I’ll get back on track.

One of my VA clients has full-time employment and is taking action steps to follow their passion in the form of entrepreneurship. This person respects my time and understands that my “work” time may not match when they are sitting behind their home office desk. They are graciously conscious and respectful of my time; often apologizing for sending emails during non-business hours and on weekends. The words I chose to respond blew me out of the water when I leaned back in my chair and reviewed the first draft of the email:

“A part of this journey is breaking down thirty years of programming. One element is working nine to five (and rarely did I work that schedule) includes feeling like I need to get everything done before I take a day off during the week to move campsites. I’m trying to be more relaxed around structure. I still want to claim Sundays as me-days. I was born with the mantra ‘always chores to be done’ singing in my head. I’m now getting better at whistling ‘it’ll get done in perfect timing.’ Changing my tune has not been easy.”

I copied this paragraph into my journal realizing that message was for me to privately expand on. Initially, for this week’s installment, I was going to write about the two sentences that came to me Saturday morning as I walked the half mile loop of the campground. I shared the concept with a friend in a phone call later that night to explore it a little deeper. The topic: dependence.

“If you want to know how dependent you are on what other think of you, travel alone and see what happens.”

“If you wonder if you’re co-dependent on others, travel alone to verify if it’s true.”

Pause for a moment. Step away from where ever you are in your life. Imagine being alone in an environment you are unfamiliar with, in a region where half the people you encounter speak a different language and you don’t look like anyone else in the grocery store. Now, reread the two sentences above and ponder this from another point of view.

I remember when I was first divorced, I would call a friend, my mother or ask my teenage sons if they thought it was okay if I did ___. I got so used to depending on someone’s permission to do most things that making my own decisions was foreign. Of course, y’all know it didn’t take me long to regain footing to make my own choices (good, bad and in-different). Odd thing was, and it dawned on me on the walk, that what did I fear the most when I decided to sell my home – my youngest son’s opinion. The first thing I did was call him, and ask, “Would you be okay if I sold the house?” His response was, “It’s about time.”

I mustered up as much courage as I could before I told my mother I had Mason’s blessing and informing her my daughter-in-family was preparing the paperwork for her boss at the real estate agency. Her first response, “What do you need help with to get the house ready?”

Even though my mind was set to sell my home and to stop living in my past, I was still concerned of what they thought. As I continued on my walk, it occurred to me that even though I feared their responses to my decision, I was firm in going forth with the task of releasing every fiber of the past so I could be free – truly free – to experience a life I’d only dreamed about. Ironically, my mother (months later) still tells me she cannot remember a time that I put my needs in front of someone else. I am grateful for her reminders. 

By traveling alone without a plan, other than to follow my heart, has really broken down a lot of lifelong structures I had ingrained in my psyche. This has to be done this way. That has to be accomplished that way. Bull-pucky! On the edge of this awareness I am beginning to climb out of the self-created trap of this is how it has to be. Huh… I wonder what other ways I can tend to my personal needs in a loving and nurturing manner? 

Captured moments along the way…

White Shaman, Witte Museum Preserve, Texas
Flowering Bush on Canyon Rim Trail, Seminole Canyon State Park, Texas
Pecos High River Bridge, Texas
Early spring flowers in bloom, Seminole Canyon State Park, Texas

Explore the adventures that got me here…

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To Write. To Travel. To Explore.

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About The Author

CK Kochis

I am a writer; it's what I do. My mission in life is to guide women exhausted from nurturing others and the stagnation of daily routines to ignite self-love through the power of their words. I am utilizing my Integrative Nutrition Health Coach education as the foundation of to create a platform for coaches and leaders to share pearls of wisdom and professional insights. I wrote, designed and published “Get A Compass Not A Clock” and “UnLeash Your Story: A Journal Writer's Guidebook”. My virtual assistant clients keep me creatively busy, while my grandsons teach me about the importance of play.


  1. Leila

    Ahhh those structures tend to be our limitations. Dos and don’ts have made us settle for far less.
    Am so Happy you are breaking free of these structures.

    • C.K. Kochis

      Thank you, Leila.

  2. Vatsala Shukla

    It’s amazing how we can give permission slips to others to validate our actions when the truth is, we only need self-belief, Cindy. I love the Rumi quote and admire your family for knowing that you are a 1 person power house who can travel alone in Life without getting lost.

    • C.K. Kochis

      I agree. It can be easier to hand the permission slips to others than it is ourselves. I am grateful beyond measure for my family’s continued support and love. Thanks for riding along on this journey, Vatsala.

  3. Barb Parcells

    I am constantly amazed at how those little dependencies try to creep back in even after almost 27 years since I packed up my car and left home for a new adventure in a new state. One of the gifts of getting old is recognizing that none of it mattered and that the only thing on my agenda is being happy. Keep at it, girlfriend!

    • C.K. Kochis

      You are a wise friend, Barb. I always love reading your insights and pearls of wisdom. And, it is through great losses that I’ve learned what’s truly important – Love of Self that’s nurturing. Thanks for being my virtual co-pilot and holding my mug of hot tea when the ride gets a little bumpy.

  4. Laurie Seymour

    I loved reading this Cindy! There are always structures that are ready to be examined, and perhaps knocked to the ground. I just returned from 3 months living in a new area, speaking a language not my native tongue. So many learnings…

    • C.K. Kochis

      I like that, “knocked to the ground.” It’s not always easy to examine the structures we’ve created, but worth the effort. I hope you had a wonderful time on your out-of-town adventure, Laurie.

  5. Lisa Hutchison

    I have done short travels on my own and found such an inner freedom. Facing my fears and getting through them, is an empowering feeling. Keep writing and keep going, looks like you may have a book on your hands someday, Cindy 😉

    • C.K. Kochis

      It is empowering, isn’t it? Thank you for your continued support, Lisa. It means the world to me.

  6. Debra Oakland

    I am Darn tootin’ proud of you Cindy. You have come a long way down a windy road and are now making your own path – one that suits YOU. Cheers my friend! I’m with you on cutting down trees and hauling them into the house for the fire and wood-stove I cooked on for years. I still miss that stove and warming oven. XO

    • C.K. Kochis

      HA! I love your play on words, Debra. Yes, it’s been a long and winding journey. Thank you for being there for me, a strong shoulder for me to cry on. I am forever grateful for your kindness and support. I remember our conversations about collecting firewood. I miss the warm, dry heat from my wood stove as well. Many blessings.

  7. Heather

    Letting go of years of programming & the willingness to heal & change is what I’m all about
    Thank you for sharing your journey & wisdom

    • C.K. Kochis

      You are most welcome, Heather. Thanks for chillin’ with me for a bit.

  8. Kathleen

    This post is so aligned with what I’ve been feeling all week. Since your last post I have been reflecting on the patterns in my life and I’m learning so many new things about myself and others! Let those old spaces be filled with new. more satisfying moments. <3

    • C.K. Kochis

      It warms my heart to know this post resonated with you, Kathleen. May you continue to explore all that your life has to offer you. Life is an amazing adventure; it was never intended to be lived in gray-scale.


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