The Adventure Continues…
The Structures I Broke
“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…
Explore the adventures that got me here…
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