October 2014, I was painfully aware of the need to make shifts if I were to get to a place where I would be happy with what I did, who I did it for and how I did it and the balance between my work life and my outside of work life. I dropped alcohol from my diet, joined a boot camp and set about trying change my workplace for the better with a collaborative “deck the halls with art” project. It was clear that if I could not change where I was, I needed to change where I was. There was also a kind of clarity around what I genuinely wanted to do and I felt as though I was making strides in the right direction.
By May 2015, I had dropped 20 pounds and had navigated into a secondment at a different Ministry. Now, 8 months into that secondment, with promise of my position formally transferring over in the near future – I have learned a lot and have enjoyed the work I’ve done. However, I am again looking at where I am at and where I wish to be. I’ve regained 15 of the 20 pounds lost (note: I did reintroduce moderate alcohol consumption and got a bit lazy diet and exercise wise). While I am doing good work, in a good environment – there is still something lacking and a feeling of there just not being enough hours in the day to do work at work, as well as the work outside of work. My life lacks balance. I am still not in that “Sweet Spot” where what I do truly resonates with who I am and what I wish to achieve. It is, as I thought it might be, moving from one ministry to another but remaining with government; I am happier but not happy. It has been a lovely detour – and it is nice to know now, that I will not be leaving out of some kind of desperation, but rather out of genuine desire to live a different kind of life. I long to get back on the path I first envisioned, a path filled with the work outside of work with the hope of making a life while finding some way to also make a living.
So if I know the destination – then, is it merely a matter of taking steps once again towards that destination? First step get back to getting healthier (back to developing good habits and dropping some less than good ones). Once again alcohol has made the “no drink” list. Once again the kitchen scale has come out to measure. Once again, I’m logging into MyFitnessPal. Once again, I have found another boot camp that works with my schedule. I look forward to again mounting my bike and ditching the car for my daily travels. Having seen what I can do before – I’m confident that I’ll again be running the TC 10K, and if I stick with it, can be in better form for my 40th birthday (now just three short years away), than I have ever been.
Step two – scale back work at work to make more room for work outside of work. The plan is half-time as soon as feasible. It looks like that will happen in the next 3-4 months. That might be enough, that might bring enough balance between the work at work and the work outside of work. At the least it will create a much better balance.
Step three – get back to growing and engaging in work outside of work. There is nothing more satisfying than knowing that you have helped someone else - that you have made their life a bit better. The work I do outside of work, does that. So finding ways to contribute to this world that resonate with who I am and helps others is profoundly important to me - being able to focus on what matters, matters. This is the part that excites me. The part that has the potential to bring purpose back to what I do. The part that fills my soul – for life is short, and I wish to love what I do and find a way to work a life worth living.