2 months without working

What’s different after 2 months without working?

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Posted on: October 27, 2015 • 4 Comments

It has been 2 months since I was employed.  I am surprised by some of the changes that have occurred within me since that day.  Many things are missing from my life now other than the obvious paycheck.  There is an absence of anxiety, worry, pending guilt and post adrenaline rush sweat.  I had no idea how much of this existed in my daily life until it stopped.  I simply thought chronic anxiety about the possibility of being late, missing something or just about to get in trouble were normal daily emotions.  Those are such a hindrance to excellent performance.   The chronic anxiety  was probably the most debilitating for me.  I noticed that even when I did things to take care of myself, I would feel guilty about not working more.  Or that I would watch the clock to make sure I would get back to the computer just in case someone needed me.

Walking in the woods has been so healing for me over the past year.  Prior to my final day working there was a layer of worry at all times, even in the woods.  I would take my walks after business hours, but brought my phone just in case.  I even would check the emails on walks to make sure nothing was left undone.  Slowly after I stopped working, I noticed that the walks were peaceful and insightful in a completely new way.  Initially it felt odd to just walk and not check the phone. There was a bit of withdrawal from having my phone activity drastically drop.  My ego was missing the chaos and craved more activity.  Fortunately, I had packing for my trip to let my ego chew on for a few days.

Now I walk with peace.  Guilt, anxiety and fear no longer consume my thoughts.  I don’t find myself hurrying up to get anywhere.  I sleep better than I have in years.  My entire body is calmer and happier.  I have proof that my entire mood has changed.  I was out hiking and thought I lost my phone.  I felt every pocket to make sure I didn’t move it without thinking.  It was nowhere on my body, so I knew it was gone.  Previously, I would have become so scared, anxious and mad at myself.  This time I just turned around and retraced my steps for about 2 miles.  During the search I just thought calmly about going to get a new phone and being thankful for all of the automatic backups.  I did not once panic or begin to beat myself up.  I reached a point and decided to look in my backpack where I put my coat thinking maybe it was in the coat pocket.  Nope, it wasn’t there.  Just for fun I decided to check all the pockets in the pack.  Much to my delight I found my phone.  LOL!  I had it the whole time.  Another new thing happened after the finding of the phone.  I laughed out loud at myself, was very grateful, and delighted in my calmness.  My hike was extended, but so was the fun in peaceful self discovery.

No one made me do any of those things negative self destructive in my job.  It was just kind of part of the territory for me having that position.  As a people pleaser, I wanted to try to be everything to all people that I could.  Of course, I was never successful with that, yet I certainly tried my hardest, and that would only add to the self destructive feelings.  It became a horrible cycle.  Yet I believed it was my responsibility to be available always for everyone.  Initially that fed my ego.  I was needed and therefore valuable.  The faster emails were responded to, I believed somehow correlated to my work ethic.  Realizing that hindsight is 20/20, I now have a different perspective.  I can see that there is extreme value in a person living with a balance and authentically taking care of their whole self.  Actually being unavailable empowers others to try something on their own, which then adds more creativity to the process.

With taking a 6 month break to regroup will continue to reveal more avenues of self growth.    This break may look somewhat like a balance  of life done in concentrated times of work and play.   What I desire to bring to my next career is a balance within each day.  I want to be a valuable part of a team but not necessary for the ultimate success of a project.  My authentic balanced self provides an important value that has the worth of being nurtured through a balanced life style.  I see that I am responsible for creating that balance, for saying no to self destructive behaviors, and for partnering with others who support that work style.

The other cool part that has shown up during this period of unemployment, is no one believes my age.  They are not just being nice.  So apparently not working has made me look younger.  It certainly has brought back the joy in life, therefore I am now acting younger.  I also feel younger with a lighter heart!


Kristin Springfield

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