Saturday, 8 August 2015

creating a life with no escape clause

Seth Godin — 'Instead of wondering when your next vacation is, maybe you should set up a life you don't need to escape from.'

I've read this Seth Godin quote many times over the last couple of years (one of the joys of being addicted to Pinterest is that you tend to see the same quotes appear fairly regularly). The interesting thing is that up until recently I thought "oh yeah.....easy for you to say Seth."

But lately I've come to see that my life has changed, and with it my world view has shifted too. I had assumed that every responsible adult was in a job where they laboured away all year and the light at the end of the tunnel was their few weeks of vacation time. But when you reach a "certain age" you start to figure out that there is more to life than the daily grind. I've started thinking about what is important and what needs to be left behind. There is less time to waste waiting around for things to change of their own accord.

I have spent years (maybe even decades) in jobs where I have lived from vacation to vacation. I would go to work and do all that was expected of me, plus a little bit more, and then go home and get up the next day and do it all again. My life looked a bit like a shampoo commercial - "Lather, Rinse and Repeat" over and over again ad infinitum. I thought that was normal until I started blogging and thinking and changing my perspective on midlife.

lather rinse repeat....

Rather than seeing myself as a "has been" who was stuck in a rut until I could bow out and retire, I started thinking about what would actually make me happy (whoa! big change of focus.) The idea that life was short and there was no reason to stay in a thankless job kept swirling around in my head. Taking the plunge and leaving the daily drudge behind was scary but so much better than sitting around waiting for an annual vacation for my chance of a brief moment of escape.

My life now is so much simpler, I work less days and have more than enough time to myself. I have time to stop and smell a few roses and I don't have a nagging sense of resentment because I actually like my new job. Life isn't perfect - I'm not rolling in dollar bills or sipping martinis on the deck of a yacht, but what I have made for myself in the last six months, is a re-invented life that I don't need to escape from. I'm not counting down the days until my next vacation, I'm not stuck in a never ending cycle of working more than I want to, I'm free to make my choices and enjoy the results of the last thirty or so years of nose-to-the-grindstone work. Life as a midlifer is pretty darn good....Seth was right after all!


19 comments:

  1. Sometimes, we need to do a reckoning. What is perfection? I can tell you what it's not: money, power and fame. I think a perfect life would be to feel free to study a wildflower for as long as you like, to appreciate everything around you, to love somebody to the best of your ability.

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    1. Yes Francene - I think a perfect life is a lot simpler to have than we have been led to believe :)

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  2. Sometimes we need to deal with the bad jobs to help us figure out what we don't want to do.

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    1. that is so true Suzanne - and then find the time to stop and appreciate where we have ended up!

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  3. Leanne, You and I are on the same wavelength this week. My post is similar in that I believe how honest we are with ourselves determines the kind of life we choose from here on out. Thanks for the Seth Godin post. Brenda/1010ParkPlace.com

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    1. thanks Brenda - now I'm popping over to read your post :)

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  4. You are an inspiration to us all, Leanne! :)

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    1. oh that is such a kind thing to say Diane - thank you :)

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  5. Hi Leanne,
    Loved the post- and you're so right. I did precisely the same, except I would really love to sip Martinis on the deck of a yacht (I did it once and it was quite an enjoyable experience:) and still be able to visit some amazing places vacation-wise. But I guess we have to choose - either we have vacation all year round or we escape the rat rate once in a while to get some air and energise. In that case my choice is an obvious one!
    xxAbby

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    1. I'm all for breathing at the time being Abby - I was always on the hamster wheel trying to make sure there was enough for later - now I'm going to focus more on today and let later take its chances :)

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  6. That's terrific Leanne. So many people hate where they work and what they do. Life is just to damn short for that!

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    1. my sentiments exactly Rena - stop whinging or change jobs is my new motto :)

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  7. It is so fun to read about how happy you are with the changes you have made, Leanne. An added bonus for us all is that because of them, we now have your blog to read! Life is too short to just lather, rinse, repeat! (Now I'm going to think of this every time I wash my hair!)

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    1. thanks so much Susan - I am just thrilled to have made so many blogging buddies and I think it's funny being on your mind while you lather :)

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  8. I love life now Leanne. I have stepped back and although I'm busier than ever I'm doing things I want to do. Although I will never give up travelling and learning more about the world - we are off to India in October, I also like where I am in my life now. Thanks for sharing with us at #WednesdaysWisdom

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    1. Wow Sue - India! Not on my bucket list but I'm sure it would be an amazing adventure - good on you! I'll look forward to your stories and pictures (I'm sure it will warrant a few blog posts!)

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  9. I love that Seth Godin quote. I just read it this week and am grateful to know that I'm not looking to escape my life. Life's good! Thanks for sharing your post at the #AnythingGoes Link Party.

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    1. I think it's our stage of life Sandy - we just want to get on with enjoying it and I'm a bit Seth fan.

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  10. I love my stage of life and could not be happier. I am busy and full of life so thanks for sharing on #wednesdayswisdom

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