FULFILLING THE NEED FOR MORE IN LIFE

I had no idea that I chose "More" as my Word of the Year because I subconsciously needed a kick in the pants to move forward and out of a toxic work environment.#midlife #WOTY

LOOKING BACK AT CHOOSING "MORE"

I just realized that we're almost at the end of July already (where has the year gone!) and I haven't taken the time to look back to see how I was progressing with my Word Of The Year - MORE. Knowing what I now know, I can look back over the last few months and see why I was wanting to have More. My life had become so scant and so drained from all the drama I was experiencing in my job, I was so embroiled in the turmoil that I'd lost myself somewhere and I think I subconsciously chose "More" because I wanted to claim some of myself back again.

I needed to turn my life back around to a place where I was centred, happy, and at peace with myself (and with others). I needed to make some hard decisions and some changes, but I'd been putting it off with excuses and with the idea that, although I was miserable, I just needed to try harder, push through, and wait for a miracle to change my situation. In reality, what I needed to do was put on my Big Girl Pants and pull the pin on a toxic work situation and reclaim my life.

MORE TIME

Once the decision to leave work was made, one of the lovely side benefits has been all the extra free time I have because I'm not juggling work and leisure anymore, and I don't have to make the most of every non-working minute to offset the stress that my work days were causing. Now I have all the time I need to pursue the things that interest me. I wasn't sure how I'd go with all this extra time I've been granted, but I love it! I love that there is time to tackle whatever interests me and I don't have to work around a rigid timeframe anymore.

I used to envy people who had all the time in the world, and now I'm one of them! I even feel a little bit guilty about all the freedom and space I now have, but that's okay - I'll keep working on the guilt factor and in the meantime I'll also enjoy all this flexibility and freedom (two of my core values) that I've been granted since leaving the 9-5 routine.

You wanna know what living life to the fullest actually is? It's waking up on a Monday morning with no complaints. #quotes

MORE AUTHENTICITY

One thing I discovered I'd lost in the process of my job imploding earlier in the year, was my authenticity. I knew I'd sold my soul to the highest bidder, but I didn't realize the impact it was having on me. You lose a little piece of yourself each time you close your eyes to things that you'd normally want to change, or help, or fix. This had happened to me gradually over time, and I felt like I'd lost my ability to empathize with another person's pain because I'd been so inundated with my workmate's real and imagined problems.

When I stepped away from the drama and took time to put myself back together again, I found my authentic self again. I'll never be Florence Nightingale or the Queen of Empathy, but I've come back to being able to relate to another person's journey and walk with them through it without feeling the need to put up barriers to stop the overflow. I feel like my responses now come from my heart again - without second guessing everything. It's such a relief to find myself again.

MORE CONTENTMENT

I mentioned in a previous post about how contentment had crept into my life. I didn't notice it was missing until I felt its return. I love sitting at my laptop, or reading my book, or patting a cat, and feeling that warm sense of being at peace with who I am and where life has brought me. I love that I feel quietly happy and that I have no regrets from the decisions I've made this year.

It took a few months for life to settle into place and for me to figure out some of the trickier parts of unexpectedly having more time on my hands. Once I'd come to terms with the idea that I'd never allow myself to get trapped into a dreadful work situation ever again, I started to relax and trust myself to continue to make wiser decisions as I move forward - that's when contentment started to kick in, and it just keeps growing. I'll be thinking very carefully before making any big changes because I won't trade my peace of mind for dollars and cents ever again.

FULFILLING MY OWN NEED FOR MORE

For me, this is the key paragraph from my original post:

Sometimes we limit ourselves by choosing to stay in the same place in life rather than stretching out and challenging ourselves to reach our full potential.... What potential would we have if we allowed ourselves to take risks and forgot to worry about what (we think) other people might say or judge about us? What if we just decided to actively pursue the things that make us happy? What if we wanted more and started looking for ways to be our best selves? I wonder what that would look like?

Sometimes we limit ourselves by choosing to stay in the same place in life rather than stretching out and challenging ourselves to reach our full potential.... What potential would we have if we allowed ourselves to take risks and forgot to worry about what (we think) other people might say or judge about us? What if we just decided to actively pursue the things that make us happy? What if we wanted more and started looking for ways to be our best selves? I wonder what that would look like? LLC #quotes

I feel so proud of myself that I've actually done this - that I've stepped up and chosen to pursue what makes me happy - and you know what it looks like? It looks like contentment, peace, joy, and so much more!

WHAT ABOUT YOU?

How is your Word of the Year coming along? Are you growing and flourishing and becoming More? Can you look back on this first half of the year with contentment? It's not too late to create some peace and happiness if you haven't found it yet.


I hope you live louder, I hope you laugh more #quotes

RELATED POSTS


I had no idea that I chose "More" as my Word of the Year because I subconsciously needed a kick in the pants to move forward and out of a toxic work environment.#midlife #WOTY

I had no idea that I chose "More" as my Word of the Year because I subconsciously needed a kick in the pants to move forward and out of a toxic work environment.#midlife #WOTY
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I had no idea that I chose "More" as my Word of the Year because I subconsciously needed a kick in the pants to move forward and out of a toxic work environment.#midlife #WOTY
I had no idea that I chose "More" as my Word of the Year because I subconsciously needed a kick in the pants to move forward and out of a toxic work environment.#midlife #WOTY
I had no idea that I chose "More" as my Word of the Year because I subconsciously needed a kick in the pants to move forward and out of a toxic work environment.#midlife #WOTY
I had no idea that I chose "More" as my Word of the Year because I subconsciously needed a kick in the pants to move forward and out of a toxic work environment.#midlife #WOTY

40 comments

  1. I love how this has happened since you've created the space for it to happen in. I don't think you realise how much of yourself you compromise on a day to day basis until you're no longer having to. Have a great week...

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    1. Hi Jo - you're so right, I feel like I compromised myself into a tiny little thing that wasn't me anymore. Reclaiming my life and allowing it to re-fill with good things has been such a joy - and something I want to keep building on.

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  2. Some day you will wake up without realizing you’ve gotten beyond the PTSD part and it won’t be first, 2nd or 3rd thing you think about that day it will just be. I’d like to know how long it takes you to get there so please share (everyone is different).

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    1. I think about the PSTD thing too Luisa - I think it's on a much smaller scale than the more serious cases, but it's still significant for me. My head was so done in by the drama and misery of work that I'd lost my resilience and ability to bounce back. I left before I'd fully processed it and I think that's what the last few months have been about, letting go of all the regrets and upset, and refinding my true self and what makes me content and at peace. I'm definitely getting there and recovery feels really good xx

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  3. Hi, Leanne - It is amazing how often we do not know that something has been missing (contentment, joy....the sound of our own laughter), until it returns. I am delighted that you and contentment have been reunited!

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    1. Thanks so much Donna - I'm delighted too. I feel so much lighter in myself now that I'm not carrying the weight of all that was going on at work. It's taken time to shed the fallout and now I feel like I'm back in the sunshine and rebuilding a life that is actually about me for a change - and it feels very good!

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    2. Back in the sunshine is a very good place to be!
      I've shared this on my Social Media.
      #MLSTL

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  4. Leanne, following your story makes me wonder how many women stay in toxic situations and accept it as 'normal.' I think it took a lot of courage to make the choice you made and move on with life, without a safety net. Thanks for getting the message out that it is okay to expect MORE from life.

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    1. I wonder the same thing too Suzanne - the number of bright intelligent women who have said that they've left work for the same reason astounded me. I really hope this doesn't colour my attitude to working forever because I'd like to have a more positive memory of all those working years.

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  5. Hi Leanne - So wonderful to read you've found yourself and contentment again after the work trauma. The best is yet to come when you choose to fulfill your own need. #mlstl

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    1. I'm hoping so Natalie - I feel so much lighter from having that weight off my shoulders. Feeling responsible for another person's bad choices is not a healthy way to function and I don't miss it at all.

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  6. Love this Leanne. For me the more is often about 'headspace' which a busy or unfulfilling job doesn't / didn't allow me. I'd get so bogged down in the unhappiness of work etc that I'd not have time (or space) for joy.

    Hmm... I suspect I still might be experiencing a bit of that actually.

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    1. I know the feeling Deb - I've been thinking about applying for some part-time work but there is a definite reluctance on my part to set myself up to be bogged down like I was again. Where are all the lovely light and interesting jobs?

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  7. So proud of you BBB and what an inspiration to others in a similar circumstance. Isn't it wonderful when we can actually make change happen and then feel the weight lift so we can re-connect with the person we are, rather than having the situation dictate who we are. Sharing on my SM and off to another flying start for #MLSTL. x

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    1. Hi BBB - yes you're so right - I was marching to the beat of her needy drum and running around trying to help and fix her problems. That's so draining and compromises my workload too. It was such a relief to walk away from it all and to know that I don't ever have to go back to that again. If I get another job down the track, I'll be considering things very carefully before signing up!

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  8. I think "More" is the perfect word! I think sometimes it takes time to even figure out what it is we want more of! So great to hear you are content. Loved this blog post!
    Theresa @fabinyourfifties #MSTL

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    1. I don't think I truly understood what my heart was telling me back then Theresa. I knew that my work environment was very unhealthy but thought I could push through and keep going. Finding the courage to leave and then regaining what was lost has been such an investment in myself - and now I'm so much More than I was this time last year!

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  9. Hi Leanne,
    So pleased for you that you have been given the gift of time...to explore your "more" and what that really means for you. We often sell our souls to bring home an income and it doesn't feel good, does it? And I agree...being content is high on my list of how to feel and be...and it's a wonderful feeling. Not wildly ecstatic...just content.
    Lovin' #MLSTL

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    1. Yes, wildly ecstatic is a little over rated IMHO - I'm more than happy with being content and being true to myself again. Being forced into a role that isn't healthy is so detrimental to our health and I'm very relieved to not be there anymore. I'm still a little bit up in the air about the future, but there's no rush and I'm enjoying having options - which I didn't really have before.

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  10. I'm so pleased you're feeling more content now and adjusting to having more time. I've been feeling a stirring for 'more' too and so am taking some steps for a bit of a change. It's exciting but scary. I'm not rushing myself though. Easy does it. That's the beauty of this phase of life ... we can take our time! :-) xo

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    1. Min I'll be very interested to see what new direction you've decided to head in. I'm still tossing things around and don't know what the future holds. I'm really content right now to be in my own space and able to breathe again. That may not be enough for me eventually and when that time comes, I'll know what I need to do to move forward.

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  11. Good to hear your enjoying the benefits of the changes you’ve made to your life Leanne. I’m still happy with my word of the year -Commitment. It shows up every day for me. Of course the first half of the year hasn’t been perfection but it’s been pretty good. #MLSTL Will share

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    1. You've certainly had a bit of a taxing time physically Jennifer, but you definitely persevere and I can see your commitment every time you share how you've handled the setbacks - still moving forward and still pursuing your goals - go you!

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  12. A job filled with tension drains the life out of you even at home. So good to see that you're appreciating the sweet things in life again...especially a sweet kitty!

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    1. Yes, it definitely leaches into your home environment Jennifer - I think I was driving my poor husband half crazy with my what-ifs, and should-Is! It was a relief for both of us when I left - and after I finally got through processing it all. He's very happy to have a sane and calm wife again :)

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  13. I can 'hear' the confidence in your words, Leanne, that wasn't there earlier in the year. You've truly found the contentment and the confidence to know that it is right for you. There is a risk of leaving what you know, even when it's toxic, because you don't know what's around the corner. I'm so glad you've stepped into it and realized that it's good! Sharing on SM #MLSTL

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    1. You're right Candi - I feel like I'm back in my own skin again and feel a lot more settled and balanced again. Taking this time to centre myself and decide what the next stage of my journey is going to be has really helped. I'm still not 100% sure what's next, but I love having options and I especially love not being pushed in a particular direction - just going with what feels right.

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  14. I didn't have a word for the year, Leanne, but your post and situation really resonated with me as I prepared to retire. I bumped into a former colleague at Costco this morning (I saw a woman walking with a surgical boot) and commented (seeing a comrade as I rode my knee scooter), then realized who she was. She retired two years after me after being the GM for a public recreation and parks organization. She is now teaching part-time as a high school instructional aide and loves it. You made the right choices to leave and look how much "More" you have in your life! True retirement is a few years away for me but I see how happy you are and content with your choices. Reading and sharing from #MLSTL

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    1. I am happy Terri - surprisingly happy seeing this wasn't my intended path for this time of my life. Who knows whether I'll end up returning to the workforce, or doing more volunteering, or whatever? I'm still not sure what the future holds, but I know that atm I'm where I needed to be - safe in my own comfort zone, secure in being in my own home and space surrounded by the people who love me - so much better than what I had for those difficult work years.

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  15. Congratulations Leanne on welcoming "More" into your life. I've enjoyed following your progress through your blog. Thank you for sharing and being so open with your life experiences. I'm eager to see where your journey takes you next.

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    1. I'm eager too Christie. I feel like I'm ready now for the next step to appear. I've spent nearly 6 months recovering and regrouping and I'm happy to stay in this current place, or for something new to appear. My main aim is to live in the "now" and not worry about next month or next year - just enjoy the space and the peace while I have it.

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  16. You should feel very proud of yourself Leanne, you are throwing yourself into it all and it;'s so good to read your reflective posts. Feeling guilty is always a hard one for me, even all these years later I sometimes feel guilty for having so much time and enjoying myself so much. It's wrong I know but I'm working on it all, as are you :). #mlstl

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    1. I worried about the guilt Deb - and asked my husband (who's working really hard atm) if it bothered him that I wasn't pulling my weight. His comment was that his workload would be the same regardless and the benefit for him was that he had a wife who was happy and settled instead of stressed and drained - so I guess I can let some of the guilt go and just let life happen at its own pace (and you can too) xx

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  17. You have made such great strides Leanne, isn't it wonderful to have time for more, or even for what others might consider less (like sitting in the sun or reading). The world is indeed your oyster. Pinning this :-)

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    1. Hi Jan - yes, I'm sure people wonder what retirees do all day (I know I used to) but now I see how the day just moves fluidly along and one thing flows into the next. The pace is slower, but there's always something to keep my mind occupied and I love that it's all on my terms atm - not dancing to someone else's tune.

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  18. Look at the courageous ways in which you have changed to claim the life you probably knew you needed to ...what a great change...for the good.

    Denyse #mlstl

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    1. Thanks Denyse, I'm so glad I "manned up" and left - sometimes I wish I'd done it a lot sooner, but I'm glad it's behind me and life in the sunshine awaits - life is indeed good.

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  19. Hi Leanne, I love your phrase “I’d lost myself.” Speaks volumes. “My authentic self” speaks volumes. I love your key paragraph. I appreciate your candor Leanne. Sharing your journey gives others the permission to do the same. I think the word that continues to be in my radar is JOMO . I may write a post on this. Thank you for a thought-provoking post:)

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  20. I hate to admit it but I'd even forgotten that I'd chosen a word of the year...which probably is a sign of how the year has been going. It's good to get a reminder of how easy it is to get caught up in the daily mess to the point where the important things somehow slip through our fingers. I'm glad to hear that you're free of the toxic job situation (I've had one of those myself and they are awful). You're right that we all need more in our life...of the good things.

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  21. Leanne, beautifully said! "Live louder and shine brighter"--you do have a way with words! Inspired by you, I chose a word for the year, Joy. I sort of forgot about it until mid-April when I took up something I've wanted to do all my life, well, at least 30 years anyway--watercolor painting. It's definitely bringing me joy. May never get good at it, but I'm having a wonderful time.

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