Is it Easy or Hard to Live a Life you Love?
Today I woke up at my usual 5.30am. I have been doing it for so long now it is second nature. I do not have an alarm, and I can snooze a bit if I desire. If I do decide to snooze I usually get up about 15 minutes later laughing. My wake up time is determined by my young dog Gracie. She will check on me about 5.30am with a wet nose in the ear. Then she will try and get me to pat her. If I fox it, and try to snooze she will eventually lie full out on me, with her head on mine. It is so funny, loving and very cute. I love starting my day this way.
Like everybody who goes to school in Australia, I was taught to get good grades, go to University or Tafe, get a job, work for 45 years and then retire. Retirement is the time to do all the not really practical things, or desires that don’t make a lot of money. I went to art classes for 6 months when I was 25, then I was told I had to be practical and get a real job. With 3 small children and being a single parent, working full-time for Centrelink I put my dreams of being an artist and writer away.
I haven’t waited for retirement to start living my dream life. I care for my husband, so the part-pension I get does help a little. It has been almost 5 years since I started blogging. It certainly caters to the writing bug. For the last 18 months I have been doing art regularly. It is fabulous, I have so much to learn, some of it is ok and some of it is terrible and yet I love the whole process. I live in my dream location, which means I have gardening to do, animals to look after and play with. I am able to try any creative process that piques my interest. Lately I have been wood carving which is fantastic.
All of this is done around my main priority, looking after my husband and being available for my girls and grandchildren when they need me. It does mean I live on a lower income, and make do rather than consume. It also means sometimes I am working 15 hour days, yet I never notice it being a hard-ship because I love what I am doing.
My mornings are relaxed and easy. I read a chapter of a book, always something to do with personal development or the power of the brain. Sometimes I journal if I have a lot going on mentally. There is no timetable, no hustle to get to a job and no wishing I was doing something else. It wasn’t always this way, and getting to the place of relaxed joy I have now wasn’t easy.
Today I am relaxed and happy about it. This is after years of stress. Worry I was being stupid or selfish, maybe I “should” get a real job. Every time I focus on doing something which could be commercial in my art-work, it is awful. The guilt of my slow mornings, was I being lazy? Driving myself to do 12 and 15 hour days trying to produce a lifestyle course and market it, which hasn’t produced a result yet. Getting out and hustling at networking events. Putting on the extrovert when all I really wanted to do was be my own introverted self. Feeling guilty about not being free yet to participate in our consumerist society. I would love to give presents for Birthday and Christmas to my many grandchildren, yet the choices I have made do not always allow this.
It requires living out of the comfort zone a lot. Learning to budget and stick to it can be hard. Learning new skills and doing some hard physical labour rather than calling a tradesmen or handyman is hard at the time yet super rewarding. Feeling a bit on the outside of society because you don’t fit the norm can also be a challenge. The one thing I have learnt is you can’t sit on the fence. I have tried the compromise, working and just doing moments of my dream life. It does not compare to going the whole hog. There is so much joy, happiness, physical and mental health in living the life you love. Yes it can be hard, and requires soul-searching, mental toughness and a huge desire and turning your back on all the conditioning of your youth. It is so worth it.
Could you see yourself living your dream life? What would it look like?
If you would like to learn more about how I went from depressed to joyful, working full-time to living my dream life, then go here.