Week 1 is done

Today marks the end of my first week as a contract worker and although I’ve left the “security” of a desk job I am exceedingly happy.

There are challenges of course and yet: happy.

I used to allow my circumstance to dictate my level of contentment. My co-worker says something snotty and cruel, making me doubt myself for weeks. Discontent. I complete a big project with minimal headache and get a nice ‘thank you’. Content. The company lays off a co-worker who wastes her day on Facebook instead of working. Content. Same day the company lays me off because of the economy. Discontent.

As a very strong Type A personality I did what any overachiever would: try harder. Last August I was laid off and started another job full time within 2 weeks. I like the hustle. I like having a plan and doing what I have to do to reach my goals. Even the modest ones like “not being broke.” When I want something I pursue it relentlessly.

So what’s changed? My state of the union is pretty content, happy. Am I suddenly not making any mistakes? Is everyone singing my praises without ceasing? Does money and connections and gifts just rain down upon me? Not hardly.

I’m being challenged, making mistakes, correcting them, working harder and still content.

So if it’s not tied to the circumstances of my life, why am I happy? Undiagnosed brain tumor?

I hope not!

Beyond the passing circumstances that are here today, gone tomorrow I recognize and foster the path I am on, knowing it is the right one.

I still over-analyze and fret and strive for personal and professional achievements. I don’t think that’s going to change anytime soon. But I do believe, for maybe the first time, that I am moving in the absolute right direction.

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Relaxation has always been a funny concept to me. I get this from my Dad who can go camping, set up everything in one hour and then start splitting wood, cooking pre-planned meals, organizing events…

When I take a walk I’m looking for interesting things to photograph. Thinking about how I can share those with my communities.

When I shop I am thinking about a blog post, considering a gift, or mentally calculating.

When I’m on vacation I blog, review maps, research the area, take photos, shop for souvenirs.

When I relax at home I’m reading a book on my ever growing to be read list. I’m watching a movie or re-watching a television series on DVD. Sometimes I’m on instant messenger while watching a movie and filing…

There have been very few times in my lift I am in total relaxation without thinking of what I “should” be doing.

Knowing this about myself I am contemplating taking a day before my next birthday to go off grid. Get out of my house and out of town. Turn off my phone and leave it in the car.  Go somewhere without bringing a file to work on, a book to review, music to listen to, a list to complete.

Unsurprisingly my biggest challenge is going without a plan, a packing list, a contingency plan.

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