The Quandary of Becoming

by Crystal on October 14, 2008

This week has been interesting. It’s now been a bit over ten days since I started following the advice in “Think and Grow Rich” and reciting the credo daily, and I’m trying hard to spend time each day dwelling on the person I want to become.  So yesterday, I got tested on it.  Not literally, and I didn’t even realise it until after the fact, but looking back the situation was absolutely a fork in the road where I had to choose between how I used to react, and how the person who lives the way I aspire to would choose to act.

You see, I’ve always been the dedicated, loyal, overly hardworking studious type.  Right through school, at University, and then in the workforce.  Once I’d committed myself to an employer, that was it – their well being went above my own.  I even chose my leave around when things would be quiet and I wouldn’t be needed so much.  I’m not saying that’s a bad thing, but the goals I’m aspiring to reach now have me looking at a bigger picture – choosing the things that enrich my lifestyle here and now instead of putting my nose to the grindstone and putting off any thoughts of fun for those all too brief moments away on holiday once a year, and eventually after retirement.  Tim Ferriss‘ “Four Hour Workweek” taught me there was a middle ground that didn’t need me to sacrifice that work ethic, but at the same time pushed me to put myself a bit higher on the priority list.

So, late-ish at night two days ago I got a call, apologising for the late notice but telling me that someone very special to me, who I don’t get to see very often, was going to be competing in the little athletics finals in Sydney over the next couple of days, if I could possibly get away to see it.  Well, this week was already very busy, and with a meeting on Thursday which I’d be preparing for most of the time leading up to it. I thought my only option would be to visit briefly after work on Wednesday, and short myself on sleep.  So that was what I arranged.

Then I started thinking – surely this is one of those situations where I should be standing up for my own priorities.  What would that person I’ve been thinking about evolving into, decide to do?  Once I got the question right, the answer was clear.

The funny thing was, once I decided that I’d make that my priority, and work could work around it, things streamlined themselves into place so it all fell together beautifully.  My preparation was pretty much done before I left work today, and I’m getting ready to drop off to sleep tonight knowing that I’ll be spending tomorrow doing something important to me, and better still that I’m not shorting anyone in doing it.  It probably sounds like such a little thing, but to me, from being an advocate squarely pushing the work agenda, putting myself at the bottom of the pecking order most of the time, it feels like I’ve reclaimed a little bit of personal power and taken the first step down that road I want to travel, towards the life I’m choosing to engineer for myself.

It feels good.

In the words of Robert Frost -

“two roads divulged in a yellow wood
and I, I took the one less travelled by
and that has made all the difference.”

Nov 1 08 Update: Since I wrote this, I’ve received THREE more job offers (although admittedly one was off-the-cuff).  It seems now I have decided I don’t want another job, everyone now wants me working for them!  Go figure…

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