(I never understood Dilbert comics as a kid, until my life became a Dilbert comic. And now I laugh so hard I cry a little whenever one of my fellow cube slaves graces my inbox with one.)
In case you weren’t able to decipher my escape plan from my brilliant doodle, this is what I’ve got “figured out” so far…
1. Shit I know I have to do:
2. Shit I still need to figure out:
The viability and timing of alternate paths of employment that don’t involve #CubeLife:
It’s still technically two buckets of vaguely deciphered shit, but hey… progress is progress!
Current status: staring lovingly at my Christmas tree / hoping to be re-incarnated as a fat condo dog / counting down to the weekend
I’ve always been a proponent of to-do lists as a way of organizing the seemingly endless number of tasks I’ve been dawdling on. The only problem is, to-do lists are sneaky. They provide you with the temporary illusion of getting shit done: Step 1, make a to-do list. Well, that took effort. I deserve the rest of the week off! Seinfeld marathon, anyone?
I have notebooks full of to-do lists piling up in my drawers. As such, I am implementing a new rule. If my to-do list item can be completed within that next 10 minutes, then I just do it. No excuses.
If it requires greater effort/time commitment, then it can go on my ONE master to-do list in my amazing new Daily Greatness agenda (more on this in another post!) that I will review on a daily basis.
On that note, I have some dirty dishes to tend to…
Current status: elbow deep in suds / saving trees from my graveyard of lists / digging the new Kelly Clarkson album
It is hard to believe that I made the decision to escape the cube of doom a mere 10 days ago, because so much has happened since then. Well, to be fair, days 1-5 were really just a combination of me manically scribbling down every half-baked idea that came to mind, frantically checking bank accounts for long-lost savings that don’t exist and trying to talk myself out of going nuclear on my corporate existence.
Luckily somewhere between day 6-8, I began to sort this initial barrage of thoughts out and formed a vague semblance of an escape plan. Days 9-10 were spent socializing this plan with those nearest and dearest to me, praying they would be on board (THEY WERE! WOOO!).
There’s still a shit ton to do with very little idea of how to do it. But I’m approaching this week feeling calm, excited and grateful…because I don’t have to do any of this; I get to do all of this.
Current status: digging this tune (thanks, Spotify Discover Weekly!) / wondering if anyone really “works” from home? / dreaming of hot totties
So many times over the last week I’ve caught myself in a steady stream of begrudging “I have tos.”
I have to get up early and work on my blog/business plan/course work/job search. I have to go to work in 15 minutes. I have to come home and read the stack of books on my kitchen table. I have to put all my energy into making this work. I have to go to sleep early so I can wake up and do it all over again.
When I read an email I enjoy, I favourite it so I can go back to it during future funks. This morning, I stumbled across a short email The Minimalists sent last week (if you don’t know who these guys are, I highly recommend checking out their blog + documentary). The line that struck me was:
What do you have to do? Would reframing those haves into gets remove some of life’s stress?
I don’t HAVE TO do any of these things; I GET to do them. I have the ability and resources to turn my passions (once I figure out what they are!) into profit, while creating a more meaningful life for myself.
I am going to use this little tweak in my inner narrative from now on, every time I feel like “I have to” do something.
Do you have any simple “hacks” you use throughout the day for positive thinking?
Current mood: Frank Costanza, Episode 159, Seinfeld. Not a Seinfeld fan? We can’t be friends.
The first few days after I decided to quit my job I felt…zen. Work bullshit could not touch me. “Oh, you want that last-minute PowerPoint deck done in 30 minutes? Sure thing, sir. Not a problem. Happy to help!” I took solace in the idea of my new life.
But now that I’m in the weeds of the planning my escape – which is feeling insurmountable at the moment – my zen-like good feelings have turned into rage at any trivial work-related matter: “You need what? Your piss-poor planning is not my emergency, Harold. GOOD DAY!”
I feel like I’m balancing a full-time job on top of another full-time job. I hope this is all worth it in the end.
…I usually give up and concede to another few months of cubicle life until I get so sick of water cooler chit-chat again that I come up with another seemingly-awesome idea which I inevitably give up on and so on. You get the point.
So what’s different this time? Beyond the giant pile of self-help “follow your dreams” books I’ve armed myself with, the library of podcasts I listen to any time my feet are in motion and a Pinterest board full of vomit-worthy motivational quotes, I am putting every waking moment beyond work and required social obligations (oh hey, boyfriend!) into this.
I am equal parts excited and nauseous…all the time. And despite the the clenching in my chest I feel when I entertain the thought of this not working out, it still beats not having ever tried.
A few short years ago, my idea of freedom would have been similar to Adam’s: the ability to strap on a backpack and travel the world.
Today, my idea of freedom has more defined roots: a career I am passionate about with unlimited income potential; the ability to support my hypothetical future family. A home I enjoy waking up in every day; overflowing with memories, not possessions. The ability to travel as much as I want; the flexibility to work remotely in colder months. Never stepping into another cubicle again. Oh, and a lion claw bathtub. Definitely need one of those.
I’m not sure if I quite buy into manifesting what you want; but here’s to trying! Note to self: Look up “how to make vision board.”
What would freedom in your life look like?
9. Quitting my job and becoming financially dependent on somebody else
8. The Chucky movies (I successfully hyperlinked that without actually looking at the article – huzzah!)
7. My lack of basic survival skills during the off-chance of a zombie apocalypse
5. The five seconds before a plane’s wheels land on the tarmac
4. Looking into a mirror at night (I blame camp)
3. Pursuing my dreams and failing; conceding with crawling back to corporate cubicle life
2. This scene from Planet Earth (RUN, IGUANA. RUN!)
1. Waking up in 20 years with the dread (or even worse, with the complacence?) of knowing that I am about to commute an hour on the cesspool train to a job I hate in a cubicle that decreases a little more in size and window accessibility each year, making small talk with the same goddamn people by the water cooler each morning: “It’s a cold one today, eh?”...when really we’re all screaming inside our heads for something real, knowing we have all given up on pursuing our dreams – or even some vague semblance of a passion – for the “security” of a corporate job, because we all have families and responsibilities, and heaven forbid that little Johnny doesn’t get the new iPhone this Christmas, what will all the other third graders think? And then after 8 hours of mind-numbing conference calls (Sorry, Nancy. I think you’re on mute? Hello?) and breaking out in hives over projects I won’t remember the names of in three months (much less three years), elbowing my way through the throngs of zombie-like commuters making the escape out of the soul-sucking concrete jungle to board my train (standing room only, folks) to begin the hour-long trek home where I will spend my evenings and weekends accumulating more crap, and upgrading the crap I already have, to somehow justify wasting the last 20 years of my life on this Groundhog Day like existence.