T-minus 124 days: Have to vs. get to…

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?


T-minus 125 days: Serenity now…

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.

T-minus 126 days: When the going gets tough…

…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.

T-minus 127 days: What does freedom mean to you?

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?


T-minus 128 days: Top 10 things I’m currently scared of…

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
6. Karaoke
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.

T-minus 130 days: The 6 stages of deciding to quit your soul-sucking job.

    1. Anger
      “Holy shit why am I still sitting in this goddamn cubicle? How many hours have I wasted here? (7,920!) Why am I not brave/smart/[insert any self-defeating adjective here] to just pull the trigger and leave?
    2. Determination
      Screw paying my bills. I am going to figure out a way to get out of here. I REFUSE to become Mary from the forms department, celebrating her 25-year work anniversary by taking a nap on her keyboard.”
    3. Manic research
      “What am I even good at? (NO CLUE!) When was the last time I didn’t hate my job? (NEVER!) Can I afford to go back to school? (NO!)”
    4. Inspiration
      “Holy shit. This may actually work. I am a magical (and FIERCE) unicorn that has been held back from gifting the world with my talents for far too long!”
    5. Panic“Who am I kidding? I would be insane to give up a steady job. What are people going to think? What if I have to go from $20 bottles of wine to *shudder* $8 bottles?”
    6. Determination
      “Bitch, be cool. You got this. You will figure it out.”