Sunday, April 24, 2011

Are you Living Your Dream Life? Part One: Penny

I was talking to a friend the other day about her job. More so, whether or not it was right for her or not. She's been doing it for years, she's really good at it, but the company isn't super supportive and she isn't able to grow in her role very well. It's time for my dear friend to move on, but where to? 

"I can't figure out what I want to do. I've made a decision to stop fluffing around! That is my 1/4 life resolution. Stop fluffing around. Just bloody decide and stick to it. Anything!"

This is where the problem lies. She's not sure what she wants to do, but she has some ideas. Each idea though, requires potential further education, a lot of commitment and potentially some financial restructuring. Whichever she chooses will be a big risk, but is it not a bigger risk to not choose one? My lovely friend is very smart, both academically and in the way of life experience. Her life is filled with very successful relationships, lovely belongings and comfortable routines. The thing is though that for all her happiness she could be so much happier.

It got me thinking. We all know I've been thinking lots about what I'll do for work when I get back and about going to Uni next year, but even I don't really know what I want to be doing. Hearing about her dreams and goals and all the possibilities ahead of her, inspired me. If she inspired me, then surely she'd inspire you too right? I asked her to guest post but she's a little post-shy, so I thought I'd start a series on similar stories and see if any of you want to play too. If you want to guest post, answer the questions below and send them to me through the Contact Me tab. When I post your responses I'll link to your blog or website so please link back!

Who are you and what is your life like now?

Me (left) and my sister
Well, you already know who I am. My current life is an alarm every morning at 6.25am. I lie  in bed for 10 minutes twittering amongst the little communities I try and push my way into. I shower, get ready, do the dishes, make the lunches. I work 8.30-5pm developing training documents, delivering workplace training, and recruiting more people to train. After 5pm I often work on the phones, doing the job I teach people how to do, for extra money and something to do while I wait for Courtney to finish (he does rostered shifts so doesn't always finish at the same time as me). If I finish work early enough, I do nails many nights, or I write, or I watch a movie in bed with Courts. If we finish late, I eat cheese on toast and go straight to bed. On Saturday mornings we go to the farmers market, my favourite time of the week. I'll go out once on the weekend, and I'll spend most of Sunday writing, packing to move, and planning for Europe. 

What would you do all day, week or year if you were living your dream life?

On a daily basis, heaven for me would be waking up with no alarm clock. I don't mind being woken up by people, just not the alarm, because it means I have somewhere to be and I'd usually rather be somewhere else. Maybe I would be woken up by kids climbing into bed with me. We'd eat fresh fruit and muesli with yoghurt (in my dream life, the children would like this) while sitting outside on the deck in the sun. I'd do the dishes and tidy the house (yes, even in my dream life) and then I'd sit at the computer and do some writing, or I'd do nails for a couple of clients while the children were playing or at play group. 

In my dream life, there would be more than one child, but not all my own. I would be fostering, and making a difference to individual lives one at a time. In the afternoon we would go to the park, or we would help at the SPCA or we would do Mums and Kids Pilates classes - just something out of the house. In my dream life, we wouldn't own a TV. I would have dinner ready when Courtney got home and after dinner, eaten all together at the table, I would tutor in Classical Studies or I'd go to singing lessons or I'd do some more writing. 

As the days turned into months we would set off on adventures. If I was blessed with foster children, we would explore New Zealand. If we were between foster children, we would take a few months to explore a new country, biological children in tow, a la Soul Travellers

What would your job be?

I wouldn't have just one. Courtney would have a job that was Location Independent (this is my dream life, not his!) and could be done on the road, or one where he could take a few months off. I would make money from my writing, and from nails when I was home. I could see myself hosting travellers and doing private tours, or teaching new foster caregivers how to do the best job possible. I could make dining tables for people! Most of all I just want to work with under privileged children and make their lives better, even if for a short time, so that they have a little bit more hope or ambition or comfort when they leave me than when they arrived.

Why would it make you happy?

I've only worked in an office for 6 years, and I've loved a lot of it, but I don't want to die having spent over 11520 hours aka 480 days aka 1.3 YEARS of my life (the current tally) sitting behind a desk breathing in air conditioning and ruining my eye sight further with computers and flourescent lighting. I know that a lot of you will have spent a lot longer than that doing the same thing. But if I keep doing that until I retire at potentially 65, I will have done it for a solid 8.8 years of my life. If I then get hit by a bus leaving the office for the last time, I may as well have died at 57 years of age for all the good the extra 8 years did for me. There's got to be a better way, and I know the things above make me feel the most relaxed and the most happy and the most worth it

So what's stopping you?

Let's see. I have a nasty personal loan I would like to get rid of. After Europe that is my next goal, to be rid of it once and for all. 

I am not ready to have children because I am not a good enough person to be able to teach them everything they need to know by example. I am working on everything I dislike about myself and when I think I have it at least more-sussed-than-I-do-now, I will consider it. 

Fostering I haven't been able to do because I have worked full time. Being forced to quit in order to go to Europe is a blessing in disguise. If I build nails up and find other sources of income, I can get my caregivers certificate and start when we have a good house and are a bit more settled. I've always had flatmates too which doesn't allow for fostering, and I do not want them again. 

To get the nails thing up and running I will get a nice car with classy ads on it. I will work my butt off to get new clients. I will host nail parties and visit shops and get the sales assistants to wear my nails. I will write whenever I am not doing this. I will pitch my books again and again. I will make my blog the best blog out there. 

If you would like to contribute to this series on Dream Lives, I'd love you to! Please use the Contact Me tab to submit your answers to the same questions. I'll post a new one each Sunday now that the Bliss Challenge is over.