(This is a rewrite of a post from June 2010.)
I was hanging with another self-employed coach/writer friend recently and we were both having a hard day.
One of those days in which you wonder, “What is it I do? And why?” You may bemoan not becoming a nuclear physicist because at least they know how to split atoms.
Of course, we all have these days, the 58 inches of snow days, the I hate my job days, the I hate being a mom days, the I hate my health days. Life can just be asphalt-hard.
The kind of days in which your dreams, which were once so shiny and promising, now resemble false fronts on a movie set.
The kind of day when you calculate how little money you can live on.
Otherwise known as a move to a Greek island fantasy day. Or move-to-the-ashram fantasy day. Or find-a-cozy-cave-somewhere day.
You are going to give it all up for the simple life.
Give up the struggle, the effort, the bustle, the doing, whatever it is that feels so damn hard right now.
Yurts may be part of this fantasy or making cheese. Certainly spaciousness and time to do what you want. Shelling peas always shows up for me.
There is a desire for wholeness and rest in your fantasy – heed that.
There also may be a desire to not be a grown up anymore or to have someone rescue you – don’t heed that.
But don’t judge it either. We all get tired. We all want to give up the reins for awhile.
Let’s hold onto the desire for spaciousness, for living a hand-crafted life. Retreats and renewal in one hand, and in the other, the exhilarating truth that choosing your life is hard. Putting yourself out there takes a vast amount of courage (whether selling your paintings or putting up a profile on Match.com, whether having the difficult conversation with your kid or placing your mom in memory care), not to mention brain glucose. Being conscious is rewarding but also very taxing.
But the alternative is going back to sleep. Not really an alternative, is it?
Greek island fantasies (or whatever yours is) are lovely as long as you don’t confuse them with finally being safe. Finally being enough.
Watch a BBC period drama, read a historical novel, churn some butter and then go back to putting one foot in front of the other. You aren’t doing anything wrong – life is hard and scary and wacky and wondrous, and we’re in this together.