1. Doing it ‘all’ on vacation.
I’ve accepted that I am not a beach vacation person. And I rarely ski when I go to a ski destination. Don’t be shocked. I do what I want to do, where and when I want to do it. I also like to leave something to do on my next pass to each destination. I enjoy sitting at a café, watching the world go by sometimes. Yes, I do a couple of touristy things here and there, but I’m not running myself into the ground to get it all in. It’s called vacation and relaxation is supposed to be part of it. The need to take a vacation from my vacation will never happen to me again.
2. Being an overachiever.
For most of my life, I was the classic overachiever. I could get more done in one day than some people can get done in a month. I put myself through college twice and got the grades, followed by the job, the volunteer work, the circle of friends, and being the host for events, where I did most of the heavy lifting. After a while, it became the expectation.
I am so over that bullshit. Since turning the big 4-0 I’ve noticed that things get done when they get done, or sometimes don’t even get done at all.
3. People who live in daily drama.
I now avoid these people like the plague. And when they are close to me, I just say ‘I’m sorry you’re going through this.” I typically follow these words up by saying one or two encouraging things, but I no longer overextend myself. It’s their drama and they need to figure it out on their own.
4. Brand names.
Some items offer better quality with a brand name, but generally, it make no difference whatsoever. Who gives a shit what brand name your pan is that you cooked dinner in? My friends and family are there for the company and food, not my damn brand names.
5. Having an impressive title in my career.
I climbed my way up the ladder in my career and felt damn proud when I got there. I sat at a Vice President position for eight years, and for the last two years was as miserable as I’ve ever been. I don’t care now what title you give me. I just want to be happy and fulfilled in what I contribute.
6. Dressing to impress.
Who in the world has time to do this every day? The workout, shower, hair, make-up, body maintenance, pressed clothes, the matching purse and shoes. No freaking way — some days I don’t wear any make-up at all. I am just happy to be happy and healthy. Of course, when a special occasion arises and I get dolled up, it feels special. So there’s a bonus to this point.
7. Stuff in general.
Every so often I take a moment to look around my home. I tally some of these things up from a monetary standpoint, and then apply it to the travel experience I could have had if I had taken that money and did that instead. When I shop now, I rarely, if ever, buy anything that doesn’t have a ‘purpose’. If my blender breaks to make my smoothies, then I’ll buy one.
Yes, I know it makes the world go around. I am also aware that it is a necessary component to living. However, I no longer think so much about where the next month’s mortgage payment is coming from. My husband and I got ourselves where we are enjoying low living expenses and it’s the best thing we ever did. There isn’t so much pressure to work, work, work to pay, pay pay off the debt. It’s liberating.
9. Living for other people.
I am one of the most selfless people you’ll ever meet, so I’ve been told. It’s a curse. I get up in the morning and my first thoughts are what I need to do for someone else. I wait on people in my home, take care of things, I’m the bookkeeper for our household, and even feed the neighborhood cats who have lame owners. I just take care of it. Consider it done. In fact, most of the time you don’t even have to ask me. If it needs to be taken care of, I’ll have already done it.
I’ve lightened up on that a lot, and as a result, not only have other people begun to do things for me, but they feel happy to do so. That was a win-win change.
10. Keeping my house spotless.
Why the hell I was always so obsessed with having a clean house is beyond me. I’d spend countless hours dusting, scrubbing, cleaning, getting rid of the ‘stale’ smell that only I noticed. Why? No one noticed when a little dust or dirt was there if they visited.
The laundry will still be there tomorrow. Now I spend my time writing, being creative, having meaningful conversations with friends, working out, meditating or simply hanging out on the back porch. I hardly even notice the dust anymore.
11. What other people think of me.
I am me, through and through. I am the most loyal friend if you are a friend to me. Those who I love know this and that’s enough for me. I’ll act goofy in public if something strikes me as funny, I’ll hang around in my yoga pants all day anywhere I want to, and I’m not afraid to ask any questions to anyone. Take it or leave it. This is me.
12. What the scale says.
Getting on the scale daily was a part of my routine. Afterward, I’d spend the day either beating myself up over the number or celebrating. I’ve taken the battery out of that scale and put it in the attic. I just want to be healthy. My focus now is the 80/20 rule. I eat the chocolate cake, or the fried seafood, about twenty percent of the time. Where my ass ends up is where it ends up. No one wears their weight on their forehead anyway. Last time I checked nobody was banging down my door to ask me to be a swimsuit model, so what difference does it make how I look in my bathing suit?
13. Checking things off the bucket list.
Don’t get me wrong, it’s a very cool concept. New experiences are fun, and it’s great to have goals. I now have two bucket lists. The main one I focus on is the ‘already done’ list. One of these items even includes work/life balance. This gives me a sense of accomplishment, and watching that list grow is more exciting then adding things to the list of things I want to do. It’s all about being happy in your own company. If I can add in love and health too, I’ve hit a home run.