Today's post has nothing really to do with jewelry, but more to do with my head space and where I'm at as a person on this journey through life. The last few years I've been on a search for more balance and, ultimately, happiness. Those of you who know me understand all too well that I am a bit of a type A personality. I have a hard time really relaxing and enjoying the moment. That being said, I've actually come a long way in that department (and will argue that most humans have a hard time being in the "now").
For me, my journey toward balance and peace started in the most unlikely of places, a multi-day retreat style workshop meant to groom future library leaders in my state. Instead of walking away with marvelous new leadership skills, what I learned was far more personal. I realized during those days that what I really longed for wasn't power or to move up the proverbial ladder. What I wanted was to have a better work/life balance. (I'm quite certain that this is NOT what our library director had hoped for me to get out of the program, but oh well!) With some staffing changes I was able to reduce my library work week down to 31 hours and have an extra day for myself. In that extra me time I began making beaded jewelry mostly for myself, but that quickly morphed into doing a little bit of selling as well. I was growing creatively and really enjoying learning and doing new things.
Anyway, this new schedule was fabulous for a while but as time went on I found myself needing to re-balance the scales again. This sounds weird, but I got the ball rolling to make some changes by accident when I made an off-hand comment that my boss (probably because she knows me all too well) took seriously. Anyway, events were set in motion that have allowed me to go down to 24 hours a week at the library while keeping the parts of my job that mean the most to me...working with teenagers and purchasing our youth print and audio book collections.
Let me just interject here and say that I know that I'm extremely lucky that I don't rely on my library job for benefits, and my salary isn't really 100% essential for my family to stay afloat. I'm also beyond fortunate to have a husband who understands me and is completely willing to support me in following my dreams and finding my bliss. I also can't underplay the importance and value of having a boss who values my work and particular skill set and is willing to be flexible to maximize my impact in my shortened hours. I'm so grateful for all of this, it's really hard to put that into words.
I'm just four weeks in to my new schedule and so far it is making me a very happy woman. I feel like I have made a little bit more room in my life to do the things I want to do: building my jewelry business, getting more physically fit, giving back to the community through volunteering, and maybe even keeping my house a little cleaner! I'm finding myself less stressed out and smiling far more than my "old" normal.
Part of the bargain I made with my husband in making this change was that I would make a concerted effort to not to bring so much of my library job home with me emotionally. So far I've made good on that promise...part of my finding balance is to learn to let go. I have to understand both as an employee and a human on this planet that there is very little that I can actually control. Watching the news serves as a daily reminder that life is much too short (often shorter than we are counting on) and that we should cherish each moment that we are given.
So, let me wrap up this introspective ramble by saying this: I am so grateful for the life I have been given and the special people who I have the privilege to share it with. I pledge to do my very best not to take any of it, any of you, for granted. There are so many things I want to do and so many places I want to go... thank you all for playing some part in the journey that I am on!