Living The Life

You’d think after not blogging for four days I would have a lot to say but honestly, I just feel quiet. It was good for me to step away from the blog and be out in my life. It’s not like I went on any grand adventure or discovered the missing link to all my problems but I did chill out and that is something I need to do more of.

Lately, I have been thinking a lot about how I live my life vs. how I WANT to live my life. What do I prioritize? What is important to me that I am not putting at the top of my list? What kind of life do I ultimately want to be living? I’ve been pondering this and have come up with a list. Of course there is a list. I am nothing without a list.

How I Spend My Time Now:

  • Working job #1
  • Working job #2
  • Worrying about my two jobs
  • Volunteering
  • Blogging
  • Running errands
  • Watching TV because if I attempt to read I will fall asleep from fatigue
  • Reading blogs, books and magazines to avoid doing more work
  • Being social with friends
  • Fulfilling obligations (re: over-extending myself)
  • Eating out too often because I am too tired to cook
  • Staring off into space because I am brain dead from not refueling

Um, that’s not how I want to be living. It’s too much work and too much tiredness and not enough LIVING. Life is too damn short to feel like I am wasting time on things that aren’t fulfilling to me.

How I Want To Spend My Time (in no particular order):

  • Working less hours but being paid more
  • Expressing myself creatively (through writing, art, crafts, etc.)
  • Doing work that challenges me
  • Dancing
  • Learning to cook new recipes
  • Being out in nature (walks, picnics, exploring the outdoors)
  • Volunteering
  • Reading great books
  • Spending time with my loved ones
  • Swimming
  • Meditating
  • Practicing yoga
  • Seeking a deeper spirituality
  • Laughing with Finn
  • Road trips
  • Napping with my cats
  • Social activities with friends
  • Alone time

Quite different lists, wouldn’t you say? I’m still trying to figure out how to balance what is required of me with what fulfills me. It’s a worthwhile endeavor though. The one thing I can’t figure out how to factor in is blogging. But that’s another post entirely.

Tell me, what would your wish list look like? What do you wish you were prioritizing in your own life?

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66 thoughts on “Living The Life

  1. My priorities are so screwed right now I’m not sure where I’d start, but my lists would be completely different I’m sure, too.

  2. It is a challenge to find that balance. I find myself teetering on either over-extending myself or being so wiped-out that all I can do during my downtime is numb out infront of the television. And then, wonder where the life is in my life!?

    I think it is interesting hearing the quest from balance from another woman who is unmmarried and doesnt’ have children. It seems like there is an assumption that only married women with kids have difficulty finding that elusive work/life balance…clearly, that isn’t the case.

  3. i often wonder how many people are in the same boat (myself included): spending too much time on things we’d rather NOT be doing… i’m not sure what would be on my wish-list other than getting married and having kids – that’s all i seem to think about these days (and at this point, not necessarily in that order)…

    maybe i missed something but i don’t see your man mentioned anywhere… ?

  4. Wait, I don’t see blogging on the second list. WHY NOT?

    Let’s see. I think that my two lists are fairly well aligned right now. I suppose that means I’m lucky.

  5. I think my life is pretty well balanced..Perhaps I work too much and I would love to be able to get out more (dinner, shows, traveling). But since having one kid (and another on the way), my priorities have shifted towards him. What’s weird is how much I’m ok with that. I don’t even remember what I did with my “free” time before Charlie..It’s like trying to remember what it was like before everybody had a cell phone.

  6. I hear ya, cutie pie. Life should be well balanced. Period. And if it’s not, we need to make choices to hopefully get ourselves closer to the ideal.

    Many moons ago, I gave up a very promising career. Because it would have required 4 days a week of travel and long work hours. And I’m one of those people placed on this earth who works to live, not lives to work.

    So, I quit. I rearranged my life. Made decisions leading to less money on the pay scale, but more me time. And it’s the best decision I’ve ever made. No regrets at all.

  7. This is a good question. I’ve thought about what I would like to be doing now versus what I actually am and there are definitely things in life I would like to change. But some will take a bit longer than others (i.e. finding a new job). Still, one must keep trying.

  8. Some of the things match up on both lists… sorta… you’ll get there! Just say “no” πŸ™‚

    I wish I spend less time on the internet, and more time with my husband and being social with friends. I have been using my lunch break at work to do a lot of blog-reading, and that is helping quite a bit πŸ™‚

  9. I don’t know why, but hearing that Sizzle would include me in all of the 2nd list except the alone part reminded me of this:

    Frodo: Go back, Sam. I’m going to Mordor alone.
    Sam: Of course you are. And I’m coming with you.

    πŸ˜›

  10. I love the Fella’s comment. Just gotta say that. Cracks me up. He’s good for you, Sizzle. Keeps ya on your toes πŸ˜‰

    Now… I have to say that my list looks a lot like your second list (minus the yoga and meditation, though I’ve been giving some thought to trying yoga) and… it’s a good place to be. I loved the idea of working for a non-profit, but the reality did not work for me. Warm and fuzzies don’t pay the bills (we’ve had this conversation before, no?) and that second job situation sucks. It really, really does.

    I could be wrong, and this is just an opinion of someone who has read your blog for awhile now, but… you really don’t seem happy with the apartment job. Yes, sure, the no rent thing is great, but… have you ever thought to sit down (or beg one of your loved ones to do it) and figure out how much you’re getting paid for hour to break up stupid fights, make phone calls to get leaks fixed or just doing random “apartment manager” stuff? I’d venture to guess it’s pretty close to minimum wage when it’s all said and done. You’re the only one who knows if it’s worth it or not, but dang. Think of how many of those things on the list you could tackle with just that one (job in general) change? Yeah, a lot.

    Good luck. It’s hard to make those changes from the life you are living to the one you want… I’m still working on it, and I think so are most people.

  11. I would go crazy if “Alone time” weren’t on my first list. But then, I’m probably more of a hermit than most people. In any case, good luck with the list balancing. If you figure out how to do #1 on that second list, be sure to fill us in.

  12. I like your list #2 and need to make a list myself. Just do what makes you happy. That’s all that REALLY matters. The rest…will fall in place.

    Hi fella! Great comment.lol.

    =)

  13. Ah yes indeed, I couldnt agree more. Ive found that my life/work are ALREADY on the internet and that is WAY too much internet for me, I have to take steps away from blogging a lot to engage in THE REAL WORLD??? Maybe that’s why Ive chosen to flee to Europe, THOUGH I will still be blogging and recording all the stories, there has to be a balance between that and how much time you are actually out in LIFE, DOING. I understand your list completely.

  14. I must say I agree with TC — but I’m not in your shoes.

    Personally I would like to see Work fall much farther down on my list. It sucks up so much of my time, but really I get little out of it… This is a good exercise. I may steal it.

  15. I wish to stress/worry less and enjoy life more. Stop looking forward to (or worrying about) the next big thing and get as much pleasure as possible from day-to-day life.

  16. It’s funny how blogging is nowhere to be seen on list number two … unless of course, you count “writing creatively” which I don’t.

    I hope that you find the balance that you so crave. It’s so important to not be consumed by the nuisances of our lives. Life is too short. Live it!

    Why not start small? Pick a few things at a time from list two that is doable.

    The important thing to remember is that in order to live your life as you would like to, it doesn’t mean that you have to do those things ALL AT ONCE. Pace yourself dear …

    πŸ™‚

  17. Lately, I wish I was prioritizing sleep. I tend to fritter away a lot of evening hours with small tasks and mindless stuff like television and solitaire!

  18. Crazy question, I know it’s just you so do you really need two jobs??
    I play the lottery every week and I promise when I win, you will be number one on that list.

    we did miss you blogging but we understand how overextended you are. Just take care of you first k.

  19. I hear ya. I made a list just the other day, too.
    I try not to get too caught up in the idea that I want what I don’t have, because essentially what I have now is what I wanted at some point. It’s that balance part that I’ll always strive for/struggle with, though.
    But I think lists are a good place to start- now let’s go mark something off. (That marking off part always makes me feel good.) πŸ™‚

  20. I hear ya — my wish list would look a lot like yours. I think the trick is baby steps. Take one thing you really would like to fit into your life, and figure out a way to do it, at least in a small way. Maybe slowly your lists will balance out! πŸ™‚

  21. I love list #2 (I kind of want to live it). Also love Fella’s comment.

    I’m extremely lucky, my lists are close to being parallel. I would love to upstep my traveling but I need to find someone with the time to join me! I’d also like to cut down on my blogging compulsion and use the time to work on book manuscripts.

  22. I wish I had more time to take another class to learn about stocks and business, so I can invest money wisely. But, that is … of course if and when I have a few bucks to invest. Right now … none.
    I wish I also could be involved more with my church and sing in the choir. However, being a lounge singer was always a fantasy of mine. I’d also like to write more, maybe take a brush up class.
    So many wishes, I’m just another dreamer.

  23. I made this list a year ago, thanks for the reminder to do it again. I suspect I am no closer now to list #2 than I was a year ago. Maybe putting it out in blog world will help me focus more.
    Also, Seattle I come to explore you tomorrow!!

  24. I want to be fully doing whatever I’m doing. That’s cryptic, I know, even to myself. But like right now, I’m locked in my office, supposedly working… a babysitter out there with my kids (a rare, glorious treat). Earlier today I was painting my daughter’s nails and was thinking of all of the things I need to do — and not there in the moment with her (I’m hoping she didn’t notice). I’m crying right now with guilt. And frustration at myself that I am even writing this lengthy comment when I should be working, the reason I can stay home with my kids and yet I’m not nearly as productive as I could be. Hello, wake up call. and run-on sentence.

    Thanks and I hope your lists align nicely. And soon. Even a once a week Sizzle post would be worth checking for. πŸ˜‰

  25. Alone time is #1 and I do that, art and animals are #2, but due to THE JOB it falls to #3, but
    outside of doing art more and traveling I do have a nice balance going. Now if I could just afford to quit that job I would be all set :-).

  26. Sounds like you have a great start by just knowing what you want. For me, I want greater balance, more structure which would allow for more yoga time/exercise time, to make better food choices (the structure will help with this), a more harmonious living environment and to live in a city that is aesthetically pleasing. All of that would require serious change and I guess I’m just a tad fearful of change. I’m working on it though.

  27. Sizzle, I do this ALL the time. In fact, I spend so much time thinking about the life I want, that I can tell you it’s quite a wonderful place. I hope you get to make the life you want into the life you have very soon!!

  28. Right now, at this moment I am good. I am not overly blogging, working or playing.

    I would like more time with my husband but even still…it’s ok.

    I almost feel like the shoe is going to drop.

  29. This is such a wonderful idea. I would defintely go for less work and more family/me time. And some quiet.

  30. What a great exercise. Love the way you can easily see the difference in the lists. I just might have to do this myself, although I have to say my summer has been pretty relaxed so far.

  31. Your life is a work of art, its a canvas and sometimes the most intimidating thing is looking at that canvas wondering what to do next… You can paint it anyway you like and you can color outside the lines as much as you want. The important thing is, to just start painting and what you don’t like, paint over it. Start small… Swap one thing on list 1 for something on list 2 (for example, you could say NO to watching one TV show and spend that same time taking a yoga class which actually helps with the fatigue and gives you great energy and less stress and helps you connect with yourself) once that goes well, then swap another… Sometimes looking at a whole list can be paralyzing, no matter how attractive it is…

  32. No blogging in that new list, huh?

    Well I have been restructing my life. Guess what? Blogging has been almost cut out entirely. As was work but not really by choice although it appears to be in my favor.

    My husband and I constantly reevaluate our situation and what we want vs what we are doing. And really the more we evaluate and adjust the better things seem to be getting. Of course, coming into a large sum of money would totally help our situation but you know we aren’t holding out much hope for that.

    Also, I feel you on the whole I’ve been away for days and have nothing blogworthy thing.

  33. This is a great exercise! There aren’t too many things I’d change but I would definitely be going to yoga more and spending more time with my children and less on my computer. Luckily, my internet has been down for the past 2 weeks so it has forced me to step away. It’s been kind of nice and frustrating at the same time.

  34. I love your list. I suggest adding one thing a day for now. Even if it’s small. And whiting in a gratitude journal is SO awesome. I just start writing a list of things I am grateful in that day and it just starts flowing, then I feel SO good focusing on the GOOD. And not worrying about all the crap I feel I NEED to do.

    I think one of the things I would add to my life, is QUALITY alone time. yeah I spend hours on the computer doing who knows (how does time fly like that?) and I could be doing something I love that feeds my soul!

    I’m also like you with the reading. I love reading, but fall asleep in minutes! I sucks!

  35. The biggest difference in mine is the whole work issue. With such a large chunk of my time spent there it would be nice to love what I do. When someone figures out how to translate a love of art, travel, kids and crafts into a money making career let me know!

  36. I’m struggling with a lot of the same stuff right now – my lists look a lot like your lists actually. It’s gotten better since I told myself to stop taking my work home with me at the end of the night. I’m learning to keep work at work, and life in my life. Harder to do in your situation where work is where you live, I know. I hope you find more of that balance you’re looking for…

  37. Dude, I am so loving the idea of road trips. I decided a few weeks ago that I want to just travel across the entire country via my sweet little Honda Civic!

  38. I totally hear ya on this… I don’t know how I’m going to get there, but I need to work on changing my life over from what-it-is-now to what-I-want-it-to-be

  39. I think for me the top of my list would mirror yours working less but being paid more.

    I would love to have some time to read, paint, and go to the gym/yoga.

    I would also love to volunteer more during the week day!

  40. I really love my job, and my children and managing a balance between them all. I guess if I could wish for anything it would be more hours in the day and a bit more energy to make the most of them :o)

  41. I think it is so difficult to find balance. I have a really hard time figuring out where to spend what little time I have after meeting my kids needs that I usually end up just spinning my wheels and wasting the entire time thinking about/trying to figure out what I want to do. By the time I decide, my time is usually up. I also know that I spend too much time taking care of people outside my family, and need to learn to say no more often. It isn’t in my nature, and I need to work on that.

  42. Wait! I accidentally bumped the submit comment button while I was still typing! I also wanted to say good luck to you on working on finding that balance. I know we are similar in a lot of ways, and I know you probably have a hard time finding balance for many of the same reasons I do.

  43. One of my biggest things is that i need to exercise more, which I’m slowly but surely getting up in my list (assuming I don’t hurt my knee any time soon).

    I noticed blogging isn’t on your second list. Are you going to shut your page down?

  44. I think that blogging could be a “creative endeavor.” It is for me, in some senses.

    The number one thing I wish I had more time for was writing. So many ideas that just don’t have the time to properly gestate and form are being lost right now, and that makes me sad.

  45. I wish I were spending more time writing, reading, traveling, playing with my cats, and cuddling with the Captain.

    Right now I spend all my timing working or commuting. I split what little free time I have between exercising and blogging. No wonder I’m always so tired!

  46. I don’t haven a written list. They’re mostly in my head.

    Do you regret taking the manager’s job, Sizzle?

    Your list is solid. No wiggle room there!

  47. A couple of months after the move my own life went out the window and I just seemed to be existing. Then the money ran out cos everything broke so then I was stuck indoors even more. But I got a hold of myself and took some action. Now I get a date every week with my boyfriend (we totally weren’t looking after our relationship after we moved in together), a date out with my mother every weekend, visits to see both sets of family, and, starting this week I’m playing badminton every Friday πŸ™‚

    I took little steps, small things that would make life more fun. I’m nowhere near perfect with how I want everything but I think the key is to start small. Find one thing a week that makes you happy and keep at it. Then slowly add more.

  48. I’ve got a pretty good balance right now, mainly because I am lucky enough to stay home with Charlie. I would like more free playtime running and less housework, errands and paying bills, but all in all I can’t complain.

  49. Things I wish I were prioritizing: Looking for a new job, walking, and being in the moment with my little one. I seriously let my stress and anxiety invade every area of my life… I need to stop because it sucks for all involved.

    I agree with whoever wrote the thing about non profits. They are great in theory, but the pay and the expectation that you will be committed to their cause and work ridiculous hours sucks. Surely there are jobs that matter, that pay well and have a commitment to work life balance? Or perhaps this is like looking for the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow.

  50. I think I need to take inventory like this to remind myself what I should and shouldn’t be stressing about.

    In the mean time, you can assume I will be thinking positive thoughts for you.

  51. I too am nothing without a list. I have many everything from dreams / goals to what I want to be when I grow up.

    I am still trying to figure out this whole crazy thing called “life” In searching for all the answers and our purpose that is why our web site / blog was born. Us girls want the damn answer and we want it now. I guess if we do not ultimately figure it out we will consumed enough Wine not to really care.

    Cheers
    Cathy
    http://www.wheresdamnanswer.com

  52. I think blogging totally counts as creative writing, as long as you find it fulfilling.

    And as someone who’s made a lot of “things I want to be doing instead” lists in my life, I feel compelled to say: The same impulse that drives you to come up with such idealistic lists is also what is making you over-commit and overwork. Choose one new thing to pursue, and be forgiving of yourself about the rest.

  53. EMBRACE SELFISHNESS!!

    Every time I saw a gap, I thought it was my job to fill it– church, children, work…

    I pay myself with time to do what I want– BECAUSE I’M WORTH IT.

    Practice just saying no– it’s so empowering, and your 10 times more effective on the nice, selfless things you choose to do.

    Not to mention the people around you will like you more when you’re happy.

  54. Yeah, whenever I go a few days and neglect my blogtitude, I wonder – where did the time go? How did I not have enough time to write anything?

    A journal is a great way to reflect on life since it should reflect on the life lived.

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