|Beets fresh from the self-watering|
vegetable box garden.
The inextricable thing about most of the goals I have set myself during my life is that I have not been delighted once the goal is achieved.....or at least not for long. The very 'promised land' that I was striving for ended up quickly becoming a 'prison'. (Snort) you'd think I would have suspected something was 'up' after years and years of this situation repeating itself, but uh-uh - nope.....I just kept repeating the same thing and expecting a different outcome.
Here are some examples:
I would set a career goal, work through the steps and behaviours necessary to achieve the goal, get the fancy new job (complete with a 'life-changing' pay rise)....and within two weeks would feel imprisoned by a whole new wave of responsibilities and corporate responsibilities. Enter deep anxiety.
Houses.....we have moved house over 25 times in our 27 years of marriage mainly looking for a better spot, a better suburb, a better life, a better situation, a better.....whatever. We would lug ourselves through yet another move and inevitably the 'wonderful, new, fix-all-our-problems' house would be no more a home than the last place - just more expensive. A new prison of financial commitment.
Churches. We were both brought up as avid church-goers. We were on every committee possible, turned up to every single event like clock work, we taught, we gave, we shared, we changed churches every time something went 'wrong' truly believing that idealism was just around the corner and was possible. Every new congregation seemed like the promised land but inevitably ended out being just another emotional and social prison.
Cars - shiny new ones. How much better would life be with a swanky new car? MUCH better! The elation only ever lasted for two car loan installments. After two car loan installments got paid, the budget (ha! such as it was) would quickly fall over and turn into a session of me sitting up all night staring at the budget spreadsheet figuring out how to pay for the tin-god-on-wheels in the driveway. There is nothing quite like a shiny, air-conditioned prison with power steering. Meh.
You get the drift.
|A rare special treat for date night. Once upon a time we used to eat out|
every day for at least one meal.
Leaning into a new life
For the last three years (since the kitchen spray incident), we have been leaning into a new life. It is a life of less, a life of slower, a life of taking responsibility for our previous lack of financial integrity (AKA fiercely paying off consumer debt), planning to make the last 1/3 of our lives livable. We are only just beginning to forgive ourselves for stuffing up our lives this far - it is harder than we expected. Our new life is still unfolding and manifesting itself....and this is a wonderful thing.
The most powerful things for me have been shifting my thinking, rewriting my pathways of logic, incrementally reinventing my life meaning and seeing a real sense of hope and possibility manifesting itself. I also am teaching myself to use my emotions for better outcomes.....that is a huge shift for me.
The things I once thought were promise lands I now see as prisons and the things I once saw as prisons (simplicity, quietness, self-reliance, productivity, healthy living, limited objectives, agrarianism, frugality, calmness, home, kindness, self-validation, private faith and home economy) I now see as truly achievable promise lands.
|Toshi the cat pretending she is the head chicken keeper.|
Pan the rabbit getting a little hug too.
Take care folks....and stay nice.