Thursday, March 24, 2016

The Constant Pursuit of More: Finding Life Balance

I’ve always been incredibly driven. I’ve always had a goal in mind, something to work towards whether it was an academic achievement like a degree or course or certificate, or been in pursuit of an athletic goal like improving my running pace time, breaking a personal best or getting in X number of workouts a week.
Image result for letting goI’ve reached a point in my life where all of these goals are have either been completed (go me!) or have lost their significance and are no longer things I care about.  Shockingly enough, being in a place without concrete, measurable goals is actually harder than being in the midst of the struggle to obtain them. And even harder still is letting go of the goals that no longer serve you. Letting go of the goals that are no longer important to you before you've completed them.

I am in such a great place right now.  I am going to be married in 58 short days to a man that supports me, loves me unconditionally, is a great Dad and a true provider for our family.  We own a cute little house that I love (mostly because it’s ours).  I have the most amazing son who I adore more than anything in this whole world and who brings me so much joy and laughter every day. I am a month away from being finished my Master’s Degree in Public Health and Social Policy, which has been a goal of mine since developing a passion for Public Health during my undergrad.  I have a full time permanent job that pays the bills.  I’m surrounded by friends and family.   

And yet, for some reason I keep thinking “what next?”  I’m having trouble being still, and enjoying everything exactly as it is because life really is pretty awesome right now. I’m not saying that being ambitious and having goals is a bad thing. In fact, I think it’s so important to value self-growth and to be mentally stimulated by things that you are passionate about every day.  But there’s got to be a balance between always striving for more while still being perfectly content right where you are.
This is the balance I’m striving for. 

Part of me wonders if having a job in my field that challenges me and ignites my passions might create this balance. And part of me worries that I’ll always be looking to the next goal, the next stage, the next achievement. 

So the question of the day;  is it possible to constantly have goals while still enjoying exactly where you are? Aren't these two things a bit of an oxymoron?

Sunday, March 20, 2016

Disconnecting from TV and Internet

Today is the first day of Spring! Every year I find myself more and more appreciative of spring and the promise it brings for fresh starts, warm summer nights and hot daytime sun.  Maybe it's living in the Northwest Territories that has me loving spring more and more each year.  The winters here are long and dark and cold. This Spring is particularly exciting because we're getting married in May! Other springtime plans include spring cleaning my house and spending as much time as possible outside now that the temperatures are starting to creeping above freezing.

Another big change we're making this spring is as a family, we're making a concerted effort to disconnect from technology and spend more quality time together.  As of April 1st, we are cutting ties to our Satellite TV and the WIFI in our home.  It's going to be a big adjustment! I find the TV on whenever we're home just for the background noise, and I'm pretty much always scrolling through social media.  We're hoping that cutting off these services will force us to spend more time outside playing and gardening, more time reading books, more time exercising after Max goes to bed and more time checking items off our to-do list around the house.  I'm also hoping it will teach me to be more present when I'm home. I'm a slave to my cell phone and it's pretty much always in my hand. I'm seriously addicted! I want to spend more time playing with Legos and blocks, colouring, swinging on the swing set in the yard and walking to the local parks.

One of the other reasons we're disconnecting is to save money.  When we looked at our monthly expenses, we realized we were spending over 300$ a month on these services.  That's a lot of money! We're going to use that money to help pay for our wedding and to help pay off our vehicle sooner.

While we won't have satellite TV or internet in our home, I will still have access to internet at work and limited data on my smart phone.  We are also lucky enough to have an amazing library in our town where we can rent movies and seasons of shows and of course books.  So we aren't disconnecting completely from electronics, but our use will be drastically reduced.

We've disconnected for 6 months and we're going to re-evaluate in September.  I'll keep you posted on how it goes!  Until then, I'll be binge watching bad TV and Netflix until April 1st.