Letting Go and Leaning In: a Transition to Slow Living

I’m a hustler, baby, and I want you to know / It ain’t where I’ve been, but where I’m about to go.

Hustler. Over-achiever. Boss Lady. Workaholic. Do these give you positive or negative feels?

Being a go-getter is absolutely – and obviously – what’s gotten me to where I am today, and there isn’t a thing I’d change about spending my younger years in #hustlebyanymeans mode. I have always loved the satisfaction of staying consistently busy, scheduled, organized, and reaping the financial and personal rewards of applying a strong business mentality to all areas of my life. I worked hard and got into a good college, graduated on time (ish), and for over a decade now I’ve had a terrific career with an independently-owned publishing company: I started right out of college as a sales intern and over the years steadily created new positions as I took on exciting new responsibilities, going from sales and marketing intern, to assistant, to marketing and event manager, and now a remote email marketing director with a successful freelance social media management business. I am quite blessed, both with an incredible support network and by my own hard-earned means.

Going from life as an event and marketing manager who worked in a downtown office every day to being a Work at Home Mom has been quite a whirlwind transition over the last couple of years, and admittedly, I am still very much a work in progress. See, there I go again: always about work. This needs to change.

For these first precious year(s) of my daughter’s life I have been attempting to navigate and find the perfect work/life balance; however, when you’re the kind of person who HAS NO work/life balance to begin with, e.g. your life is your work, this can be a scary new world. I find myself swinging back and forth between old habits of constantly scheduling and planning every moment of the day to achieve maximum productivity, and wanting to smack myself for even knowing that phrase and instead unplug every device and meditate for ten hours straight. Clearly, neither of these extremes are healthy. I’m drawn to the concept of Slow Living: having goals but being flexible about the means, mindfully crafting loose plans without expectation. But how the heck does one achieve this when living in such a way that necessitates living by a day planner??

Some ways I’m trying to incorporate the concepts of Slow Living into a WAHM lifestyle:

  • Doing away with hour-by-hour schedules and instead having more relaxed morning/afternoon/evening plans.
  • Finding like-minded mama tribe members! Seems pretty crucial to living a more laid-back lifestyle that your friends need to be on the same wavelength.
  • Lowering my lofty, unimportant goals. Do I need to cook Instagram-worthy dinners every night…or multiple times a week? Hell no. Instead, I’m meal planning ahead based on budget, season, and ease.
  • Taking time for simpler hobbies: actually baking a loaf of bread, coloring, reading, going for a walk. Not all extracurricular activities need a Pinterest board to get started!
  • Cultivating healthy habits: taking time to mindfully wash my face each night before bed, enjoy showering as a meditation rather than trying to force a Eureka! moment, slowly and mindfully eating with attention to the foods’ journey and feelings of nourishment as I enjoy… in other words, constantly attempting to stop my mind from playing multitask master.

That’s all I’ve got thus far, but this is all still pretty new to me. I have the desire and tools to live mindfully, but need to work on actualizing this lifestyle moment-to-moment. But that’s what it’s all about, right? So…success! Right now. Not now. Ok, now. Not now. Now.

I’d love to hear your insight and suggestions for letting go and slowing down!

 

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