The gift of time off and unicorns

Unicorns and time off

 

This summer I’ve had some unexpected time off. Most of my time has been focused on finding my next career path, also known as finding a “unicorn” – one with growth, good co-workers, a great balance of autonomy and collaboration, a work-life balance, benefits, a place that has a collective growth mindset, a great supervisor, supportive colleagues, people who find solutions rather than problems, solid pay, flexible schedule when needed, paid time off….ya know, a UNICORN! I’m convinced this exists somewhere and I am determined to find it.

However, it’s literally impossible to spend 12 hours a day looking for and applying for jobs. Not only is it impossible to do that, it would be completely crazy and obsessive to even try. In thinking about what my word is for 2017 – INTENTIONAL – makes me want to use this time in a way that’s productive and intentional. What IS possible during this time is to use the other hours in the day to do things that are ways to use my brain and feed my natural curiosity doing things such as…..

  • worked out a lot – extra swims, rides, runs, gym dates…no surprise there
  • took the initiative to clean up a stretch of the greenway that I’m always on
  • started a book on nature & brain science discussing the research on why it’s good to be outside, from a neurological perspecitve
  • taught my kids how to swim – woohoo =)
  • rode single track with my husband a few times, good date for us
  • cleaned the fridge – I’m not a cleaner, so that’s a big deal
  • changed battery in the remote. I mean, that’s a big deal. You should change yours.
  • wrote numerous draft & new blog posts
  • spent time with my very old dog, Tina, who won’t be with us much longer
  • reconnected with several friends I haven’t seen in a while
  • tried new recipes
  • did several art projects with the kids including painting rocks to hide on the trails
  • took a few beach/lake trips to connect with nature


I’m excited about the next chapter. I’m glad I’ve had triathlon goals during this summer to keep in front of me as a good distraction. I’ve known people who were in between jobs to fall apart and drift into a deep sadness for years that they can’t climb out of. I’m glad I’m able to treat this time off as a break to recharge & refocus on what’s important. I feel like the unicorn is at my fingertips…

unicorn from pinterest

taken from pinterest/G images

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I see a new bike in my future…

I think it’s time. My old bike (Norman…..aaaaw, sweet Norman) is probably going to have to retire soon. It’s 12 years old. A 12 year old beginner level Giant road bike with numerous crashes will not carry me too much further. Norman the bike

Today on a 20 mile ride it felt…. I don’t know, weird. Have you ever driven a car that “pulls” to one side? Like the alignment is not quite right? That’s how it felt today. I’ve got close to 3000 miles on it, so it’s probably time. It also started making this rubbing noise – like the brakes or something was rubbing the tire. Kinda’ like a car. My car is 17 years old! I really do keep things for a long time and it’s an investment to buy something big. And road bikes are NO joke with the cost! They are so fancy shmancy now.

Things don’t last forever. God forbid my iPhone lasts more than a couple of more months….I mean it *HAS* been about 2 years, wouldn’t want it to work beyond 2 years. That’s just crazy talk. : / ¬†{huge sarcasm there}

I guess bikes don’t last forever either! My husband just decided to break apart his college bike (think Cannondale, 1993 or so) and keep the frame for “art” on the wall. Great idea, but man, it took forever to let that go! Bless his heart.

Anyway….one day, new bike, coming my way.

 

 

 

 

Hanging on to old things

Does anyone else hang on to things that you KNOW you won’t ever use or need again? Why? Why do we do this?

I was cleaning out some drawers & things, and came across 3 old lap swimsuits and a few more old suits (from like, 15 years ago) that I was keeping as “back up” suits. Back up to what exactly?? A bathing suit emergency? These lap suits were stretched out beyond what I could wear, and the others were not the right size. ¬†They were very thin, almost see through. And one of them had bra cups that had accidentally gone through the dryer so they were bumpy & clumpy & just not fit to be worn anywhere. Ever. Like, ever. Not even in a swimming emergency.

But it made me think about why… Why am I keeping this? I think there’s a continuum of ideas that start on the “keep everything” side and move toward the “get rid of everything!” side. I’m usually on the get-rid-of-it side, but for some reason I want to keep these old suits. Maybe because they are tied to memories of when I was in my 20s (not the greatest part of my life, why do I want to hang on to that??). Maybe because I’ll lose a few pounds and get back in one. Maybe because it just feels weird throwing away something that at one point had meaning, but now is junk. That transition from good to bad is powerful, even with something like a swimsuit.

let go

And I even found a pair of shoes that were – at one time – fantastic! They were Dansko clogs. After some intense foot pain years ago, these were the only shoes that I could wear. I’ve had them forever but the soles literally have holes the size of a quarter that you can see straight through. But they are still here. Why? I don’t know! I dooooon’t knooooooooow. Not sure why I have such a strong pull with some things that aren’t really doing anything for me right now.

Maybe this post will inspire someone to get rid of the crap. Take out the trash. Let go of the things that don’t serve you anymore. Whether it’s a shoe or a jerk in your life (home, work, whatever) or a version of yourself that you’re not too happy about….get rid of that mess. I’m throwing out those old suits AND shoes right now… I’ll dig deeper later, but it’s a start and good enough for right now.