I do not address work often in my travel blog. This is ironic because I came to Barbados on a visa that allows me to work remotely. There is not much to write. It has not been a focus as it has been in my past.
When the pandemic hit, I lost all my contracts. The suddenness of having no projects was so dramatic that I took it as a sign to pause. I decided to figure out what work should look like going forward.
But the motivation never quite returned. This is most concerning to those that have known me for a long time. For two decades I was a borderline workaholic. Not just in relation to the hours that I put in, but my preoccupation with my career and the validation my roles gave me.
But here is the thing. I am happier now than I have been in my adult life. I sleep most nights. My migraines are under control. I signed a contract last week that will keep me busy for the next while, and I no longer stress about what comes next.
My good friend Jamie leaves in a few weeks, so we are crossing things off the Barbados bucket list, including Coco Hill Forest.
It is my hard work, along with privilege, that got me to the place that I am today. But it came at a price. When I was 34, I took a leave of absence to travel. I was completely burnt out. I had chronic back pain, couldn’t sleep, and woke up anxious most days. These symptoms practically disappeared when I was away. I returned to quit my job, sell my condo, and move to Ireland.
Such drastic measures are not a requirement. I wonder what would have happened if I had tuned into my body sooner. The anxiety could have been a clue that things were not working. I might have saved myself physical pain and mental anguish. I knew that I had to leave that job in Toronto much earlier than I did. I gave a litany of excuses to my friends about why I couldn’t leave. Most of them had to do with letting others down and all of them were fear-based about what would come next. In the meantime, I became more disillusioned and more difficult to work with.
Jamie and I adventured back to the West coast, where is staying, via the East coast. Here the full moon shines over the dramatic Atlantic Ocean.
The Great Resignation is happening in America. Apparently, the pandemic has given others a chance to pause and think about what they would like from their work.
If we tune into our mind and body, it will tell us if we are still on the right track.
If we tune into others and their fears, we will stay in jobs that we don’t like. We allow a frightened employer to call us back to offices when we want to continue to work from home.
These are the three questions that I have been asking myself:
- What do I love to do?
- How much is enough to live a good life?
- Why am I working this way, and does it continue to serve me?
I can’t say that I have the answers, but I am curious about some of my thoughts:
- I love writing this travel blog. I love travelling (and the urge gets stronger as the pandemic drags on)!
- I need way less to live a good life than I once imagined. This includes a smaller car, house, and wardrobe.
- I have deep programming that sometimes causes me to do “busy work” so that I feel productive…when I could be surfing.
Dani and Kev returned to the UK last week. Thanks for all your well-wishes. They stabilized what was going on with Kev and he flew back to England to sort it out!
I am curious about what you come up with when you think of these three questions.
While it is never an obligation, feel free to share your thoughts in the comments section below. Your email is private and just lets you know your comment has been posted.