Sunday, October 19, 2014

For a Simpler Life

I have mentioned here before my 5 year plan to quit the rat race. Honestly, the end of the 5 year plan can't get here soon enough. This morning, I was at my wit's end and my feelings of anxiety soared like an exploding volcano. 

I have come to accept that my anxiety is not necessarily a mental illness, but the bi-product of 3 things: my introversion and need for down time to think and recollect; my being highly sensitive and more susceptible to life's stressors; and my need for nature/spiritual balance.

I will talk more about on how I plan to achieve this milestone in my life. At the end of that 5 year goal, I plan on taking a year off work. I want to always work, but I want to work on something that better matches my personality and I have settled on independent contractor for the field where I already have experience on.

My first step towards that goal was to get rid of any debt such as credit cards, student loans, etc. I never really had that much debt to start with and I paid for most of my education. But last year, I was able to pay-off the last of my student loans. 

I also never had much in form of credit card debt and only had one credit card for many years with a low credit line which I paid off every month. I still pay off my credit card in full and never buy anything I cannot pay off.

I own my car outright, so I do not have a car payment. It is a small car, simple car and I get an average of 34 miles per gallon. I drove my prior car for 10 years and had over 140,000 miles on it. It ran great. A friend now has it.

Our biggest goal now, my husband's and mine, is to pay off our mortgage. Now, I know not all people can do this. My hubby and I are DINKS (dual income, no kids), so that makes things just a bit easier for us. Being childless was a choice we both made a long time ago. Therefore, I would not be able to plan if we did have a kid. They just sound expensive. 

Once these main goals were more or less defined, I needed to write down what was really important to me and how much it would cost. Therefore, I was able to determine what kind of career I could have that would provide what I wanted that money buys and would give me in terms of time that I need.

This is the list I came up with:

  1. My 401(k): to be able to contribute to a 401(k) account is an absolute must for me. I want to enjoy life now, but I am also cognizant that I will need money when I am old.
  2. Health insurance: although most of my medically related expenses are a direct result of the life I now live, I still know how much a hospital bill can cost. I am lucky that this is the industry I specialize in so it is not overwhelming to navigate through plans and know exactly what kind of financial exposure I would get with each plan.
  3. Savings account: a healthy savings account for an emergency
  4. My mom: my mom never worked outside the home and I help her financially. To be able to continue to do that is something I consider very important.
  5. Any other expenses: car insurance; phone (which I would probably switch to a pay buy minute plan instead of the expensive unlimited plan I now carry)
  6. pursuit of happiness: this is anything I happen to take on it terms of activities that make me happy: watercolors, dance.
As I look at life, at how fragile and ephemeral it is, I realize my soul cannot eat money.

Monday, October 13, 2014

Madness, Mindfulness and other Random Thoughts

First, I want to apologize for all who participated in the Women's Circle Traveling Journal. I completely dropped the ball. The book is back in my hands and I was supposed to send it to 2 other participants and I have just not had the time. My work has been all consuming, insane. I will be in 3 different states in the next 3 get the picture.

Second, my anxiety has come back and any free minute I have found has been spent on my couch in pure exhaustion... I know. I hate to make excuses, but it's been tough.

Third, I have been trying real hard to stay positive, to do my mindful meditation, but the world seems to have gone just a little bit insane. Between diseases, chaos, and psycho behavior, I have to say this introvert's brain is MAJORLY scattered and I am having a hard time collecting even the most rudimentary thoughts.

The one escape has been the ballet. I went back to taking adult lessons and it has allowed me not to succumb into madness with the rest of the world. I am starting pointe training and this is such an accomplishment for me.

Love you all, miss you all and hope that very soon I will be shipping the book to the rightful owner.

Monday, September 8, 2014

The Nostalgia of Illusion

These past months have been the most rewarding and also the most painful... It has been the most insurmountable path I have taken so far.

It is the slow realization that most of the life sold to me was nothing but an illusion. The career, money, status... it means nothing. It is the going back in time, when life seemed so complicated, but was actually so full. It is going back when the running in the rain was the most outrageous thing a girl could do. It is the feeling of being alive. The first moments you understand who you are and fall in love with being yourself.

These are some of the things I want to live for.

Continued path into my 'quit the rat race' adventure.

Step 1: get rid of debt - Check :)

Monday, August 25, 2014

The Way of Things

These past months have been extremely difficult for me. Not difficult because something happened, but because being an introvert can be a gift, but also a curse.

As an introvert, introspection is a given, and the fact that I know and understand my feelings to a level I cannot ignore them, can be a daunting task.

However, this can also mean change. I read recently that a feeling of dread is a message from the universe (or from my big brain) that something is not right. That there is a reason for this feeling. And I have come to the conclusion that modern life has made me sick. The constant input of technology coupled with the fact that I have a VERY social demanding job have taken its toll on my personality type. My job entails dealing with people's problems all the time and their constant wants drain me. My anxiety has returned and I am doing everything I can to manage it. But you probably know, it is not easy!

Now this is not a blame game. I like and I chose my career path, but I am also mature enough to know it is not working for me. What I envisioned as a young woman, as a climber of the corporate ladder just turned out not being fulfilling at all. And honestly, it is exhausting.

This leads me to the way of things...or as things stand right now. As most people, I can't just up and leave. Nor can I tomorrow, condemn society and its dependency of currency that has no intrinsic value and move to the jungle. But I can make choices that will bring me closer to what I feel is a good compromise.

I have a 5 year plan. In 5 years, I want to quit the rat race. I will not stop working, but I want to work on something that gives me more flexibility and more time. It is amazing how many people I talk to who also feel completely burned out, overworked, stressed and down right unhappy.

Maybe I will share some of the steps I am taking to achieve this goal, but I do intend to stop by your blogs. I have missed you all and really appreciate your support.

Saturday, August 16, 2014

The Perspective of Things

Still learning about this perspective things. Fascinated with Old City (or Cidade Velha in Portuguese) in Belém. Built in the 1600s, baroque architecture, and portuguese tiles.