(thanks to Molly Hahn of www.buddhadoodles.com)
I am not a victim of life. Life does not owe me anything.
Consider for a moment all the forces weighing in against your very existence. Truly all of us are living miracles.
I am writing to celebrate a transition from 20 years of earning just enough to earning more than enough. As a single parent for 14 of those 20, I always felt intensely appreciative to be earning “just enough.” One bill at a time, like walking across stones in a river. I had a skill that allowed me to work from home, be present for my child, and be in a better position than many women I met who left destructive marriages without having a means of earning or stayed in toxic relationships for fear of being financially lost.
I worked 60 hours a week for much of the 14 years, with the exception of “burnout breaks” where I chose to live with gracious food bank assistance in order to breathe. My focus was laser sharp on doing what I had to do to support two people and I went without more than a single day off for 5 full years. I made repeated attempts to change my job situation, but nothing changed. Perhaps I did not invest the energy or have the wherewithal to make change with such little wiggle room of time away from what was directly in front of me. So instead, I practiced “balance moments” throughout. Took bits and pieces of rest, rejuvenation, and meditation where I could and was definitely buoyed by the joy my child brings to my life.
I was showered with many gifts and generosity during the course of this time, and was kept afloat by kindness during a period when I was briefly homeless and helping my child fight for her life. In truth, I’ve been fighting for my own life in the aftermath.
Waves of emotion bubbles come and go. I’m taking the reminder from Molly (above) and practicing Keep Letting Go. Molly is someone who faced significant traumas with hard inner work and compassion and transformed them into gifts for the world.
I have changed HOW I use my skill, not the skill itself (transcription) and it feels great to know all the time and learning curves I put in over 20+ years at this work have not gone to waste. I continue to work 6 days a week but have been able to reduce my hours from 60 to 45-50, and the work is for the most part fascinating and far reaching in scope.
Now as a new dawn approaches, I praise be that I can work toward my priorities of paying off debt, joining groups doing things that bring me joy (being active outdoors), and not have my first thoughts be, “Can I afford transportation? Can I afford group dues? Can I afford a day off work? Can I afford a meal out if someone invites me?”
I wish I could write an instruction manual for how this shift is happening for me for others to benefit, but I really don’t know how all the variables came together. I’m just thrilled to have the freedom of living with a little more than just enough.