Shifting Perspective

Hey guys! It’s been a long time.

The last post was about my cyclical emotional blues and my efforts to prevent it from turning into depression. I talked about my realization that I need to make some shifts in my perspective to be successful in this next phase of my life. That is what I have been doing since November, focusing all of my energy working through the process of shifting my energy and changing my life.

Unfortunately, I’ve had to do it in silence.

The first order of business was to allow my body to move out of my extended September blues naturally. I think my body was forcing a shutdown because my brain never stops. No matter what, you have to get rest somehow, and your body will force that shit if you do not listen to the cues and gentle nudges. Since my energy returned, it’s been a little easier to get grounded and feel settled. I achieved it by doing what my therapist suggested and asking myself what I needed. So, if I had something I needed to do but didn’t want to do, I’d ask myself what I needed at the moment. If that event or task involved others, I respectfully bowed out or told the truth about how I was feeling.

The second task is to clarify what I truly want in this NEXT phase of my life. I cannot keep planning my entire life. Instead, I am (loosely) planning the next six years, focusing on what I need to change and have in place by this time next year, so I’m not lamenting about the same damn crap.

It’s important to note that I created my five-year plan in mid-2023, but I did not have the correct tools to make progress. Which brings me to the third task. Take control of my thoughts. For one, I was thinking in terms of scarcity, constantly worrying about the absence and presence of money. I would wake up thinking about bills, calculating how much money was in my account. Money is essential. Anyone who says it’s not must live… I don’t know where. However, if your every waking thought is money, there is something wrong. Life is so much bigger than that. Also, that kind of stress is terrible for your body. Personally, because all I could see and think about was what we lacked, I could no longer envision the future I wanted with any conviction or clarity. My five-year plan includes self-publishing several books, which is a generous expense. My scarcity, or rather fear of scarcity, had me doubting my ability to publish one book, let alone four.

So I had to shift my focus from I don’t have to how can I generate?

coins inside jar
Photo by Miguel Á. Padriñán on

Enter realism here. There are two things I am absolutely sure of. I will never be part of the 5 a.m. club or the Mile High club. Airplane bathrooms freak me out, and I hate waking up early. So, I will not attempt to wake up at 4:45 a.m. so I can exercise, meditate, journal, shower, and make breakfast for my family. In fact, I used to say, “Oh, I wish I could do that,” when people said they were up by five to start their day. Truth is, I NEVER wished that. I like the concept. I love the quiet. However, once upon a time, I had insomnia and was awake every morning by 4:42. And for two whole years, I laid in bed, stared at the clock, and either waited for my alarm or prayed to fall back asleep. So, it’s safe to say it’s time to stop pretending that I actually aspire to greet 5 o’clock in the morning every day.

There are an unfortunate number of things that are out of our control in this life. However, there are just as many that are within our sphere of control. I’m learning to plan around what I can manipulate in my environment, instead of making plans based on if the stars, planets, and circumstances align. I can write a great book. I can save money. There are many publishing options to explore. I don’t need $5,000 and a large fanbase to fall into my lap before I publish.

No one needs that kind of pressure or stress.

The fourth task was to stop lying to myself and be honest about what I could and could not do, and what I do and do not want to do. I don’t want to buy luxury everything, but I do want to create a trust fund for my son. I never want to wake up at 5 am every day, but I do want to ensure that I am productive and prioritize myself daily. I love the business analysis aspect of my job, but I hate bureaucracy. Teaching is exciting and energizing, but only if I can do it in a less academic, mentoring capacity.

Chasing curiosity means that my purpose is constantly unfolding in front of me.

Yara Shahidi

Getting clear on my desires and abilities forced me to examine my capacity and behaviors. Specifically, which of my behaviors was keeping me stuck? One epiphany is that I spend a lot of time thinking about doing the thing and planning the thing until I am too exhausted to actually do the thing! I need to just do it. I tell my son that is okay to do it scared. It’s about time I take my own advice.

The fifth task is to get clear on my why. While I LOVE to pay my bills, eat out whenever I want, go on trips, AND pay for extracurriculars for my kid, WITH savings left over, it has become starkly clear to me that I am not driven by money. If I was truly driven by the dollar, I would have left my job eight years ago after my child was born because I was sure diapers and formula would bankrupt me. I tried to do the hustle-for-money thing, including attempting to monetize this blog with ads, but it just does not work for me. Money is a tool. The real value of money for me is the freedom it affords me to move easily in this world and do what I want.

Whatever we are waiting for – peace of mind, contentment, grace, the inner awareness of simple abundance – it will surely come to us, but only when we are ready to receive it with an open and grateful heart.
Sarah Ban Breathnach

It’s stupid that it has taken me so long to admit this to myself. I want to live well, I am not motivated by money. I don’t want to be a millionaire for the sake of being a millionaire. I want that because I believe it is enough resources to allow me to take care of my family and inner circle, and fulfill my goals. But I don’t NEED a million dollars. If someone could show me how to do what I want without that amount (and the work that comes with it) I am all ears. If I was motivated by money at all, I would have left higher education the minute my paycheck stopped providing a discretionary fund. Clearly, that is not the case, so why am I doing any of this? Why am I looking to start businesses, publish, and do anything besides my 8:30 to 4:30 job with great benefits? I don’t really know yet. However, I feel pulled toward something that this blog is only filling a tiny space of. The void is growing and demanding, so I have to figure out the why soon, or I’ll go crazy.

So, yes. In sum, I’ve been questioning my entire existence and what the next step in life holds for me. It’s been so much fun (I hope you can read the sarcasm), but it’s also been enlightening. Hopefully, I’ll figure out what it all means soon.


Photo Credit: Ann H