Community//

How to Carve Out Your Own Peace

Creating Your Path

We’re always chasing the bigger and better prize — more freedom, more joy, more money, more toys. Nothing wrong with that. That is, unless we miss the more we’re gaining along the way.

When I tell people I take Fridays off of work to write, they look at me sideways and seem to question why in the world I would do that. I’m not always guaranteed compensation for it, and that seems to worry them. How in the world am I surviving without working a 5 day work week, they seem to wonder?

I’m not independently wealthy and could surely use a bigger pay check. But for me, it’s about so much more than that. About 20 years ago, when I had my first child, I dreamt of staying home and writing. And I made a half-hearted attempt to achieve it. But then reality set in.

I had my dreams but as time passed, I also had my responsibilities, two little mouths to feed and very little money. So I decided to do what was safe. I worked part-time while going to school. And kept going and going and going until I couldn’t go anymore. I ended up with a doctorate in psychology.

I regret very few things because it hasn’t served me well. I don’t regret going to school or following my calling. Yet, I do believe we are built for more than just one pursuit and I have to say, I do wish I didn’t put my writing aside altogether. Yes, I had crazy busy times. At my busiest, routines consisted of going from class, to part-time job one, to part-time job two, practicum, to coming home and stirring pots and wiping little faces, and at the end of the night, being exhausted to the point that I sometimes felt nauseous.

Unfortunately, at the time, I felt I had to choose either work and education or writing. I couldn’t do it all nor should any of us try, but I wish I knew more about balance. For instance, I ask myself what joy I would have had if I stole away to write for just a handful of minutes after the girls fell asleep or before I did homework.

These days, I’ve decided to pursue that long-held fantasy once again, and at times, frustration creeps up because I’m not there yet, writing full time. But that’s sad, because in the mean time, I almost failed to realize that having even one day that I AM pursuing exactly what I’d like to is a tremendous privilege. I am essentially doing what I dreamed of doing many years ago, maybe not in the exact capacity but I am doing it as much as I’m able to right now.

It caused me to realize that I have to start focusing on what’s right in front of me and appreciate it instead of looking miles down the road to something I can’t even see yet. Otherwise, what’s the point of doing any of it at all?

The Thrive Global Community welcomes voices from many spheres. We publish pieces written by outside contributors with a wide range of opinions, which don’t necessarily reflect our own. Learn more or join us as a community member!
Share your comments below. Please read our commenting guidelines before posting. If you have a concern about a comment, report it here.

Sign up for the Thrive Global newsletter

Will be used in accordance with our privacy policy.

Thrive Global
People look for retreats for themselves, in the country, by the coast, or in the hills . . . There is nowhere that a person can find a more peaceful and trouble-free retreat than in his own mind. . . . So constantly give yourself this retreat, and renew yourself.

- MARCUS AURELIUS

We use cookies on our site to give you the best experience possible. By continuing to browse the site, you agree to this use. For more information on how we use cookies, see our Privacy Policy.