The Food for Thought Friday topic this week is LANDMARKS.
What, if any, have been your particular landmarks, either in relation to your blog or your wider life? Do you have any future goals/landmarks you want to achieve? What are they?
This is the 100th F4TF prompt and I really wanted to take part, firstly because it is a great meme and secondly as a tribute to Kilted Wookie who started and has hosted the meme thus far. KW is an encouraging and supportive member of the blogging community and I wanted to recognise his contribution. The meme will continue and will be hosted by May More and Floss so I wanted to thank KW and wish all the best to May and Floss. Here’s to F4TF.
I had a think about this topic quite hard. I came to the conclusion that setting goals and landmarks is not something that I really do much of. I tried to recall when I had done so, either in my public or in my private life and I couldn’t think of any examples. That is not to say that there are not things I am proud of. And looking back I would be able to find things which would be worthy of being landmarks but as they weren’t things I set out to achieve, or things which I noticed and celebrated when they passed, it didn’t feel that they were want this question was about.
It felt a bit concerning really. What does it say about me if I don’t really have any goals? Does it mean I am lacking in direction, or short of motivation, or just drifting? I feel that can’t be the case as I am happy with my life and feel that it is good. I guess that I want things for others but I don’t really want things for myself. I have what I need and I have most of what I want. Clearly there are always things you can add, and more disposable income would be good, but I don’t have a way to increase that in a goal-related way. I love my job but it pays what it pays.
So, still feeling uncertain, I googled goal setting and landmarks. I found the usual sort of information about the importance of setting goals, but also this article called 3 Landmarks to Watch for on Your Path to a Successful Life. In it the author, Jennifer Spencer, writes that ‘as a civilisation, we are concerned with operating on the notions of successful living, healthy eating, being good to people and other mantras like these….’ but also that … ‘It’s one thing to preach ideas like well-being and living an oriented and productive lifestyle, but it’s another thing to actually complete these tasks in your day to day life.’
I can relate to this in terms of the sorts of values that I have, so I read on to see what she was saying and to find out what the three landmarks to watch out for on my path to a successful life were.
Work Life Balance
So this is one that I think I have got sorted at the moment. I find my work to be unpredictable, busy and demanding. It dips into my emotional pot each and every day and requires a lot of my headspace. In the past I have found this tricky and, in trying not to let it impact on those around me, I have put myself under a lot of pressure. When we moved towards a full time D/s lifestyle, I struggled at first to switch into a submissive headspace. Thoughts and issues from work would swirl around my mind and affect the amount I was able to give. However, we put various transition rituals into effect and that made a big difference.
Although it has been slow progress rather than an overnight change, I have arrived at a place where most of work stays at work and most of home stays at home. I am able to compartmentalise in a way that I wasn’t able to before and this has been really helpful, particularly when managing the emotional load. Occasionally there is some over-spill and something will break through, but for the most part it works really well. If things do start to overwhelm me, I am able to communicate this and work with HL so that he is able to support me.
Juggling an impossible workload also has its challenged. My sleep can be interrupted with the sudden realisation of things I should have done and my mind can turn over the problems that I feel I need to solve. This has been managed by clear work times. Having rules around when I should start and finish work, and requiring permission to go beyond this or bring work home, has been helpful for me in managing to work in a guilt free way. It has allowed me to be more efficient, but also observe clear limits as to what is reasonable and what is not.
Realising Your Purpose
I am lucky that I love what I do. For a while when I was younger I felt unclear about this. I think I had been brought up in a world where success was measured by financial wealth and social position and this had coloured the way that I viewed myself and the path that I started out on. I came to realise that I care about people. I lean naturally towards helping people and find it hugely rewarding. Somehow, it validates me. My life is set up in this way so that really, I am doing what I want to in a variety of different ways within the different areas of my life.
I am passionate about what I do. I feel it is important and that it is valuable, and rather than being driven by the financial reward or the status, I am driven by maintaining the highest possible standard I can and meeting the expectations of myself and those who I am working with. Being in a job where I help people is an important part of who I am, but what I do at home as a wife and a mum, as a friend and as a daughter is really very similar. My purpose in starting my blog was to share my own experience and in doing so, to learn from and help others, so my purpose was similar. The same was true when we started the SafeworD/s Club where the theme really is about connecting, sharing and learning.
Love is a Verb
The importance of a life full of love is key to our happiness as individuals. I have always felt that love was limitless. I know people who set the limits on things and feel love is finite, but I have always felt that my heart could expand to include all of the people who wanted to be part of my life. The love I have for my children is an example of this. In marrying HL I acquired four additional children, and the love I have for them has grown deeper over time. This has in no way affected the love available for my own children, it has just meant that there is more around. I believe that love generates love.
The depth of my love for HL, and his for me, is not something which I can put into words but it permeates every aspect of our life together. Holding each other as a focus means that we remain at the centre and the other things move around us, allowing us to be stronger, more attuned, and ultimately able to do more for others than we would do alone. We have a lifestyle which is based on continual give and take and where each element fuels another, so that the heat is always there. This has created a feeling of our love as an organic and almost tangible thing and one which others seem to see as well.
So on reflection, perhaps this is why I don’t see individual landmarks which are part of my goal setting. I know that I am incredibly lucky to feel this way and to be happy with my life. Although I may not celebrate the passing of these landmarks, I really do appreciate them. I think it is good to stop and take stock of where you are and that happens regularly through my writing here. I am able to set small goals and make changes and improvements where needed, but ultimately, I am happy with where I am in life and love and living.
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