Saturday, October 22, 2011

The plan

I think I'm finally getting the concept of being "in the moment." Not that I have internalized this idea (yet)--I just understand it better now. So much of my time is spent worrying, not just thinking, about what-if scenarios that I don't reflect on the past or enjoy the present. What I tend to see as practical (If I don't worry about every single thing right now, I'll never be prepared!) hurts my ability to effectively handle problems as they come.

Again, there's a difference between thinking and worrying. Thinking is practical. Worrying is a waste of time and energy. Thinking is something I do actively; worrying is something I do compulsively.

I've started to worry again about my future in terms of my career, my imminent lack of health insurance, and my choice of where to live. When my marriage ended, I gave myself a year to live in Monterey and see if I could thrive here. May seems like a long time from now, but it's really only 7 months. The compulsiveness is setting in, and I've started the manic searches online. But on the drive home from one of my three jobs today (before I headed off to my next job) I came up with a plan to keep me sane and get the most out of the present:

(First, a little background. I have about 7 weeks left for the current semester. The plan goes into effect at that time. What I have lined up for sure is one part-time teaching job at the college along with 2-3 steady Zumba classes each week at the gym. I can survive on this income January--May. Next summer might pose a problem since my income from the college will be less. I have money in savings for the proverbial rainy day.)

  • I'll job-hunt only on certain days of the week, so I don't torment myself day after day. If I set aside specific time, I can put more thought into the documents I'm sending to potential employers rather than just firing off emails 10 minutes before I have to go somewhere, and maybe I can take the time to think more creatively about where I should be applying. 
  • I'll look only for career-building jobs. I will only consider jobs that I believe will help me advance in a field that I actually want to advance in. My choices are to find a part-time job that fits this description to supplement my other two jobs, or find a full-time job that replaces the job at the college. 
  • I will not look for jobs outside the Monterey area. The point of my choice to stay here is that I want to stay here. That's the goal. If I start thinking about other places, then I'll lose focus on that. Plus, preference is almost always given to local applicants. If I want to get a job somewhere else, I'll probably need to move there first or have an inside connection. That was one of the reasons I stayed put--my recent job experience is here, so I'm more likely to get hired here than somewhere else.
  • If I cannot find a career-building job, then I will use the extra time in my schedule for me-building. Maybe I'll take some workshops, attend lectures, volunteer, read, work on hobbies, network, and enjoy the Monterey Peninsula. This part of the plan is really important. I want to feel like regardless of my job or financial security, I am growing and improving. This is where living in the moment comes in. 

In May, I'll reevaluate my situation if I haven't found a long-term, sustainable career and income. But not until then. Until then, my goal is being worry-free.


Bearette said...

Are you not linking your blog to FB anymore?

ruthieo said...

Yes! This is my favorite post of yours yet. I struggle everyday to live intentionally and in the moment. Your plan is a great plan for you today and you tomorrow. You got this, girl!

Domestic Kate said...

B, it's updating to FB, but I think when FB went through its recent change, it stopped showing up on people's feeds because it's not a "top story" or whatever they call it. It shows up on my profile page, but I'm not sure what else to do about it. Suggestions?

Ruth! Thanks for the encouragement! I'm flattered that this is your favorite. The me of tomorrow thanks you as well.

Bearette said...

Dang FB changes. The top story thing is annoying.

Laura said...

It sounds like you have a good plan. It's important to have "me-building" time too. I have been reading more, which is something I really missed and am glad to have back in my life. I totally agree with you about thinking being practical and worrying being a waste of time and energy. I met someone who used the phrase "paralysis by analysis," which is something I catch myself doing quite a bit. It is so easy for me to start over-thinking to the point of worrying. It is something that I try to work on as part of my me-building.