I love reflecting on crafts, traditions, and recipes that bring me joy. It has been really easy to find joy and whimsy in everyday life when I am focused on my boys. Children are natural whimsy seekers, I think it is much harder as adults to find whimsy and joy every day, especially when day to day life, being an adult and work takes center stage. Because work plays such a major role in adult life, and I believe we could all use more joy and whimsy in all areas of life. Each month, I will feature a person who is pursuing their dream or passion. I hope this feature will be inspiring and encouraging and give people ideas of ways to find whimsy in the working world.
Being an adult is a constant juggling act, I wrote a whole post about the parental juggling act, but as adults we are all juggling roles and obligations to our partners, families, friends, and employers, our homes, the list can go on and on. Many of us are seeking balance or trying to find joy in our work.
My First Whimsy in Work Feature
I am so excited that my first feature is my lovely sister, Kristin. Two years ago she and her husband quit their day-to-day grind jobs, sold their house and moved to Montana in favor of more time to do the things they love. They started a business New Life Carving and have made time to camp, fish, hunt and enjoy the wilds of Montana. Her dream is to find balance in work and life. Kristin wanted to enjoy more of life and not to live only for work.
“I moved to Montana two years ago for many reasons. The main reason for me was that the career I had carefully chosen and at one time loved, became something that drained me instead of creating happiness and satisfaction. Once my husband and I took the plunge to quit our jobs, get our house ready to list, and sold our home in three days; we found ourselves with more open doors than we knew what to do with…My husband really wanted to start our own business…I realized how little I knew about running a business, but we dove in and went for it, creating a custom wood art and sign business called New Life Carving.”
You can check out Kristin and her husband, Mike’s amazing work at the New Life Carving website and on their Facebook page and their Etsy Shop. You can get to know them better by following Kristin on Instagram.
Their decision to change their environment and occupations came after attending a consulting firm’s seminar on the idea of retiring as you go. This seminar pushed to the forefront a feeling Kristin had been battling with for a while. “It became clear that I needed to leave the career that I thought I would have for the rest of my life.” The seminar gave Kristin the push she needed to pursue her dream. Her dream has not come without challenges or doubts.
Doubt creeps in…
Sometimes when we make a big decision and take a risk, people will doubt you.” When I gave my notice, my boss asked me what I was going to do. I told him I was going to start by being a full time dog mom and go on all the hunting trips my husband and I wanted to go on. He laughed and said I could have my job back anytime I wanted.” Doubt will come from others, but Kristin found it also came from herself. “A challenging aspect of creating balance in my life would have to be the doubt that sometimes creeps up. Doubt always wants to remind me of how little I know, how I have failed to create that million dollar product that makes and sells itself, how silly I was for thinking I could do anything else…That is when I have to remind myself of how uncomfortable my old comfort zone was…. I was living only for the weekend and vacations.”
To help overcome the doubt that can creep in, Kristin found that taking time to reflect on her experiences and reminding herself that she is giving it her best effort to live her dream. She has control over her time and day-to-day activities. She has discovered many rewards in her experience. “Most rewarding of all, I have found my identity in hobbies and work instead of just the paycheck… I laugh more at myself than I ever have before. This is a big deal for me as I have a tendency to be a very serious person.”
There have been ups and downs and her journey has not been perfect. But if you can learn something, even from what is deemed a mistake or failure, then there is value in the experience.
Here are Kristin’s 6 take-aways from her experience to live a more balanced and more joyful life.
- Whatever you say yes to means you are automatically saying no to something or someone else.
- You can take as long as you want to get somewhere or to create something.
- Write down your goals along with a timeline and then imagine how you will make that happen.
- Get used to saying you failed and made mistakes.
- Don’t let those mistakes and missteps stop your dreams, let them guide you back to the drawing board and reevaluate.
- Realize that you don’t have to achieve all your dreams. I know this sounds weird but life is in progress and as a result, your ambitions and goals will continue to change. That is what makes the process so exciting.
I hope you enjoyed reading about my sister finding balance in her life in attempt to bring whimsy to her world of work. I am looking forward to bringing you a whimsy in work feature each month.
If you have a story about finding whimsy in work you would like to share with me and my readers, feel free to send me an e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject line Whimsy in Work.