“Sure! Why not?” Jess said, when asked if she’d be willing to fly on short notice for a new job across the country. While she’d miss her friends and parents, she had an adventurer’s spirit and was willing to go where ever the winds of fate guided her.
Fast forward 15 years, and the picture of the free-spirited explorer Jess has been replaced by one of a busy and devoted professional, wife and mother.
When asked if she’d be willing to take a new assignment that would require her to relocate or to spend her weekdays out of state, despite her interest and curiosity, Jess chose to decline. She no longer felt free to choose on a whim, or to follow her now submerged adventurer spirit.
She had responsibilities to others. What kind of mother would she be if she uprooted her family or left her children while she galavanted around each week, leaving the day-to-day responsibilities to her husband?
Responsibility's shadow side.
There are many of us out there who struggle with such decisions, and the pull between adventure and responsibility. Some choose the former, while others go with the later.
In Jess’ situation, she enjoyed the changes that occurred in her life since her first whimsical jaunt for her new job in a new land. It is in part what led her to where she is now. She’d have it no other way.
Except Jess’ life of today is predictable, stable, and filled with responsibilities that often stretch her beyond her comfort zone.
These stretches sometimes feel like a burden, and represent aspects of her life she never realized would be a part of the bargain; coordinating, scheduling and the logistics of parenting, laundry and way more cleaning than she ever had to do in her youth, keeping her clients, colleagues and managers happy. Trying to squeeze brief moments of time for herself.
These days, Jess approaches change with trepidation, as it almost certainly will require some space on her already full plate.
She longs for the days where she fully embraced change and all that came with it. Days when she revered the newness of it all, and was energized by the prospects of transformation.
Flushing out adventures.
Jess is not alone. For one reason or another, many of us who once took joy in change, no longer do so. Others may have never liked it in the first place.
But there is a way to bring out the adventurer’s spirit in change, without having to move to another city, state or country. Here are some tips on how to do that:
But what if instead of slamming the door on opportunity, we invoked our curiosity by asking “I wonder?” I wonder what would happen if I asked to work remotely two weeks out of the month? I wonder if I could reframe the job to better suit my location needs? I wonder.
Something off the wall, unexpected, offering a new perspective and an opportunity to break free of the shackles of structure.
Something as simple as changing-up our usual commute route can even do the trick. Or wearing bright polka dotted socks with our suit.
Adventures make us more nimble.
Creating subtle ways to appreciate change, even when small, can help us to become more nimble when unexpected change occurs.
Remember, we’re always changing, it’s what we pay attention to that matters.
So why not pay attention to those aspects that bring us the most joy? And if there aren’t many of those in our lives right now, why not create our own? You’ll be glad you did!
About the Author
Megan Rounds, Ed.D. is owner and principle perculator of perculcha, llc.
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