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Living the Life I Want

December 4, 2008

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about how I am not exactly living the life I imagined I would be by this point in my life.  At one time in my late-teens/early twenties, I was fully convinced that my life would be “set” by age 28: married, 2 kids, a home in the suburbs, driving a nice car, working in a job I enjoyed.  If you know me, or have read this blog for any length of time, you know it hasn’t exactly worked out that way for me.

Granted: things change, people change, and my career aspirations have certainly changed a lot over the past 15 years or so.  But, I’m still not in a place where I’m satisfied.

I often wish I’d had the guts to apply to grad school, and become a research scientist.  I sometimes wish I had had the ability to save my first marriage.  I long for the strength to ask for what I need.  I hope someday I’ll have the discipline required to lose this extra weight once and for all!  And most of all, I wish I knew how to be a better friend to the people I love.

I’m not sure how to accomplish these things (well, not the second one.  That’s dead and buried), but I think it might be helpful for me to discover what’s been keeping me from doing them.  Maybe I can gain some insight as to what’s blocking me from reaching my full potential.

I was driving home from work tonight, thinking about how I could start, and I came up with this: drawing up a schedule of a “perfect day” – what I would consider an ideal way to spend my time, that would make me happy and fulfilled (most of the time anyway – I know life gets in the way sometimes).  I am hoping that if I can figure out how/why my actual life differs from my ideal life, I may have a place to start.  So, here goes.  The things that I actually do right now, I’ll boldface.

And, please – feel free to comment, and maybe give me a glimpse of what your perfect day might look like, or how I might improve mine – I’d love to hear from you!

  • 6:00am – Get out of bed and get ready for work.  Shave legs every day!
  • 7:00am – Sit down at the kitchen table with a cup of coffee & breakfast, read the newspaper or watch the morning news; check the weather BEFORE leaving the house.
  • 7:30am – Kiss husband goodbye before leaving; leave for work on time ; listen to NPR news on the drive in.
  • 8:00am – Arrive at work; my work is a job that I like and that I am good at
  • 12:00pm – Eat a nutritious lunch away from my desk.  Eat mindfully –  don’t work through lunch!  Take a 30-minute walk outside.
  • 4:00pm – Leave work; listen to All Things Considered on my drive home.
  • 5:00pm 45-minute workout at the YMCA
  • 6:00pm – relax and unwind at home; chat with my husband about the events of the day
  • 6:30pm – Start preparing a nutritious and delicious dinner (ha! my dinners always taste good, they’re just not always nutritious)
  • 7:30pmDinner at the dining room table, with the TV off.  Eat mindfully!  Enjoy pleasant conversation over dinner, with a glass of wine.
  • 8:30pm – Watch as husband cleans up the kitchen. (ha!)
  • 9:00pm – Catch up on email/blogging/surfing.
  • 9:30pm – Turn off computer.  Call friends or do yoga.
  • 10:00 – Get into bed with a good book; read until sleepy. Try to get 8 hours of restful sleep.

What usually happens is this:

  • 7:10am – hit snooze button
  • 7:20am – hit snooze button
  • 7:30am – hit snooze button
  • 7:40am – hit snooze button
  • 7:45am – get out of bed after husband reaches over to shake me awake, race around for the entire morning, frantically trying to get out of the house by 8:30.  Walk the dog at 8:40, THEN leave.
  • 9:10am – arrive at work 10 minutes late, get to work.
  • 1:00pm – eat lunch at my desk, working the entire time.  I only get out of the office if I force myself, or if I forget to bring my lunch.
  • 5:15pm – leave work, drive home, skip the gym ’cause I’m too tired.
  • 6:00pm – arrive home, go upstairs to change into pajamas, plop on the couch while we decide whether to cook or order out.  We usually order out.
  • 7:15pm – Eat dinner on the coffee table in front of the tv.
  • 8:30pm – get on the computer.
  • 11:00pm – turn off computer, get into bed.  Read until 1am.

Yikes.  It really sounds horrible when you write it down.  I’m in a real slump.

Help!  How do I turn my normal chaos into the peaceful and organized first option???

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