I feel like I could have written this article myself.
Tiny Buddha is one of my favorite sites for regular, uplifting information – so much so that I include it in my business RSS feeds and very often post links to the site’s articles to my business social media accounts. When I came across this article, especially, I thought “Oh my god, I know exactly what you went through.” This article outlines the several different things that can happen when you feel like your life is on hold – for me, especially, the part about not comparing yourself to others is huge.
Abundant Content is a heart-based business – brains and technical savvy are kind of par for the course, but I’ve found so much here that speaks to who we are as people in this world, too. It’s important to me that my business is run ethically and transparently in all ways, which is why I choose my clients carefully. Articles such as this one can be big bridges for me, especially since I’m fond of reinventing myself whenever life calls for it – it’s a courageous way to live, sure, but it can also bring about deep periods of inertia. Julia Cousens offers some incredibly valuable advice for surviving these periods of feeling like you’re waiting for life to begin. This author’s story is so similar to ours!
How life kind of went on hold for us:
When my wife returned to Canada after her tourist visa ran out, we expected that she’d be able to return at some point with a new one. Unfortunately, that wasn’t the case, and we wound up being separated for an entire year as we walked through the expensive and time-consuming marriage visa process.
During that time I was, for all intents and purposes, a single, welfare mom – shuffling my kid off to school, working as much as I could while taking classes and setting up a business. From that struggling perspective, I had my eyes above the surface of the water, but that was about the extent of it. In the back of my mind was this endless little choir of voices singing “it will all be different when you’re family’s intact again.”
When Reya was finally able to return, we had another nine months of waiting before she got working papers and was legally allowed to get a job here. During that time I waited tables several evenings a week, and during the day, I worked on building this business and supporting a growing client load. My wife, a lesbian reggae musician who’d most recently lived in Paris, found herself a stay-at-home parent in the middle of a tiny, rural mountain town, shuffling wife and child off to work and school in our 15 year old Subaru Forester – station wagon of choice for lesbians and alpine dwellers, for sure, and also one that needed a sizeable chunk of mechanical work.
Inertia can strike at any time.
Like everyone else, we got married with a list of dreams and plans in place. We’re in our 40s tho, and even though we both forget that fact pretty frequently, reality can strike hard sometimes, especially with me – many of our peers are participating in a fairly standard “American Dream” sort of thing, and I can sometimes forget that I chose something different.
On one hand, we’re renting a dumpy little cabin in the woods, and on the other, well, we’re in our 40s and have no debt. NO DEBT. That’s also a big deal. It does mean I’ve got to spend some focus on building credit and making some investments if I eventually want to buy something, somewhere, sure – but guess what? Building my credit has been fairly easy since I’m actually mature enough to handle it (finally) – it may be sparse so far, but no one’s slapping my hand for anything on it, and making some investments has been as simple, for the moment, as I watch my income grow on its own with Stash.
For keeping my spirits up, I’ve found that the advice offered in this article to be extensively valuable, along with the very simple practice of simply being grateful for where we are – we live very cheaply in a little cabin in alpine paradise, we both have steady employment, we eat really healthy, we’re allowed to have pets in our rental, our kid’s happy, smart, creative and provided for, and although we want to grow bigger, life, indeed, is very sweet, especially when we simply take the time to enjoy what we have and stop comparing ourselves to anyone els.
What are some of the ways in which you support yourself and thrive when life feels like it’s standing still?