This is the first year in a long time that I’ve not had lots of work trips on the calendar. It seemed I was always booking my next trip, keeping a suitcase partially packed and on-the-go. Life has been different this year in a lot of ways and not just with work trips but in almost every area of my life. It’s been quieter, slower and more relaxed in many ways. It has also been stressful and full of unknowns too. I would not want to disillusion anyone with saying this year has been a peach!
The last work trip I took this year was in February just before things started really getting crazy with shutdowns and distancings guidelines. I was scheduled for two more trips in March that were slowly canceled as we waited out what was supposed to be a couple weeks of closures. Then more months passed with still no comfort it was right yet to travel. While many people I work with still work in an office I had worked from home for years. That transition wasn’t as hard for me but I was starting to miss the travel. I canceled our June family vacation and then my September trip to Utah. It soon became real that travel wasn’t happening this year.
At first I was deeply bothered by seeing my life come to a halt. I worried about my job security and long term the impacts this was having to many who work in the hospitality and travel businesses. I saw my suitcase collecting dust and eventually took out the many pre-packed items I left ready for quick work trips. As much as I was missing going all the time I soon realized what I missed was the excitement of traveling itself, not the stress and work part as much. I realized my work days were more controllable now and my schedule more flexible. These weren’t so bad benefits. Around June I even told my husband I could get used to not doing so much work travel.
It felt strange to say that after being the one going for so many years. It felt like I could get used to just planning family getaways and trips where travel is more relaxing and fun anyway. Granted we were able to take a trip to Hawaii last year because of miles I earned traveling for work but hey maybe we could actually save for trips like that. Maybe we could do more of them big and small if I were home more. Ideas came to me of what was now possible as a result of not going anywhere all the time for work. It wasn’t as if work travel is glamorous. I mean you are basically taking a really long commute to go to meetings when it is all said and done. Actually working from home full time wasn’t so bad.
When the reality of how long we were going to be home and needed to stay closer to home settled in I realized I was calmer. I became re-interested in things around the house I had put off. We planted vegetables in the backyard and updated some landscaping that needed it. I did more than just say the bathroom needed to be repainted but actually worked on picking out new paint. It felt good to have time for home projects and actually take my time doing them rather than rushing because I needed to go somewhere.
The biggest thing that hit me was when my husband and I were sitting on the back patio watching our son and dog play in the pool. He said there probably won’t be another summer like this. Just the three of us, spending lots of time together, making the best of it, enjoying one another’s company. Having evenings reading books and playing board games, afternoons in the pool without a neighborhood full of friends, home cooked meals. There were so many good things I was enjoying even though it seemed our world was crumbling around us. We missed friends, family and more but it was nice to be in our own bubble enjoying time with our son free of distractions.
I keep thinking what it’s going to be like when this is over. When normal life really returns and we’re forced back into routines that cause us tremendous stress, time away from one another and breaks our isolated bubble. The time when there are several little boys coming to play with our son or he’s rushing out the door to go to their house. When my work suitcase starts rolling down the sidewalk to my trunk for yet another work trip. Is it bad that I’m not looking forward to some of that? I
This time has really allowed me to realize what I want to change next in my life. We had made so many changes the last few years to live more simply and naturally and now it seemed like I was being presented with a golden egg to do more. It felt good to not have so much stress every day or to be gone week after week from home. It felt good to use my kitchen without it being a holiday. I was enjoying being home so much that I even signed up for a 12 week workout program where I was meeting with a personal trainer regularly! There were so really good things coming through this time and yet I had to wonder could I hold on to them when the switch of normality came back on?
I often talk on this blog about making changes in or life to live more naturally and how to do that but here in front of me seemed the biggest opportunity for that in my own life. How could I apply some of the foundation I had build for living naturally in my own family to protect what was good during this year? It became so interesting to me that I started to see this time of isolation and quietness as a blessing that helped me realize what I really wanted in my life. All the things I talk about on this blog were transforming into my own life and opening in me the inspiration to do more. The idea that I could change my life during this time and have it be even more meaningful, fulfilling and satisfying was a thought I couldn’t shake.
Of course I couldn’t just quit my job and take up backyard gardening to support us. Dragonspit Apothecary isn’t quite at the point where it can do that either but this year certainly gave me the time to focus on it. Without all the travel and time away I had time to write blogs that were deeper, more intense and filled with encouragement to others. I saw new clients reaching out looking for help to live more naturally now. There has been new excitement and momentum that I just didn’t have the time to foster before but now…. now I could jump into it and see where it went. It was truly possible in a way it couldn’t have been before.
What changed the most however was right inside me. It was like a single thread I held in my hands all this time was suddenly weaved into a usable basket or sweater that was deeply helpful to me. I felt a coming together in a new way that felt better than it had in years, like the chips were finally falling in the right places. In the quietness and isolating times when I gave way to what I was really thinking I felt hopeful. I felt happier than I’d been in a long time and I felt I could dare let my dreams out a little bit more. I could honestly work at my dreams and give them the attention I wanted. This felt rewarding and made me even more motivated to dig into where I wanted things to go. It felt like now was the perfect time to not only dream but act. It wasn’t that I wasn’t working on my dreams before but now I had a lot more time to actually live them and see them unfold with my own hands.
I changed a lot this year. While I already knew and share on this blog the importance of controlling our life rather than it controlling us, I really felt the benefits of living simply and naturally. I saw the ability to protect my family from a virus no one understands with natural products that supported our immunity. I was able to work on future plans to financial protect us while building up the ability to be home more and less stressed from work. I felt empowered to act in this time for things I really wanted in my life rather than just wishing for them.
In a year as bizarre as this one it seems pretty great to say I felt good during most of it. It showed me how far we as a family have come to living more naturally and where I personally still need to do more. I learned I was prepared for living naturally and could actually see and feel the benefits from it when disaster struck. That’s an incredible feeling that made me crave more of it. That freedom to not only feel safe while the world went crazy but also to feel like it was the perfect time to act on dreams more fully is truly amazing. It is like realizing a hunger that cannot be filled with just one meal or taste but requires the entire experience to enjoy it.
What changed about me this year is my own being. As I worked to fill cravings for more of what was filling my soul I also became stronger in my belief of what I really wanted to create in my life. If it felt this good to be home enjoying planting veggies in the yard, making quilts and being with my family how could I do that more? How could I take that next step to align my life with these incredible fulfilling feelings and support us financially? It became the question I asked in the middle of the night and pondered throughout my workday. It fueled my workouts and influenced my writing on the blog. It inspires and challenges me in a positive way.
This year I believe has seen so many hardships and challenges. We truly are a world that has gone mad it seems and yet I believe it has been one of my best years yet for learning to live more naturally. I feel awakened with hope and possibility eager in the morning to see how far I can advance it each day. I feel it in my soul when I go to bed at night ready to dream of what is possible and where I want to go next. It’s energy I feel awakening every fiber of my being to pursue this feeling and have more of it.
I firmly believe living naturally is a journey of doing what feels best for us physically, emotionally and spiritually. We already know what that is for each of us but it is when we allow it to be seen, felt and touched that we start to experience it. When we unlayer the demands of our life of how it’s supposed to be and start defining that for ourselves we see the possibilities. We feel the power of what it is like to chase dreams that give us happiness and fulfillment. We touch the essence of nature and hold it feeling amazed by it’s beauty and presence and start to crave more of that in our daily living. We let go of the things that no longer make us feel that way in favor of what fuels us.
If you’re ready to start your journey, I encourage you to take the free Lifestyle & Wellness Questionnaire. This tool provides us with focus of what is most important to you and where to begin. It provides you with the resources and information to apply in exploring what this could mean for you and your family. Take the questionnaire today and truly start to live more naturally: https://forms.gle/nYWzU8sMAhzx8P8X6