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May 2015 - Kiki Reflects

Kiki Reflects

one woman's struggle to answer her calling

Archive for May, 2015

The Moment I Realized I Didn’t Need to Be Busy Anymore

I was working long hours at the Pentagon (including nights and weekends), finishing my Master’s degree, and teaching a couple of yoga classes.  I was an Arbonne Independent Consultant, and pretty active at the time.  The little free time I had was devoted to my boyfriend (now husband) and his son, who lives several hours away in another state.

Whenever someone asked me how I was doing, my response was always, “Busy.”  My friends stopped inviting me out because I was almost always too busy to go.  I stopped traveling to visit family (except for my future stepson) because I no longer had the time.  I didn’t read books for fun because it seemed as though I was always behind in reading for school.  I felt as though I had no control over my life or my time.  The most I could concentrate on was what my very next thing or assignment was.

My now-husband told me I was “overbooking” myself.  Overbooking — this was a concept I had never considered before.

It was shortly after that conversation that I came across this article by Joshua Becker called A Helpful Guide to Becoming Unbusy.  At first, becoming “unbusy” seemed like a luxury I couldn’t afford.  Surely, this article didn’t apply to someone who was finishing their degree?!

Man, did unbusy sound wonderful though!  As I looked around at my life, at everything that was going on, the concept started to sink in.  I realized my husband and Mr. Becker were right.

It was that moment I knew I needed change.  I decided to devote the next year to becoming unbusy.  I stripped away the elements of my life that caused the most stress.  First was when I transferred to a less hectic position outside of the Pentagon.  Next, I put the Arbonne consulting on an indefinite pause.  That helped a lot.

Then, on Christmas day in 2013, my then-boyfriend proposed.  Yay!!  Now, I really had to prioritize!  I knew planning on upcoming wedding was going to keep me busy, but not having the time I wanted to devote to it would be worse.  I made the difficult decision to stop teaching yoga for a while.

In early Spring 2014, I finally finished my Master’s degree.  Now that I had additional free time, I was able to devote it to my fiancee (at the time), his son, and planning our wedding together.  Although I wasn’t quite unbusy yet, I felt a lot better.  I no longer felt as though I was scrambling.  I had rearranged my priorities with the things I wanted most at the top.

My husband and I were married in late 2014, with my 11-year-old stepson as our Best Man.  In the months that followed, we were able to enjoy ourselves and live with much less stress.

For the first time in years, I’m able to look around my life and decide where I want it to go. From here, we have made several huge life changes, including paying off our debt.

Now, I am slowly starting add more things I enjoy back into my life.  I’m reading for fun, (Hello, 50 Shades!), teaching yoga, and traveling again.  As I do, I’m trying to shape my life into what I want it look, instead of allowing my mismanaged priorities to shape me.  Life is too short to spend it shuffling from one thing to the next without enjoying yourself.


How Do I Answer the Question of “What Will You Do After the Military?”

Word of my upcoming separation from active duty naval service is making its way through my friends and family.  Inevitably, the next question I get is something along the lines of, “What will you do next?”

I’m not sure I can answer this question myself yet.  From moment to moment, I daydream about myself as the following:

a) A stay-at-home wonder mom and homemaker, taking care of my 11-year-old stepson and new baby’s (disclaimer: I would need to get pregant first!) every need, reading stories, preparing delicious vegan gluten-free meals, and doing all of the “home stuff,” like cleaning and doing laundry.  Images of me and my family smiling at each other.  A lot.  And doing homemade crafts and bicycling outside.

b) An ueber peaceful, meditative yoga teacher.  A lot of zen.  And enlightenment.  And cool yoga clothes.  And midday meetups with fellow yoga teachers and students at my favorite vegan restaurants in the Washington DC area (Hello, Busboys n’ Poets and The Loving Hut!).  (Disclaimer: I teach one yoga class per week now, which at the end of May, will increase to three classes per week, so this could totally happen.  Yeah.)

c) Building this blog so much that I could actually call it my profession.  In public.   At the very least, I would need to figure out how to add a Facebook and Twitter buttons to my blog postings.  And finish signing up for a Twitter account.  Would definitely need better graphics too.  And a cleaner layout.  And more material.  Note to self: look up more YouTube videos on how to make my blog prettier.

d) Finally writing that book about my late dad.  Long, peaceful afternoons typing away on my Mac, pausing to call my mom every once in a while to let her know how much progress I’m making and how great the book is going.  Fame and success once the book gets published.  Instant New York Times bestseller.  People recognizing me in the streets as “that awesome writer.”  Yeah, that could happen.

e) Going back to school with the goal of becoming a psychologist.  School appears in my head the way I see it on tv nowadays: perfect weather, hip clothes and shoes, engaging discussions with cool fellow students and teachers, and homework that always gets itself done without too much trouble.  In the future, I become like Dr. Phil, but without the tv show.  Yeah, that would be awesome.  I could do that.

In all seriousness, I don’t think the list above is necessarily mutually exclusive.  Could I look forward to a dream that incorporates several (or maybe all?) of the items listed above?  In what order do I go about trying to achieve them?  How do I accomplish these things, and still be an awesome wife to my incredible husband?

In Jeff Goins’ the “Art of Work,” he talks about the “portfolio life.”  This concept applies when your life is not made up of merely one vocation, but several.  Goins is not just a writer, just a public speaker, or just a blogger.  He’s a combination of all of these things.  Maybe that could be in the cards for me in my future?