It’s been a month since we shared our goal of finding work life balance with all of you on TripIt’s blog and we wanted to give you an update on how we’re doing. If you’re following along with us, we hope that you too are sticking to your goals of striving to make great changes for the year ahead. It’s not easy changing your life, but the reward is worth it.
I know it has only been a short time, but our journey really started at the end of 2014. Even before Dave had his accident in Peru, where he fractured two vertebrae in his spine, we were thinking of slowing down. While his injury forced us into an early ‘vacation,’ we would’ve followed through with taking our time in 2015 regardless.
I remember feeling a constant pang of anxiety last year. It didn’t matter if I was in the middle of a relaxing massage or taking part in a high-octane adventure, my mind was always somewhere else. I never stopped thinking of the work that needed to be done or the next place that we had to be. Neither of us ever found ourselves in the moment.
Our lives were definitely exciting and fulfilling, but we were never present. We were either looking ahead to the next job or behind as we edited photos and videos from our previous travels. Life should be lived in the moment, not spent fretting about the future or worrying about the past.
I’d almost forgotten what peace feels like. I was so used to feeling pressure and anxiety that it was becoming normal. But, since slowing down in December and continuing to pursue our life of balance, an interesting calm has taken over my body.
I used to fret just for the sake of fretting; now, I find that while my mind wants to worry because it’s so used to that, I stop myself and realize that things are going to be OK.
Sure, there are still bills to be paid and deadlines to be met. There are illnesses and pressures to get in better shape, but there isn’t the lingering anxiety that I used to feel. I can now face my challenges with a sense of calm.
It’s all because we chose to slow down. Even now that Dave is fully healed and gaining back his full strength, we’re picking and choosing the moments in life we want to focus on.
Learning to Say No
We’ve learned to say no. As many of us suffer from FOMO (Fear Of Missing Out) in todays’ world, we’ve decided that missing an event or saying no to a project that doesn’t inspire us won’t ruin our lives or our business. As a matter a fact, it makes room for what’s important. There were times when an email would come our way and we’d say yes to everything for fear of missing an unknown opportunity or thinking that we’d better be a part of it since everyone else was doing it.
Now that we have chosen to pursue only projects that inspire and excite us, we find it easy to sift through the noise.
We’ve made a conscious effort to stop working at our computers at 6 p.m. and we limit our time on social media to a quick connection with friends and only the needed requirement for work. Social media is a part of our business, so we need to be on it, but we don’t need to be checking our accounts every hour of the day. A morning of scheduling with a few moments in the day to interact and chat with our followers is all we need.
Our biggest decision of 2015 is cutting back our travel plans. Last year at this time, we’d already traveled around two different continents and taken several flights. Every week, we seemed to be flying somewhere new.
In 2015, we’ve already turned down many travel opportunities. We don’t want to jump around from place to place, we want to make each moment meaningful. We’re spending an entire three months in Spain this summer to get back into slow travel. After that, we don’t know what we are doing, because we refuse to commit to something this far in advance. We have a few shorter trips scheduled before the summer but we are giving ourselves a couple of weeks in between each one to catch up on work, see our families and friends, and to have time to relax.
For the first time in two years, we feel that we are no longer playing catch up. We’ve actually visited the people we want to see, the bags under our eyes have disappeared and we feel optimistic about the year ahead.
Creating balance surprisingly allows for more productivity. Once we started saying no to the things that didn’t interest us, better opportunities came our way. Once we forced ourselves to step away from our computers at night, our days became more productive. Our “to do” list seemed to be checked off faster.
When you’re happier and healthier, you seem to utilize time better. When we were living a life out of balance, it seemed that we never had time for anything, yet nothing was getting done at the same time. Now, we’ve noticed that we not only have time to enjoy life, family and friends, but we’re getting more things done at work and seizing better opportunities. Life truly is better with balance.
There’s still time! It’s never to late to make time in your life for what’s important. Join us this year to make balance and part of your life.