Friday, December 14, 2012

Reflections: Jumping

What's the greatest fear you have? Mine is a fear of heights. I'm especially terrified of jumping into water. And any time I'm faced with a crossroads, I imagine myself jumping from a boulder into unknown depths.
One of many notebooks
For me, there's something powerful in writing down what I want; posting what I want in a note on my iPhone doesn't have quite the same feeling. In one of the three classes I took from Braid Creative this year, Tara and Kathleen had us write down our rules for a day at our dream job. I realized my current work day was a polar opposite from my ideal. (I'm going to talk more about their eCourses in a post next week.)
Shortly after this exercise, someone forwarded me a video of Alan Wilson Watts asking "If money were no object, what would you do with your life?"
I'd already been thinking about amazing entrepreneurs and creatives I'd worked with in the past. I'd already been thinking about what projects I wanted to do more of. Then Alan Wilson Watts's words hit home. Not the question, but his statement that
we go on doing more of the things we don't like
to go on living to go on doing more of the things we don't like,
we raise our children to follow us in this pattern

All of a sudden it hit me. My greatest fear wasn't that I'd be unable to make a living. My greatest fear was that Gates would grow up thinking money was more important than doing what you love. Or worse that you couldn't find a way to live doing what you love.
A quick aside. In preparation for this jump, in late August, I began saving money. I launched the Mindful Consumption Challenge and actually made it through under budget! We cut out unnecessary nice-to-have expenditures. Instead of spending the holidays with a view of Monterrey Bay, we'll be having a staycation in San Francisco, taking Gates to the Zoo, the Academy of Sciences, and maybe the Aquarium by the Bay. His company has amazing health insurance; mine didn't, so Gates and I were already on his plan. We're also incredibly lucky that my parents live nearby and take care of Gates four days a week. So I'm not saying money is evil; everyone needs a minimum amount which varies by person and by family to have their basic needs meet.
So I jumped. A friend came with me and we cleared out all of my personal items from the office over the weekend. And then on Monday, butterflies in my stomach, I did it. I jumped. I resigned. A little earlier than I had planned (my business website is not live yet), but it feels right.
Happy Jumping!
Credits: All layouts designed by and images taken by Eden Hensley Silverstein for The Road to the Good Life.