January is coming to an end, and it reminds me of my New Year's Resolutions. It's only (or already) been one month, so where am I at with my goals? Where are you at with yours?
At the beginning of the year, I set out on a quest to find balance within the emotional, daunting, confusing and often turbulent waters of being self-employed.
Sadly this required doing something I hate. Getting a full understanding of my money situation (what comes in vs. what goes out). I would like to point out that I'm an artist first, and a business person last. I'm trying to fix this balance but it will definitely take time.
I recently came across this concept of "Your Life in Weeks."
(more info here: http://waitbutwhy.com/2014/05/life-weeks.html)
To my horror, I realized I'm over 25% through with my life (if I'm lucky and live to be 90).
After taking a few deep breaths, I decided to look at it a different way (I do in fact have a morbid fascination with this topic). Here's me, in calendar form:
The green zone represents time I've lived, that I can never change or get back.
Rather than let the weight of this reality crush me or make me spiral into a panic and feel rushed to accomplish all my hopes and dreams TODAY... I stopped and looked at the facts.
Most of that green area was childhood, adolescence, schooling, and figuring out who I was as a person.
I'm now living the life I always dreamed of. I know who I am and what I want. And I'm only 31.
OK, whew. Got that out of the way. Now I can focus on making a PLAN!
I am the type of person who get's really excited by making detailed plans, and then forgets about them.
My goals are always in the back of my mind, but I rarely stick to a strict plan to achieve them.
I make things up as I go, live in the moment, and follow my instincts.
The pleasure I get from making the plan is akin to drinking a wonderful glass of wine. Feels good in the moment, but it never lasts.
But in facing the truth, now I know some things. I know for the next 18 years I need to make monthly student loan payments (If I continue paying the minimum amount). I know that each spring I need to pay exorbitant amount of self-employment taxes. And I estimate I have about 48 years left to live.
Other that that, I'm FREE, right!?
Well not quite. I also have to pay rent, utilities, buy food...
Ok so I'm stuck in the system.
We live in a money-driven society. We need money to live.
That is a depressing thought for someone who simply wants to create beautiful art, spread joy, and see the the wonders of nature.
So it comes down to choice.
I CHOOSE to be part of the system (the alternative is sell everything I own, be homeless, declare bankruptcy and start over).
I CHOOSE make art, try to spread joy and inspiration, and help people when I can.
I CHOOSE to focus on the positive.
I'll keep my Life Calendar in the back of my mind as I go, but I will focus on those blank squares. There is so much potential..so much possibility in the unknown.
Life is what happens to you while you’re busy making other plans. - John Lennon
What's your plan?