In preparation for writing a utopian novel.
My goodness, the way your work so hard to perfect it, your life sounds like a work of fiction... which I suppose is what you are after since you plan to write a novel about utopia....! But what is utopia? If you ask a hundred people you're likely to get a hundred answers... which is why a utopian society has always been so hard to build. If we all spend our lives bringing ourselves joy and peace, who will clean up the cat litter? I think that's the main challenge, as well as the fact that humans can't agree on the best form of government or the right way to live. Perhaps you've defined utopia in a new way, or in a personal way, in one of your previous posts (?). I think you will absolutely need to do that if you want to relieve the word of negative baggage. About things removed and/or added to my life: pretty mundane, but lately I'm trying to keep my evenings free of technology (phone, laptop, TV). I've begun to really resent the way all these gizmatrons have created dependency in my life, keeping me in a reactive mode and often affecting me negatively. What I most like to do these evenings is to read novels on my couch with or without a cocktail. I am currently reading "The Voyeur" by Moravia published in the '80s, quite psychological/sexual and interesting to me. My reading tastes have steadily been leading me into bygone decades. Moravia is totally out of fashion now which actually feels like a plus!
This whole article is so relatable and it was such a relief reading about the choices you‘ve made to introduce calm into more and more into your life. I know well how anxiety can catch. Thank you for this- I have taken bigger breaths and feel my shoulders dropping as I leave this comment. 💗
I want to echo Adelina's comment on this post: it's so authentic. I think that's a really big draw to your work on here, it's very transparent about things that are usually pretty muddy, and it's presented in a very real, authentic way. I'm really excited to see where this project goes, and I'm glad you're moving towards a more sustainable work/life balance, and most of all I'm excited to be along for the ride here in the comments section!
Thank you for sharing, Elle. Lovedddd reading this. It's really beautiful to see your authenticity come through in these newsletters. One thing I take away is that while I love hearing how you (and others) organize their time and lives, we are all so different, and the things you are doing may not necessarily work for me. I used to read things like this and automatically feel bad that I wasn't doing my life just like what I was reading, but now I feel that the beauty is in our own authentic expressions. And the joy of reading this is that I get to connect with you and your authentic expression, and feel motivated and inspired to curate the same for myself.
As for letting go and inviting in:
Inviting in more pleasure, joy, and safety in my body.
Letting go of anxiety. Baby steps.
Wow. This was amazing to read. Thank you.
I find myself craving some time alone. As we move into Autumn, and I am recovering energy after a summer of chronic fatigue, I want some space to ponder what this next phase holds for me. Once a year I go away for a few days without my husband and I call it a creative retreat. That isn't possible at the moment but I am taking some solo day trips instead.
My jaw clenches a lot too at the moment. I have a couple of major stressors tbat haven't yet resolved themselves.
Let's see where this next phase takes us
I really enjoyed this one, Elle. Thanks for opening up about anxiety.
As for what I'm doing, I need to take a page from your book and clean out the basement and study. I'm also trying to live more for the pleasure doing things. Work in progress!
I strive for this daily. It seems as if you’re much more organized in your “planning.” I always have a million ideas and things going on, and get easily distracted. Right now I’m thinking, I’d like to go for a bike ride this morning before I start my day job, yet here I am typing a comment. Off to ride now, thanks for the reminder. My first task, is learn to stick to a schedule. LOL
Well, we recently removed ourselves from the city to the country, moving from Kitchener, Ontario, a satellite of Toronto, to Bridgewater, Nova Scotia, a small town on the South Shore, within half an hour of half a dozen glorious beaches. This move more or less completes the slow process of retirement we have been going through for the last seven years. And I have to say that what you describe sounds quite a bit like retirement.
That said, retirement does not turn out to be feet up on the verandah all day. (I wish our house had a verandah!) In fact, we are both just as busy as ever. Over the last two weeks I have launched two new newsletters and a novel.
I suspect that we have a set level of busyness at which we feel comfortable and that we will reach it naturally unless physical ailments or loss of energy curtail it. I wonder if it will be easy for you to maintain a reduced level of busyness. I certainly intended too when I retired. But no, just about as busy as I ever was, albeit with more congenial tasks. Good luck, and let us know.
It sounds like you are on the right path to a healthier, happier life. As you know, stress and anxiety affect our mental health, which then affects our physical health. I have been chipping away at the commitments that are not bringing me joy, and the unnecessary stress and obligations and I have allowed in my life. It is a constant battle, but necessary to avoid burnout or worse. For me, it is mostly a mindset change. Allowing myself to let things go (even good things) when I am overcommitted.