I came across this quote a few years ago, and I immediately loved it. It has a little humor, which I enjoy, but also a lot of truth. I discovered this just as I was breaking up with one boyfriend and preparing to move to North Carolina for a new teaching job. It was a perfect summary — if you aren’t happy where you are, change it. Unlike the tree who is STUCK, you can MOVE.
So I did. I moved to North Carolina, stayed awhile, and when I decided I wasn’t too happy where I was there, I moved back. As I see it, there’s two ways you can think of something like that. You can say I quit – I was a quitter. Or you can say, I simply recognized I wasn’t happy, and I made a change.
I’ve always been in the latter camp. Growing up, I would try lots of new activities – piano lessons, guitar lessons, karate, gymnastics, tennis, soccer, art lessons, dance, basketball, softball, drama, so on and so forth. Some of those activities “stuck” — I played softball through elementary school, participated in Girl Scouts, played basketball in middle school, did a little theater in high school — the activities I enjoyed, I stuck with! But a lot of those activities, I honestly didn’t last long. I didn’t like them. And in my childhood brain, I figured, Why would I do an activity – that is supposed to be done for fun – that I DIDN’T enjoy?
I’m sure some parents will argue there’s value in doing things you don’t want to do. I agree to an extent. I agree there is value in cleaning up your room, putting away the dishes, doing some kind of exercise, completing your homework. These are things that oftentimes you DON’T want to do but are more or less necessary. But why in the world would you spend time doing a HOBBY that you DON’T enjoy?! And not the, “I don’t feel like going, but once I get there I have fun…” but actually, “UGH! I HATE THIS!” I just think that’s stupid.
But why in the world would you spend time doing a HOBBY that you DON’T enjoy?!
So I’ve kind of taken that attitude with other things in my life. If you aren’t happy doing what you are doing, change it.
CLARIFICATION: I am not advocating just jumping ship – quitting your jobs or your responsibilities or anything like that. Please don’t abandon your family, pull a “no show” at your job, or flake on a friend who is counting on you. Do what you have to do meet your obligations, but at the same time, don’t just accept you are stuck. Because you’re not.
I recently took my own advice here when my husband and I decided that I would extend my maternity leave. Honestly, he wasn’t thrilled at first but agreed that if we could maintain our current standard of living, he would accept it. He still may not be thrilled, but thus far, between working my Norwex and TeachersPayTeachers businesses, I have met my financial obligation to our family, and he is not complaining yet.
But as I’ve been growing these new business ventures – I’ve begun to imagine a new kind of life. Don’t get me wrong – I loved my “9 to 5” teaching job. I love teaching and developing resources, I love working in the schools, I love working with students. But I am really loving working from home as well, and I’m enjoying exploring the business world. So it has me thinking, maybe I can truly provide for my family — and not just maintain the status quo — but truly provide beyond what my “9 to 5” would have been able to? Maybe I could really grow a sustainable and lucrative business by working from home?
I don’t know. Maybe I’m dreaming too big. Maybe it’s a long shot. But I think I might give it a try while I’m home anyway and see where it leads. I could always go back. I do have options.
Because remember, I am not a tree.