I belong to a YAHOO! group called the post-careerists. I started susbcribing to it because I agree with its basic philosophy. (For some reason, the site is down. When it gets up and going, I’ll be the first one to post it here.) Post-careerists believe in putting life before work. Our work (8 hours a day/40 hours a week) is productive but does not define what our life is. I think this is important because in this world of fast paced living we tend to forget that.
This is what the Post-careerist site says:
The Post-Careerist (http://www.post-careerist.com) is dedicated to the idea that when the deals are done and the show is over, what we’ll value most about our lives is the richness of our experiences, not the riches we’ve acquired. The Post-Careerist is about making your life, especially your work life, exactly the way you want it. It’s about liberating “work” from its inevitable assocation with “job” or “career”. It’s about arranging your work around your life, instead of the other way around. The Post-Careerist isn’t just about work, though. “Post-Careerist” is a way of life. It means living intensely, deliberately. It means taking time to smell the roses, but also working to carve out a life that precisely fits your tastes and your values. It’s about approaching living as an art form. The Post-Careerist will provide guidance, tools, resources, and inspiration to help people find satisfaction, to work and live deliberatelyand purposefully – in the words of Henry David Thoreau, to “live deep andsuck all the marrow from life.”
Sometime back I had to take a decision. And making a decision is a very difficult task for me. Just weighing the pros and cons is tiresome. And there are no more absolutes. No blacks or whites. Just greys to confuse us simple people. And on the day, I read some stuff that reinforced my decision or rather pointed me in the right direction. Talk about finding signs in the world around us! I always say the universe speaks to you. We only have to listen. This is what the universe said to me that day:
You can’t do anything about the length of your life, but you can do something about its width and depth. -H.L. Mencken, writer, editor, and critic (1880-1956)
Vocations which we wanted to pursue, but didn’t, bleed, like colors, on the
whole of our existence. -Honore de Balzac, novelist (1799-1850)
I see myself at exactly the point you are describing about 5-10 years ago. I believe it takes courage to make the changes that can “open life up”. I think there are those who come by this courage naturally, or maybe have an unconventional career, and there are those of us who make changes only when we are forced to. The “call” that can be the impetus to change is diverse and many, but once it starts it does not let up. I believe the process of opening to life continues to develop as we progress through our stages of life, one choice at a time. The incentive may be health, relationship, money, empty nest, boredom, unhappiness, ennui… Don’t worry about not finding it in yourself to make the changes that could open life up. IT will find you. -Joan Allen