So for anyone who has
put up with been reading this blog (and living with my long silences), you might remember my tales of the 5th Circle. For the uninitiated, the 5th Circle is what I called my (now former) employer. It is a reference to Dante’s Inferno. And, though I picked the 5th circle somewhat at random, if you look up the inhabitants of the different levels of Dante’s Hell, you will find a descriptor for the 5th level that describes many of the people I worked with with frightening accuracy.
I am no longer a resident of the 5th Circle.
I have taken up residence in a new place. I don’t know yet whether it is heaven or hell (or neither), but it is different. In a better sort of way.
And for that I am most thankful.
But of course this means changes. A lot of them.
New boss with quirks to learn. New colleagues to learn to know. New office and procedures and policies and on and on. And of course, a new set of tasks for me to perform.
Also, we will be moving. Several states from here. Which means selling the house. Which means preparing the house to sell. Which means doing all of those stupid little things you always put off until “later.” Guess what? It’s now officially “later.”
Change and I don’t get on so well. But since change is the only constant in the universe, I’m doing my level best with it. Honest, I am.
I already know that this isn’t my ideal job. And I’m okay with that. It is a better situation. A better employer. Better benefits and pay, too.
I read so much on the interwebs of people trying to go from what sounds like an absolute shit hole (or at least one of the circles of Dante’s Hell) to absolute perfection in a single step. I’m sure that there are people who have done that. Just as there are people who do actually win the lottery. The odds look about the same to me.
What I’m trying to do (in concert with my significantly-better half) is to create a 10-year plan. If we pull it off in fewer than 10 years, great. If not, that’s okay too. The point is, we have designed a plan.
The plan is made up of our goal for our family. In our case, it is to be in a position to outright own a property on which we can live and grow most of what we eat (being vegetarians makes that easier than if you like to eat meat). So something like 10 or more acres. This needs to be in a specific geographic region for us. We’ve each worked in or extensively visited quite a bit of North America and a large number of places in the world. We have preferences. We also know about immigration constraints. Working with our preferences and constraints, we have picked a couple of regions, with a strong preference for one in particular.
Once the property is owned outright, we have estimated our annual expense needs. This allows us to gauge just how much income we need to generate in order to live the life we want to live. This includes some travel and computers, and stuff. We’re not looking to establish an ascetic monastery or anything. Still, these expenses will be less than our current needs are because of the gains we make by growing most of our own food and owning the property outright.
All of this combines into a tangible lifestyle that we both believe will put us where we want to be.
But this is potentially 10 years out. More if something goes catastrophically wrong in the interim. That feels like a long time. In so many ways, it’s really not. But it is. But it’s not.
It’s a spiritual tug-of-war.
Right now I’m working to settle in for the waiting. I hate change, but I’m also impatient. My personality is what one personality expert called ulcer-inducing. Apparently, I want too many conflicting things at once as part of my basic nature and way of viewing the world.
Yes, I’m weird. Still. Always.
Those who are seeking instant change might be better off with a lottery ticket. Instead, consider making a plan based on experience, facts, and genuine desire (that has been tested over time) and work toward it. There really aren’t any instant fixes. No good short-term ways of getting around the hard work that is change.
If the change is truly something you want and need to make yourself whole, then the wait is worth it. Perhaps the wait even prepares you for the change. And without the waiting the change would have less meaning.
I may hate change, but I have a plan to make big change. And that makes me happy, because every day I take tangible steps to move closer to that life I actually want.
I want to walk away from all of the levels of Dante’s Hell and live in the light of life.