I usually start the new year with a list of goals, and many of those goals are work oriented. This year I decided to flip my focus from work to play, from worry to joy and from angst to appreciation. Yes, I know we are in the middle of a global recession. Yes, I know the housing market is posting some of its worst numbers since the Great Depression. So what? These are supposed to be some of the best years of my life, and I am going to make sure they are just that--the best years of my life.
The work is still there, and yes it has to be done, but I will no longer let it consume most of my working hours. I work in a fiercely competition field; it is overcrowded and many agents were lucky to make a single sale in 2008. I took eights day off during the entire year. That includes weekends and holidays. Yes, it is definitely time for a change.
The first thing I scheduled for 2009 was a vacation. I returned from Egypt one week ago with a renewed spirit and much gratitude for my life and where I am lucky enough to live. I loved Egypt--the people, the history, the Nile and the desert climate, plus they drink black tea all day long. My sister and I never tired of our favorite brew and it was served throughout the day. It was a simple but deep joy to sip tea with a sister I rarely see and I enjoyed the moment.
The vacation is behind me, but the memories will be with me to draw upon. When I'm feeling frustrated because I am stuck in a Los Angeles traffic jam I will remember Cairo traffic is much worse. I will remember the armed guards and machine gun clad security personal that traveled everywhere with our group. I will remember the women carrying water from the Nile to wash their clothes. I will remember the classroom with bright blue wooden benches and a single chalkboard. There is nothing quite like a visit to a third world country to remind us that living conditions on this planet are not created equally.
I returned to my country with great hope and a resolve to thrive during these trying times. On Tuesday a new president took the oath of office with the promise of change. It is time. I felt ebullient as I watched the crowd and country welcome him. As a nation we stepped outside the boundaries of previous choices and into a new era. Change is not something that happens to you, it is something you bring about by your actions.
If there are changes you want to make in the way you are living your life, begin now.
It is easier than you think.