1. Hi Christie – I think I’ve been gradually moving into the sort of space you’re looking for. I’m not sure what it will look like for you, but for me it’s been a matter of letting go of what I think others are “judging” me on. I’ve stopped equating my value with productivity or being “busy” all the time, and swapped it out for what feels like the right pace for me. Striving equals stress in my view, and I realized that a lot of what I strived for in previous decades is now present in my life – so I can dial it back and just enjoy what I have. Nothing to prove, nothing to lose – and it’s different for everyone. Those who “scold” me for not functioning at their pace or being as busy as they think I should be…..well, they just don’t get it and I don’t have to listen to them. Now days I just do “me” and I’m very happy – I certainly wasn’t this happy when I was jumping through everyone else’s hoops!

    • Thank you for sharing your experience, Leanne. This statement especially resonates with me: I realized that a lot of what I strived for in previous decades is now present in my life – so I can dial it back and enjoy what I have. It truly is time to enjoy the fruits of my labor. I’m sure it will take me a little experimenting to see what that looks like for me. The first step is overcoming the mindset that I need to be checking things off the “to-do” list all the time. It makes me happy to hear how happy you are.

  2. This is making me think about my life right now. Specifically, why can’t I sleep because I have so many thoughts shooting through my head when I should be sleeping? When I am immersed in something, even something I love, it gets into my head. Is that striving or just my weird brain? Is it because I have set goals for myself or is it because I simply love what I’m doing?

    • Interesting to think about Linda. I guess the key question is are you loving the experience of what you are doing? I’m certainly not anti-goal-setting. For me, it’s finding the balance of setting goals and living in the moment…enjoying the journey and not always looking forward to the destination. And, of course, quieting the mind enough to sleep. That one’s a toughie.

  3. Heidi

    The saying about its the journey not the destination resonates in me. My family went on a hike to Dog Lake this weekend. We took a longer route than we usually do and went much slower since 5 year old skinny legs need more breaks and my nearly 9 year old chose not to wear socks and got a blister, which needed bandaid and comfort. We took over 2 hours to get to our destination. I had plenty of time to view the scenery, hold hands and talk with these people who I’m usually rushing to get to school, work and activities. I got to watch my husband encourage our daughters and even carry them both on his shoulders when they got too tired. Dog Lake is really just a pond so it may not seem like a grand destination but the journey was beautiful!

    • That is a lovely story…well not the part about the blister, those hurt! Still I’m glad you enjoyed the time together in nature and were able to slow down and really take it all in. I love you.

  4. Hi, Christie – Like you, I have more questions than answers. But I do have strong thoughts on your final question: fill your precious life with guilt-free quality time with the people that you love! (Which I know that you do)!

    • Excellent advice Donna. That really is the most important thing. In every other aspect of my life, I remind myself that there is no one “right” answer. When it comes to human connections, and especially quality time with those we love, that is non-negotiable.

  5. Christie, As a recovering work-aholic, I tried to think what has worked for me to shift from striving to achieve to being more in-the-moment. I can tell you that it’s taken time (years) for me to just slow down and enjoy the moments. To chill a bit and be okay with being. I still make lists, and check things off. But those check offs now are beach walks, taking some photos during the week, cooking a new recipe, doing yoga or going to watch the sunset with my dog. I’ve worked on accepting that it is OK to not be striving to achieve the next goal. I realized, for me, it was something I heard as expectation, and not an authentic internal need at all. Self-knowledge with things like Enneagram and Human Design helped there. I am not a Type #3 enneagram which is an Achiever; I have a friend who is and she is always onto the next thing to learn about in retirement! She does need that but is also trying to just be more often.

    Is striving an internal need for you or an expectation you’ve been given? Yeah, I was striving to achieve for years because I accepted it was what I was supposed to do… even on retirement, I kept at it. it took deep awareness to realize it was OK to not strive. And yes, I still do Compare & Despair when I see other women striving and achieving. So first and foremost, is striving what you really need or something you want truly to move away from?

    That said, not striving does not mean you are not doing things, learning new stuff, nor are you just wasting time/your life. You are enjoying the engagement, not worried about the end output. Enjoying yoga and not trying to become an expert. Hiking new trials (and maybe even counting the new miles) but not working to climb Everest. A friend who took up ballroom dance, also a Type A in her career, just realized she’s in it because she loves to dance, and it’s not about winning the gold medal at the competition. She is not striving to win, but working out and taking lessons to improve because she loves the way it feels to be graceful and floating in the dance. Getting stronger and taking lessons improves her enjoyment of the dancing. A shift in mindset.

    Maybe that’s really what it is. A shift in mindset. A willingness to stop and be in the moment. And continual reminders that it’s OK to not be striving.

    • That is an important differentiation to make, Pat…whether striving is an internal need or an expectation I’ve taken on over the years. That question deserves more thought, but my gut feeling is the striving is not an internal need. I’m being motivated by fear…fear that if I’m not striving, I will slip into doing nothing. Thank you for the reminder that I can still be learning, engaged, and enjoying things without worrying about output. I like the idea of a “to-do” list that focuses on things I want to do, not things I need to do or “should” do.

  6. Cindy

    I’ve been thinking about this ever since you posted it, and I’m still not clear on how I feel. I don’t know that I’ve had great big goals I’ve been striving toward my whole life. (Maybe my problem is more “slacking”.😆) I’ve always had more broad vague goals; have happy healthy children, help kids at my job, have loving relationships etc. I don’t think they are goals that I can ever check off the list, but will always be a work in progress. However I’m big on menial to-do lists every day. Many of the things are silly and probably don’t need to be listed, but it’s a habit.

    • Those broad goals are what I would consider values Cindy, and worthy ones at that. I don’t think you could ever be accused of being a “slacker.” I’m a list person too, and I don’t see that going away. It gives me a sense of satisfaction to tick things off the list, but it also helps me stay organized, so I can free my mind of trying to remember all those little things.

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