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{26/01/2013}   Making lifestyle changes

I know of a few people who have had major health scares and ended up completely changing certain aspects of their lives, usually where work is concerned.  I know a few people right now who should probably change their lifestyle to ensure ongoing decent health, but therein lies the infuriating problem, namely that people rarely seem to make huge lifestyle changes unless and until something drastic happens to them.

I read a book recently, “Hector and the Search for Happiness” by François Lelord, in which life changes were discussed.  I found it quite an inspiring book, particularly emphasis on happiness not being something you can achieve if you make it your goal.  I think happiness comes in unexpected places at unexpected times and sometimes as a result of making or experiencing huge changes.  In fact, maybe “usually” rather than just “sometimes”.

I know it is hard – because I’ve been thinking about it for years – to do things you really want to do when there is a degree of unpredictability or deep-end fear about what you want to do but it seems a shame that it often takes something awful to happen to kick start anything new.

However, I do also think there is an element of escaping, particularly amongst people who decide their change will be to move abroad.  I remember when I first moved to Japan, someone who had been there for years asked me what it was I was running away from.  I was somewhat flustered and said there was nothing, to which he gave me a knowing look and a raised eyebrow.  I later realised I was running away from the reality of, having finished university, getting a “proper” job.  I was then aware of a lot of people who had moved to Japan after relationship breakdowns and a few who had been made redundant.  It makes sense, and indeed it goes back to my point about something needing to happen, something drastic, before you make lifestyle changes like that.  Maybe it doesn’t matter if it could be perceived as “running away” because ultimately a change is usually a good thing.

I guess I am writing this and thinking about it because I want to initiate a change but am happy not to have something awful in my life that means I have no choice in the matter.  I do have choice but I am struggling to do anything massively proactive, though I have (very unrealistically, I know) been buying lottery tickets every week as a windfall would mean I could finally pluck up the courage to take a massive financial challenge and get going with having my own cafe, which is ultimately what I would love to.  I often look at people who work in cafes I like and think how I would like to be doing that all day.  I know the reality will be hard work and different kinds of stresses and, distressingly, I would have to deal with some members of the public I would rather not have to encounter, but that’s what I really want to do. I’m just finding it hard to deal with the financial side of it and knowing I would have to change my lifestyle … it’s hard but isn’t that what new challenges are about?

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