Monday, May 6, 2013

Changes

Past weekend I received this letter:


It's from my employer and it tells me that my request for working less hours starting June has been approved! You may remember that I put in this request last January and I was (and am) very excited about it.

Of course unofficially I already knew it would be okay, since I'd had several talks with my boss and coworkers so we could figure out how to go about it and who would be taking over which tasks. But still I always have this little uncertainty within me where I don't really believe it until I see it in writing and...well... there you have it!

Starting June I will cut down my working hours so I will have four day weekends and three (long) day work weeks! How amazing is that? I will have more time to spend on my favorite pass times of which of course the artsy stuff is a big part. Not the only part mind you, I also look forward to reading more and going on more walks or visiting a museum from time to time more than I do now.

It seems that for the past several months this request for working less and adjusting my life more to my passions has affected other areas in my life as well. I have already mentioned how I seem to have caught the spring cleaning bug, the need to purge my possessions, tackle my jungle garden and my overall need to simplify my life. It feels good to think about these things and even better to really do something about them, even though it will probably be a long learning process and my to do list is so long it will keep me busy for a while to come.

My new and improved living room.

One of the consequences of working less of course is also earning less. This used to scare me a lot more than it does now. I guess my love for what I do has grown bigger than my need for the financial extra's. Still, it does mean I need to adjust my expenses and I'm in the process of deciding what to do exactly.

I won't bore you with all the details, but one of the things I have decided to get rid of is my regular phone connection and my tv-connection (both cable and digital). I will of course keep my cell phone and yes, I will also keep my television set. See, I love movies and some tv-series, but I never watch the news, reality shows or any shows that you really need to keep up with and more than that I am completely allergic to tv-commercials. I swear, these days when you turn on the tv the chance of a commercial being on are bigger than an actual program being shown. I have nor the time nor the patience for this.

I'm in love with my sliding doors now and the flowing curtains.

Besides that I find I use TV a little too easy as a thing to wind down with. After a long workday and at a low energy level it is far easier to watch a rerun of one of my favorite sitcoms than to kick back with a book or go to the studio and unwind with art. And once the damn thing is on, it's harder to turn it off. I'm not a television addict I think. I'm not one of those people that turns the TV on when she comes home and there are plenty nights now when I don't use it,  but it is an easy distraction when I'm low on fuel.

So I figured that if I really want to see something I can watch a dvd or through the internet and  then really enjoy it and otherwise the thing just stays turned off. Important events and unmissable things are very few and far between and will come knocking on your door soon enough. I guess you can tell from this I'm not giving up the internet, haha!

This is all that's left in the corner by the sliding doors.

Now the fact that my television connection and phone connection will be cancelled meant that last weekend I finally had the opportunity to change my living room a little. That's what the pictures in this post are about. See, the tv used to stand in the corner near the entrance to the sliding doors. My house is nice, but some things are very impractical, like where light switches are or where radiators are positioned and yes also, where the tv/cable connectors are. The corner where the tv and all sorts of other equipment stood was always a pain to me and a puzzle of numerous wires and plugs.

Now however all I need in that corner are my internet modem and wireless router. So I changed things around in my living room, moving the tv and dvd player and the couch and putting away some things I no longer need. The result can be seen in the pictures. It's so roomy now and calm. I love it!

I guess what I'm trying to say is that one decision can work through your life on so many levels, from the deeply profound to the material everyday stuff. I'm liking all these changes that are happening and that's what I wanted to share with you. Sometimes it's good to take a little chance and see where it might lead.

My assistant never noticed anything different, he immediately jumped on his spot on the couch, haha.


How it will all work out in the end is still a mystery to me too, but I feel I made the right choice. I will no doubt be bothered from time to time by the fact I have less money, I will no doubt have to adjust to my new work schedule and find a way to keep setting my priorities straight. And I need to figure out how to give art that even bigger part in my life that I want to give it. More time is nice of course, but it's not the end all solution to everything that frustrates me from time to time.

I will keep you posted of course in the coming year and you will see how and if I manage to find a new balance in my life. I looke forward to sharing it with you!
Wishing you all a wonderful and artsy week!

18 comments:

  1. I think that's great :) lol Money is nice & all - but it is important to have balance & time for the things you love!
    By the way, I watch all my tv/movies online or on dvds too :) When I can afford it, I have Netflix which is waay cheaper than cable.. and there's lots of free watching online. Especially if you love old movies (i do!!!) :)
    I love the colours in your home!

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    1. I love all kinds of movies, I just have to be in the mood for them (well, except explicit horror, never in the mood for that). I'm thinking if I only watch when I really want to (and not just to zone out) it will be like a treat, I like that idea.

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  2. Heel veel plezier met je "nieuwe leven"

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    1. Dank Carla, ik zie het als een uitbreiding van de leukste kanten van mijn huidige leven. ;-)

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  3. Caatje, Congratulations on being able to cut back on your work hours. I hope that you will be able to do everything you desire to do with your extra time. I'm sure you will enjoy it, and I have the confidence that you will be able to manage your finances too. I like the photos of your living room area. It looks so bright, peaceful and relaxing. Linda E.

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    1. Well, my sister already warned me I'd probably still have too little time and she's right. There will always be more ideas in my head than I can ever accomplish, but it feels good to know the balance is shifting and my passions are getting a bigger place in my life than the job.

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  4. Congratulations to you for making life your priority, rather than work. Enjoy!!

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  5. I think your decision is wonderful and I'm sure you'll do just fine. You already seem to know how to embrace life's wonderful "freebies". No more commercials are good for everyone!

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    1. Thanks so much! I do try to 'set' my life to where my heart is. Of course there's always obligations and needs, but this seems like an opportunity to get the balance right. And I agree on the commercials, I hate it that more and more things are becoming about selling and money.

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  6. What a wonderful thing to look forward to in June! I like your new living room. I can understand turning on the TV for wind down time. I do that by playing mind numbing internet games but then creativity seems to disappear. Being purposeful with your TV sounds much better. Usually the TV and the phone add up to a large bill. I bet giving them up will help you adjust. If you are like many people who make arts and crafts, you have more supplies than you can use in a reasonable amount of time too so you probably don't have to buy much there for a long time. Good luck on your new hours for working and creative doings!

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    1. I feel that even without knowing I was going to do this in the past year I have invested in both good art supplies and some other things like a new camera. There's one more thing that still needs to be bought and that's a new computer (mine's getting pretty old and slow), but then indeed I should be able to get my new bearings for a few years and see where it all takes me. As for my art supplies, I'm sure I could start a small art school with what's in my house!

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  7. Love seeing all the artwork throughout your place!

    ** very inspiring :]

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    1. Thanks April, before I had a house of my own ('of my own' being a relative term, since I rent) I always knew I wanted a house where there was something to be seen everywhere. Now the biggest compliment I can get from people who visit it is 'oh wow, there's so much fun stuff to look at!' ;-) I like being surrounded by my own (and other people's) art.

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  8. That's so awesome! Congratulations on taking this brave step! I wish you incredible joy and peace and time to create! With love from Africa

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  9. All the best to you...I feel these are things I'd like to do as well, but haven't yet. I imagine it will be fun and challenging and you'll be confronted with new eye-opening ideas as the days move along...:) Have fun!

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    1. It took me a long time to get to this place. It feels at some point the balance just tips the other way, but it goes gradually, this is not a decision I came to easily. I had contemplated it for years, but never was ready and now I was and then there was no stopping me. I guess the time was just right.

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