I arrived in Arizona on a mission.
So I came to northern Arizona and committed to 4+ months in the snowy mountains near my best friend. I came because I needed to be near her. I needed the support. I needed community. And I stayed longer than usual because I need the time to heal, to try some new things, to focus on wellness.
For a month now, I’ve been taking vitamins and probiotics. I’ve been kick boxing or working out almost daily. I’m at the library every week picking up stacks of new reading material, which I read cozied up in front of our fireplace on cold nights or sitting in the warm sunroom during the day.
I’ve been re-evaluated by a Psychiatrist and, inspired by this, I’ve gone back on a very low dose of anti-depressants. Since week one, I’ve stopped worrying myself half to death about work and finances and I’m bouncing back much quicker from small setbacks.
I’m making new friends, too, and going out a lot, to literary readings and storytelling events and Southwestern restaurants and cozy coffee shops for long philosophical talks. The community here has already astounded me with their artistic inclinations and mindful lives.
And, significantly, I’ve been working a lot less than usual.
This may be the biggest change and the most important.
For pretty much all of my 20s, I worked my butt off. I put in my 80-hour ad agency workweeks. Then I started a freelance business. Then I started a second one. And then in the last couple years, I worked relentlessly to get the books off the ground, writing and publishing six guides in two years.
I was, not surprisingly, exhausted.
I don’t think I realized the extent of that exhaustion until this month, though. When my scheduled opened up and my workload halved itself.
I still finished my New York guide. I’ve still had things to do. But instead of long days and often working a bit on the weekends, I’ve been working mornings and taking the afternoons off. I’ve been letting things sit on the weekends while I went to events or on dates.
I’ve felt relaxed (which is quite the statement for a normally anxious person).
And so I am already starting to think of this year as a success, as a time of redemption, as a cause for optimism.
Perhaps the turning point is finally here.
How has your year been so far?