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Has anyone made big changes towards a more wholesome and simple life? I'm overwhelmed by job, city, etc...
April 17, 2007
2:23 am
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My job should not be a hard one. It doesn't sound like a high pressure profession, yet the central management understaffs us and loads on the pressure with high expectations. I find most of my "free" time is spent working. I'm very angry all the time. Yet I do it, because I want to give good service to people in need.

Sometimes I just wish I could go back to living paycheck to paycheck. The reason I actually went back to school was because I had some problems with my feet from one of my last jobs. So I can't just quit where I'm at and get a waitressing job or something. I am not a mother, I do not need tons of money, but now I am locked into this life in this big expensive city. Mind you, I don't make much for this place, but to make less now would be hard.

Sometimes I wonder what it would be like to move to a small town and live differently. But then I would have to learn to drive again! I know that sounds stupid, but I feel trapped in the city. It's a love hate thing though. I feel I'd miss it.

But I don't really have friends here, so I feel alone all the time.

There are some simple things I want out of life that just keep getting lost in the daily race and I'm so upset about letting this happen.

Please tell me your stories.

-ella

April 17, 2007
8:40 am
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risingfromtheashes
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ella,

I grew up in a small new england town...it was so "suffocating" and when I was younger, I itched to get out.

I got out...but wanted to go back.

I did...it seemed like the right thing to do.

But the cost of living was so expensive, and any good paying jobs were a long drive away.

THE ONLY payoff was living near my family, and my one best friend and the good school.

The catch was that I was the "working poor" of the town, and I made too much money to get assistance of any kind, and too little money to really make things work good enough.

So, over the summer I visited a friend who lived in an upstate new york, and the town was EVEN smaller than the one I currently lived in. The economy sucks and the living conditions weren't all that wonderful....but it was a simple, easy life. And it was WAY cheap to live here. And the scenery was spectacular. It is a WAY different life here....so slow and laid back.

I prayed to my higher power to give me a sign...I got it...and then said "well, if I am meant to be here, I'll find a job"...well, I did, the next day. Then I said "well, if I am meant to be here, I gotta find housing..."...I did, a few days later. The last hitch was convincing my daughter to leave all she knew...she said that if she went to school with her friend up here, she would move...DONE!

So, here I am, six months later, and soooooo thankful I did.

I LOVE LOVE LOVE my job...tho it wasn't the one I first got accepted at....but things happen for a reason and I am in a WONDERFUL job....I love my home...and in two years will have my finances COMPLETELY paid off, and plan to buy or build my own home.

I NEVER thought I would see THAT day.

I didn't live in a "city" per se...but it was more "ritzy" than where I am now...and it was more fast paced (tho not city life).

But I wouldn't change it for the world.

go with your gut...and relearning to drive is no problem...it can be done.

weigh the pros and cons...listen to your heart...pray if you believe in that sort of thing...and trust that things happen for a reason.

April 17, 2007
9:50 am
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Matteo
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Hi ~ I am a city dweller all my life. I was born in a medium size city, I would say, and moved to a bigger one with my parents as a child. Then moved again to a small town, really small, and I loved it. Had to move again to a very large, humongous, city for several years. I didn't drive either. This city was huge and very expensive, I had to commute forever, and people there are very nervous about making more and more money. Despite of the fact that he majority will never achieve their dreams there because it's just too expensive. My friend told me once, if you want a quality of life, you have to move away from here. So I did.

I wanted to move to a big city again, just smaller. Instead, I ended up in suburbs of that city, which is also a small town, and I love it here. It is (much!) more relaxed here, people tend to know each other, the air is cleaner, so are the streets, there is no noise, either. I have 10-15 minutes to the big city with everything what it has to offer. I really wouldn't want to move, and the last thing I would want is to live in that huge city ever again.

I think another plus here is that people get more personal, more approachable, tend to settle at least for a while more often, and after some time they will get to know you and you kind of "grow into" the community, you slowly become a part of it, no matter if you like it or not. I do.

I read a book a long time ago about a small village. Basically the point of that book was that you can find everything and all kinds of people in a small town, just like you would in a huge city, only on a smaller scale. People are similar everywhere, they have the same needs, desires and problems, no matter where they live, and you can observe it if you look carefully enough. So the big hype about life in big cities being more interesting, is highly exaggerated. Your life might be as interesting in a small town; it is up to you to make it interesting and fulfilling. Just as somebody else cannot make you happy and you have to be happy with yourself to be happy with that person - your life will be better just because you live in a big city. You might want to give up an opera, a theater, museums and bunch of other attractions while gaining some peace of mind.

April 17, 2007
9:53 am
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Matteo
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correction: your life will not be better just because you live in a big city

April 17, 2007
11:16 am
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balancesekr
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hey ella, it is good to see you posting again!

I have made the exact steps you are asking about. I used to live in a city and I just was not happy. I felt alot of pressure to succeed and felt very upset about how much my rent was, I felt like I was going nowhere! Plus there is so much competition in the city, it is very fast paced and easy to lose sight of yourself.

I moved out! I lived close to the city and still worked there, commuted in. The stress level was a little better but I was in the last relationship which started me posting on this site. Again my rent was pretty high, I felt like I had nobody around me so I moved again further into suburbia and that is where I am now. My life is definitely less stressful, I went back to school and got my bachelor degree finally and at first I felt like a failure coming back to surburbia and going to a regular school, with regular folks, I almost looked down upon the people there cause they just lived a slower paced life.

But I know now that I made the right choice. Sure I miss the city and the fast pace sometimes, but out here I am able to slow down a bit and get to know myself again. This all happened over the course of 5 years. I moved out of the city in 2002 and I knew when I did it that I had a long road ahead of me to get my life the way I wanted it. I looked out at all the BIG building and knew I needed to do something. I hope this helps you out!
b

April 17, 2007
11:31 am
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I am overwhelmed everyday of my life.

I moved here from another country not knowing a single word in English. I left all my childhood friends behind for better oppertunities here in the USA. I have lived here for a total of 8 years.

I'm not even that old and yet I feel so burnt out already. Too many responsiblities for someone my age. With all the stuff that happened to me in the past 6 months I am amazed that I haven't broken down already.

The city I currently live in, is basically a bubble. It's one of the safest cities in United States. Yet when I drive out of this city I feel like I have no experience what so ever. It feels like everyone else lives so differently. Even people's driving habbits differ here.

Going back to the whole picture, sometimes I yearn to go back "home" I feel like I don't belong here. Having moral and cultural values from "home" and needing to adapt to moral and cultural values here is not so easy. There are somethings I don't want to accept and yet I need to tolerate because, well I am living here and I have to adapt.

I am a full time student, I work 25-30 hours a week and I feel obligated to spend enough time with the family and friends. On top of that I have other activities that I have picked up in the past few months that I don't want to give up on. For example I have started exercising dramatically and now I don't want to stop. I wish a day was 36 hours not 24 lol.

Anyways, all I can say is don't give up. There is always something that you will hope to get. It's just human to want something.

April 17, 2007
12:01 pm
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gracenotes
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Ella,

I don't think it is so much where you live, but maybe your life circumstances. You are stuck in a job that is taking all your time. Do you really have any days off from this? You probably do not have time for friendship, socializing, recreation, exercising, maybe going to a church for some spiritual renewal. One cannot work seven days a week. Every culture but our culture honors the concept of sabbath, time away, even if for several hours, from all our constant demands. It is going to be a dead end working all the time to the exclusion of others things.

I am so excited about the fact that I am going back to school this fall to study what is truly my passion. Then I will be doing one thing and I will have my focus.

But right now, I am so overwhelmed. I started this week knowing I not only had to go back to work from spring break at the schools I work at, but I had classes at school, plus all kinds of projects for my creative endeavors, and, on top of that, this was my week to do Federal Jury Duty, nothing one can get out of easily. I spent a lot of my vacation either visiting family (that was a lot of work) and/or trying to catch up on everything I was somewhat behind on.

So, I crashed this week into sickness. I not only have bronchitis, I have a cold, and the doctor thinks I have the flu too. My body is saying enough, enough, enough. Thank goodness for this sick day today. I am going to relax and make no demands on myself. I even received a message that I was not needed the rest of the week for jury duty. Thank goodness, because sickness is not even really an excuse there.

But, I think, Ella, not having a social support system is the most stressful of all. My closest friend was away much over my spring vacation and I spent too much time at home on work details and being judgmental of myself.

We all need to rest, to relax, to be around people, even for fun, do nothing, social activities, and connect with spirit if you are so inclined.

April 17, 2007
10:51 pm
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Thank you all so much for your responses. I really needed to read them. I will reply to each one separately, but it will take me a while... please continue to read the thread if you see it bumped up b/c I want to write back to you.

Right now, I can't comprehend leaving but I fantasize about it. I am about to start a major renovation on my apartment, but even if I decide to leave eventually this will help because it will increase the value of my home. I'm hoping it will not stress me out too too much, but it's not exactly a joy either. So I am paying a lot of money for these guys to do it all top to bottom. I just have to pick out the stuff I like. This will be the first time I spend money I don't have, but will be able to pay off pretty fast. It will give me a house that's easier to clean for one, so that makes it helpful in the end.

Maybe there is a happy medium. Maybe I don't have to leave I can simplify right here?

-ella

April 18, 2007
6:55 am
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bonni
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Ella,
I've only read your posts, I'll try to come back and read the others.

In the meantime, I've tried this and what has helped is babysteps. One good place to start is leaving work earlier and controlling the time away from work spent on work. Work expands to fit the time you are there. Its unconscious. Spend a small amount of time rethinking how you approach what you are doing.

more later.

bonni

April 19, 2007
6:57 am
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bonni
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Another thing I started doing is making six pb&js and putting them in the freezer for my kids lunch for the week. That has improved our mornings. I still use Jif, but I use the healthiest bread I can find and a fruit spread instead of jelly.

diet is a great place to start. you have to eat and when you put healthy food inside you, you feel better.

bonni

April 20, 2007
8:15 pm
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nellybelly
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I too am feeling extremely overwhelmed with life in general. I do not live in a big city, but work demands are still great. I feel like I give the best of myself to my boss and my family gets whats left and it isn't fair. We are in the process of selling our home and planning to move to a much smaller town out of state. I have decided that I would rather be a good mom and spend more time with my family than to "have it all, but no time to enjoy it". It will be an adjustment with sacrifices, but in the end I want my family to remember that I was there for them when they needed me and not at work. Good luck with whatever you decide.

April 23, 2007
1:22 am
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Antagonist-

You are very brave. I have wanted to move to Italy for a long time. But I don't speak Italian. I wish I could just run away to there, but I am too afraid. I have medical problems, etc. my life is too complicated to pick up and run- but who's isn't?

Where I work, a lot of people come from another country. But they are coming to a place that serves their needs and are surrounded by others from the same place. Still, I marvel at their courage. The children are amazing at their abilities to adapt and acquire language skills over a short period.

Anyway, I feel as you do- I wish there were more hours in the day! One thing I really miss is spending a lot of time exercising. Especially meditative stretching after my workouts. It is a natural antidepressant. Enjoy your time exercising. I am trying to change my life to get back on a regular schedule that incorporates it more- I feel I deserve that much.

-ella

April 23, 2007
1:30 am
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Matteo-

"People are similar everywhere, they have the same needs, desires and problems, no matter where they live, and you can observe it if you look carefully enough. So the big hype about life in big cities being more interesting, is highly exaggerated. Your life might be as interesting in a small town; it is up to you to make it interesting and fulfilling."

Yes, and as was quoted above "Wherever you go, there you are." That's what makes me want to try something else, BEFORE I pick up and go. It's hard to undo. I would have to give up my job.

Small towns must be underrated. The city is great, but it's not for everyone and it doesn't mean your life will be great just because you're in it. If I knew one well enough, and there was a job for me, I would consider a move. No way would I go back to where I came from though.

-ella

April 23, 2007
1:34 am
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risingfromtheashes-

Your story was inspirational to read. It would be nice to find a life in a place I was happy with like you did. I just want to be sure it's not all me before I leave.

-ella

April 23, 2007
1:38 am
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Balanceskr-

How are you??? It's been a while. Nice to hear from you.

My commute now is long and I don't even leave the city! It's 1 hour and 20 minutes and that's more than I want to travel. I don't want to move to the neighborhood I work it for privacy's sake, and I do have a nice apartment.

Who knows, time changes everything. But I'm getting antsy. Sometimes I'm on the train and I feel like screaming.

=ella

April 23, 2007
1:48 am
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gracenotes-

You are probably right about work being a large part of the problem. But I think in a way it's symtomatic. I don't think if I had a life I was happy with, I would ALLOW my job to take over. Granted, it's unavoidable in a way - in order to do it right I have to overwork. But I need to learn how to say "no" and do a job that isn't as great. I feel my job relies on us to feel guilty because we serve children. They exploit us a bit.

The lack of support thing is killing me inside. It makes me angry that no one finds me worthwhile. As busy as I am, I could always find the time for someone if they were in my life- and if they needed me I would be there. What is so wrong with me that life is overlooking me so that I don't have a single significant friendship? Everyone in my life is self absorbed.

-ella

April 23, 2007
1:52 am
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bonni-

Hi. Yes. Babysteps. I guess I'm impatient!

I try to eat healthy. I am vegetarian and eat a lot of veggies anyway, and sort of know how to eat. Not as healthy as I wish, but healthier than most people that is for sure.

-ella

April 23, 2007
1:56 am
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nellybelly-

Jobs will think nothing of taking time from you and your family. Administrations think of us as automatons.

Sometimes I think I don't even spend enough time with my dog. What if I had kids? I think I would find a new job or just rebel and cut corners in a major way. I'm going to have to learn how to do that anyway. Maybe you and I need to learn the same thing about how to cut back on work.

-ella

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