Small Life, Slow Life: Love What You Do, Take a Paycut, Photos & Links! (Whew!)

Hey, that’s me! Oh, and I have to say here – the opinions expressed in this blog are my own and are not affiliated with/endorsed by lululemon athletica. kthx!

How was your week? Mine was jam-packed; I can’t even believe it’s Friday already!

If I had it my way, I’d post in Small Life, Slow Life every day. I was in fact just discussing this with some work friends after a staff meeting yesterday. We were talking (over mimosas!) about how a very small part (like 5%) of us likes the idea of being a mom who doesn’t work, who goes to book clubs and afternoon tea with her friends, who walks her dog and pushes strollers while wearing head-to-toe lululemon. (The other 95% wants to travel the world and have adventures – and, oh yeah – do amazing work!)

Then I remembered – wait, I am in head-to-toe lululemon, and I’m having mimosas with girlfriends at 9:30am on a Thursday. I bet my future stay-at-home-mom-self would be wishing for these days above all else.

Oh! The point of the story. So I was saying to the girls, “Yeah, I want to be like the Pioneer Woman and just cook for my family and write blogs–” and all three girls said, “You DO write blogs!” And I said, “Oh yeah…hmm, but I want to write more!”

I want to be here like, all the time. I love sharing things with you.

The photo from above was taken by the very talented Cecily. To attract the kinds of people we want to work with, lululemon has created a #joblove photo album, and each of us got to write why we love our jobs. When it was my turn for the shoot, I knew right away what I wanted my board to say.

I love the moment when a guest thinks something won’t look right on her, that she has the wrong body or that a certain size will be too small, and then proceeding to blow her mind with how she actually looks. It’s a privilege. I had tons of body issues in the past and it’s very healing for me to help people feel good about their bodies.

That, coupled with an amazing staff, are huge reasons I like to spend my time at lululemon. It’s nice to have serious job love.

Okay, it’s Friday, so you know what it’s time for!

On the note of job love, my friend Angela posted an excellent Forbes article – “10 Reasons Why Some People Love What They Do.” I saw a lot of parallels and wished I could send this to my younger, I-hate-my-job self.

And by “love” I don’t mean that they never have a day when they’d rather be doing anything but their job, but rather that they experience a consistent contentment with what they do.  For the most part, these are the people that get up thinking about what’s going to happen at work that day, minus the impending sense of dread many of us have as we’re brushing our teeth.

What advice would you give your younger self? Or, if you’re in a current job-hate relationship, what advice would a wiser, older you impart? For me, I wish I could have said, “Take the pay cut, because the enthusiasm you’ll have at a job you’ll like will quickly earn you any money you may have lost.”

And that has been true. Since I took my paycut, I’ve attracted tons of other side projects that, in the end, have me earning even more than my previous desk job was making me. The best part? All this work is in line with who I actually am. I feel so lucky.

On a similar note, my best friend sent me an excellent CNN article about living happily with less. I absolutely loved this and it gave me plenty of good ideas.

For some, like Dunbar, whose previous work kept her spinning madly on the 50-to-70-hour workweek treadmill, it’s about purposefully changing careers in order to do something they love, despite the financial downgrade.

I’ve been through this and can promise that it’s worth it. I still budget every penny I bring home + find all kinds of ways to cut costs (I posted about this in Small Life, Slow Life: Fall Crazy-Passionate-Stalkerishly in Love with Your Money & Shrink Your Expenses). For sure, you need less than you think you need.

Getting a pay-as-you go phone has actually been tempting me recently. Do I really need this super fancy phone? Canceling the gym membership is a good idea – I never belonged to a gym in Japan and worked out in my kitchen instead. There’s also, you know, the great outdoors – I find any reason possible to get outside recently.

On the note of simplicity, Leo Babauta wrote a really great post this week about mindful simplicity & decluttering. This one really spoke to me.

If you’re feeling chaotic at work, you need to work even harder to make your home your sanctuary. At the end of the day, you need somewhere you can go to breathe and be yourself. You can’t do that in a place that looks like a tornado has just blown through it. (I would have told my younger self to clean her room too!)

I love how Leo treats cleaning as an act of mindfulness rather than a chore.

As I wipe the counter, I notice the crumbs and dried spilled liquid. I feel the rag going over the bumpy surface of the counter, and gradually feel the surface smoothing out. I feel the tension in my shoulders and jaw, and relax them. I become aware of my breath as it comes in and goes out. I rinse the rag out carefully, cleaning it and watching the dirty water run down the drain.

This is practice for a mindful life. It is also life, already, not practice but the actual event. Wiping things down, mindfully, is just as full of wonder as any other moment in my life.

And lastly, lululemon has a great page on their blog with tips from goal coach Jenna.  There’s a great question and answer format here to steer you in the right direction if you’re feeling uninspired! I am a very driven person and have always been into goal-setting, but lulus take it to a whole new level – what people accomplish there is pretty incredible. The bottom of this article contains the PDF worksheet all lululemon employees use to set their goals. I highly recommend filling it out!

I’ll leave you with a few photos to keep you inspired on this lovely Friday:

I love swimming and have been doing it every free chance I get lately, so I’ve been really attracted to water images.

Beautiful.

Have an amazing weekend!

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