“To be happy at home is the ultimate result of all ambition.” – Samuel Johnson
This is one of my favorite quotes of all time. The first time I read it, in Sara Ban Breathach’s brilliant book, Simple Abundance, it blew my mind and made me re-think *everything.*
I have always been an ambitious person. I grew up with a single mom, and anything I have ever had in life, I worked for. But you know how sometimes you start out something with the right reasons and right motivation and then 9 years later you look back and say, “WHY am I doing this?” and you honestly cannot answer?
That was me. There was a point in my life when I was working and travelling so much that all my relationships were suffering – including my own relationship with myself.
I thought I was supposed to work hard and I had to travel for work so I accepted the idea, that “this is how it has to be.”
I started dreaming of having a simpler job, a shorter commute and I started wondering, if I was really happy at home.
I was single when all this pondering was taking place so I had a lot of time on my hands.
I realized that I really wanted to meet someone, have a serious relationship and get married someday. I also realized that it was unlikely to happen with the current set up of my life at that time.
When I really thought about being happy at home and realized all my current ambitions up to that point had been professional, I realized something needed to change.
So I changed my ambitions.
I decided it was my ambition to live differently. I decided I didn’t want to move any further up the corporate ladder. (Back then I was working at a law firm and over the course of almost a decade had worked my way up from Receptionist to Training Director.)
If being happy at home was the ultimate reason I was doing everything, I realized I better start figuring out what made me happy.
I read tons of books and tried new things. (Note to self – reading books and trying new things makes me happy.)
I did yoga. I took singing lessons. I travelled with girlfriends and had adventures.
I dreamt of a shorter commute and thought about moving. I really, really wanted a shorter commute and when you put something out in the universe, it has a way of coming to you in the oddest forms sometimes. Instead of changing locations, I changed jobs.
I travelled less (but to more interesting places).
I met a man. Then another one. (You didn’t think it was instant did you? Nothing worthwhile ever is.)
Eventually – a few tear-filled break-ups later, I met the man that we now know as The Hubs.
Now I smile every day when I come home.
We can talk for hours and when we go to sleep I tell him, “I can’t wait to see you again tomorrow.”
Along the way I have continued to ask myself, what makes me happy? How can I do more of that?
I changed jobs again (years later) and started a blog (hello!) and a coaching practice (with the coolest clients ever!)
And now I can honestly say that I am happy at home. And everything I do is fueled by the desire to remain that way.
Is there something simple you can do right now to be happier at home? Changing jobs and getting married were huge, but I didn’t start there. I started by just deciding, “I want to be happy at home.” And I made the appointment for the yoga class, and updated my resume, and when my friends asked me out, I said yes.
Big changes start with baby steps.
Will you take a baby step today? Will you share? Please post in the comments.