The weather, wet and cold right now in northern California, is great for staying indoors, reading novels, deep introspection and calling in sick – which is what I did today. As the piled high mountain of used Kleenex mounted, and after reading a few chapters of a fantastic novel, I decided that what I most wanted to do with my sick day was to put some attention on my latest life mission: figuring out a way to do what I love, without killing myself (the alternate title for this post).
As anyone who owns a small business –and- has a family, partner and kids (or step-children, in my case) knows, sometimes that feels like Mission Impossible. Owning your own business seems so glamorous to the outside, and don’t get me wrong it does have its creative perks which is why I love it. But when you work from home, with no co-workers to swap stories with and cover for you, it’s easy to feel isolated, and to that, you not only have to run a business but a business and a home (because now you’re the one who can run that errand or wash that pot no one else had time to do), which for me, and my heavily afflicted Sixth House Mars in Aries, is dangerous. Like a crack head in a crack den dangerous. If you give my husband a to-do list he will work on what he wanted to work on until he was tired of working then spend the rest of the day watching sci-fi movies. Give me a to-do list, and at day’s end you will find me ready to collapse, because, like a good soldier I will cross off my list (and I’ll probably have added more to it) even as I have sacrificed pleasure, health, friendship, and eliminated all probable chances of ever experiencing joy again.
I grew up in a home where my dad worked really hard to provide for the family, my mother with occasional odd jobs, but it was never enough. They struggled, a lot. As a child, answering the bill collectors’ calls, I often felt like yet another financial burden to my family. However personal this feels to me, I think this is more than a karmic or family inheritance, but a cultural one. Who doesn’t feel like, as my husband said yesterday: the bath tub is filling up with water and the only way to prevent your self from drowning is to keep hustling as fast as you can, getting those buckets of water from inside to outside of the tub? Work is not as simple as showing up: we are asked to justify our salaries, and, sometimes it can feel like we are justifying our very existence with our paycheck and marketability. The work it takes to work can feel endless. Transiting Mercury retrograde is in my Sixth House of Health & Work, transiting retrograde Mars in Virgo in my Twelfth (those are the fly-sized transits; the beasts are Uranus/Pluto square my nodal axis). Certain things about how “the system” or status quo works and how I unconsciously self-sabotage are coming to light.
So today, I decided to make a whole new Self business plan, to get clear on what “I AM” about when it comes to the work-life balance. I felt a strong sense of returning to my Self when I wrote these out on generous pieces of newsprint (then I wondered if anyone else in the big Universe also feels like Mercury’s reversals of direction is helping them return to their Self). I decided to share what I came up with, with you, because a) the thought made me happy, which is apart of the new manifesto and 2) to hold myself accountable. I’ll keep doing that… until I find my “team of experts” who will, too.