Coworker #1: Hey, how’s it going?
Coworker #2: Oh, you know, living the dream!
Coworker #1: Haha, yeah, me too.
…Then either the conversation ends and they both go back to work (i.e. procrastinating on what they are supposed to be doing) or it launches into a rant about whatever the drama of the day is.
Admit it, you’ve uttered the phrase “Living the dream!” at least once in your life.
It’s ok, I’m guilty too. It’s a much easier and socially acceptable thing to say than ‘I’m having a really crappy day’ or ‘I’m really questioning what I am doing with my life.’
Everyone knows you’re being sarcastic, so you can elicit a chuckle or at least a smile and empathetic head nod from the other person.
I’m pretty sure YOUR dream isn’t:
- being expected to answer emails on nights and weekends
- getting vacation shamed when you actually use your few precious days of PAID time off
- sad desk lunches when you’re under pressure to meet a deadline, only to have your work ripped apart and have to re-do it.
Yep, been there, done that. #livingthedream!
What is YOUR dream? Why aren’t you living out that dream? What’s holding you back?
Regardless of your answer <ahem, EXCUSE>, it likely involves making a change, possibly a drastic one.
Change is scary, no one likes it. It’s way easier to stick to what is comfortable, even if you don’t like it, over doing the hard work to make a change to get something you want.
Our brains are wired from our caveman days to avoid feelings of fear to keep us safe. Change comes with a whole lot of unknown factors that cause questions and concerns…and therefore fears.
So we stay put, stay complacent, and don’t rock the boat. It’s safe to think about making change, but not actually make the change.
But if you really want something, those thoughts will continue to fester. If you don’t do anything about them, then they turn to regrets and ‘what ifs’ later in life.
Life is short, WAY too short. Don’t find yourself with some of the biggest regrets in life like these:
I wish I…
didn’t spend so much time working and spent more time with family and friends
traveled more, especially with family and friends
went after my ‘dream job’ and not stuck with the ‘practical’ and ‘safe’ job
listened to my gut more often
hadn’t taken life so seriously
Does your dream involve traveling more, possibly by taking a sabbatical?
Awesome, then you’re in the right place! If you’re intrigued, but want more information, you can read my guide to helping you evaluate if traveling long-term is right for you.
I can help you ‘carpe diem’ by guiding you from a place of fear and being stuck in a rut to getting you on that plane to your dream sabbatical.
I understand firsthand the rollercoaster of emotions you are feeling because I went through them as I prepared for my yearlong sabbatical with my husband to travel around the world. I can tell you with certainty that it’s the best decision we ever made.
But let me guess, one of your biggest, if not THE biggest, worry is:
What will happen with my job?
You may assume that taking a sabbatical to travel requires quitting your job and finding a new one when you return. While that is an option, and a good fit if you were looking to make a job or city transition anyway, but that’s not the only way.
If you are risk averse and/or in a conservative industry, then quitting likely won’t appeal to you. You have spent years, or decades, building up a career that you take pride in.
This is where a lot of people get stuck – they don’t want to quit their jobs, so they stay put there “living the dream.” They don’t take literally 10 minutes to see what other options are possible for them…
My challenge to you is to investigate what benefits your employer offers. You may be surprised what is hidden on your internal HR website or employee handbook that could make taking a sabbatical a reality.
I’ve created a cheatsheet with 4 specific programs to look for that you may be able to take advantage of. PLUS, it includes guidance around which of these programs are the best fit for you depending on how long you’re thinking of traveling for.
Stop living THE dream and start living YOUR dream!