My life sucked because of my Everyday Routine
I have a problem with Routine. Well I just do! But it took me 10 years to figure this out. I used to wake up everyday at the same hour, have a quick breakfast, go to work, have one hour for lunch, go back to work, have a snack, go back to work and finally drag myself home, feeling absolutely tired, eat more than I should to try to brighten my miserable day and then feel bad after eating so much. I would, afterwards, treat myself to an episode of “Jess and the Boys”, or a cheesy romantic comedy, and that would be the high point of my day. Doesn’t sound very good right? But I thought that it was just something that I had to endure because that’s what being a grown-up meant. But I was wrong, I just didn’t know any other way!
Until the day I decided to create my Personalized Routine
In 2017 I decided that it was time for a change. So I gained courage and started something new. And what was my first move? Quitting my everyday job. I thought I was just miserable because I hadn’t found the perfect job yet. However, I was miserable because I was forced to a Routine that didn’t fit my personality. And how did I find this one out? In the past 10 years I worked as an Architect in 2 Architecture offices (one in New York and the other one in Lisbon), one Engineering Office and one Construction company (both located in Luanda). I decided to analyse the following aspects in each one:
- My Duties
- Working hours
- Job Location
I had had totally different duties, from intern-to-manager-to-designer and different salaries, all around the world. The only item that these jobs had in common was the working hours. Even though these also differed slightly, there was a key point: they all obligated me to have a Routine that I didn’t want to have. Of course I also disliked being bossed around, not being able to make some points with my ideas and not having my worked valued as I thought it should be valued. But the worst problem was, indeed, the everyday go-to-work Routine.
Starting to Work by Myself = Deciding my Routine
So last March I left my job in Angola and started the renovation of A Wonderful Nest, a centenary limestone cottage that belonged to my Grandfather and is now a Romantic Getaway. Of course that one year ago I didn’t exactly know how this was going to work. I had done a business plan, a cost estimation for the works, contracted a contractor and was about to leave Luanda to start living in the Algarve, in a small village called Alcantarilha. Everything was about to change and I could only hope for the best. Of course I knew Alcantarilha. I used to come here every Summer to my Granpa’s House, close to A Wonderful Nest. But actually living in a small village was a first for me and, even though it was exactly what I was aiming for, I was a bit scared of such a big change. And I was right: the first month was ok, because it was exactly what I needed: living by myself, doing my own Routine, which meant managing the construction works with my own schedule. But then the works started taking up too much time and I started to crumble. If it wasn’t for my family’s and my friends’ help, I wouldn’t have been able to finish the task I setted up for. But with their support (both emotionally and actually helping me on site), I could complete the works on the house in only 4 months and my life started to make sense.
My Everyday No Routine
So now that the house was ready and I could finally put down the painting brush, (It’s not a joke, I actually painted most of the house, ufff!), I could start the fun part. This part involved managing the bookings, getting the house ready for the guests, organizing amenities, cleaning linens and towels, marketing and doing the finances. I started to wear all these hats and I still do, except now I have my boyfriend’s help, known as Mr. Wonderful, and we are already putting together our second Romantic Getaway, this time called “A Cosy Nest”. Of course I do all the things that I did before: the waking up early, the meals and the job. Except now I decide the When and the How. So if I have to have lunch only at 4 pm. (because I have to get the house ready for the next guests), that’s ok! If I have to wait until midnight to check them in or wake up at 6.00 am to check them out, no problem! If I have to work non-stop because I have to get the house ready for new guests, while responding to inquiries and getting the construction works done at the new house, let’s do it! Because the other side of the coin is just as sweet as a caramel sugary popcorn (by the way, I feel like having some eheh). This other side includes having slow mornings, with long breakfasts, without rush. We get to take a walk at the beach, during the week, in the middle of the day, without feeling guilty. Because if we have to work 7 days without stopping, we also do! My point is, I have no forced schedules anymore. My days are always different, filled with the priorities I set for the day, taking into account both my professional and my personal life. I live my days in a slow living mode, savouring every itty bit of it.
My Slow Living Routine is Having No Routine, and I feel, finally, free.
PS: Of course this only applies to a life without kids. With kids, I believe I’ll have to find a different recipe! But with personalized schedules too, of course 🙂