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Pursuit of it All

Downshifting In Order To Upshift Your Life

A word of warning: I’m about to wax poetic about life choices.

I don’t know exactly when I transitioned from normal working woman to stupid-busy-over-achieving-can’t-say-no working woman but somehow, somewhere it happened.

My mind was always on. My to-do list was always full and there never—and I do mean never—seemed to be an end in sight.

At one point I was working 50+ hours a week, sitting on a board, taking part in two committees, and running two kids around to soccer, archery, and tutoring.

I had daydreams of one day relaxing and spending time reading, writing, binging on Netflix shows, hanging out with friends and becoming more physically active.

I figured it would happen when I retired.


Then, abruptly, my husband’s health failed and we had to pull back on everything. Volunteering was a thing of the past. Committees went by the wayside. I even changed my job.

It was a total life redirection.

Suddenly, I had an abnormal amount of free time on my hands.

But the funny thing is, I found myself unsettled. Having more free time made me feel incredibly…uncomfortable.

Have you ever sat your own self down and tried to convince her that it’s okay to not be manic? Well, I have. I had a little heart to heart with myself about my right to downshift.

DOWNSHIFT. I love that term. Just like I now love my life.

I’m not alone, by the way. Downshifting is an entire movement.

The premise is simple:

Downshift wherever and whatever you can so you can “upshift” the overall quality of your life.

Research shows that in the last several years there has been a huge change in many people’s definition of success. Personal growth, an enjoyment of life, and feeling a real connection to family—as well as keeping a healthy balance between work and free time—have become more important than big commitments, big titles, and big incomes.

In short: slow down the pace of living in order to take back control of your life.

4 Things To Consider Before Downshifting: Slow down the pace of living in order to take back control of your life.

Sound appealing? Of course it does!

You don’t have to wait for a significant life event to occur in order to start your own journey.

4 Things To Consider Before Downshifting

1. Figure out the things that you value the most about your life.
These become the structure for the life you are trying to create and will help when determining what you want to change.

2. Identify the commitments you have (outside of work) that are most important to you.
Especially those that tie back into your most valued things.

3. Assess the way you use your time.
Your commute, your volunteer commitments, media usage, etc. — are they in keeping with your goals for self-care and wellness? What kind of changes can you make right now?

4. Assess how much time you regularly make for yourself.
Are you present in your own life? Make an adjustment to be sure you have enough time to be alone and fulfilled.

And then, you get to start the refreshing process of upshifting.

In case you’re wondering, I read a lot more now. I hang out with my girlfriends. I binge watch Supernatural on Netflix and my workout game is back.

I’ve definitely upshifted.

Blogger. Marketer. Deadline juggler. Flibbertigibbet. A fan of all things glitter and girly, Jen’s passions include gabbing with girlfriends, running marathons, sipping (okay, gulping) cocktails and waxing poetic about the tortured soul of Professor Snape. Rarely found without her nose in a book (or her iPhone), she acknowledges that her level of geekery might not be for everyone. Consider yourself warned. Her ultimate goal in life is to be a professional wanderer of the internet or Amy Poehler’s BFF. (Both totally accomplishable, of course.)

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