“Wanna go buy some sweaters and fill the void?”
That’s an actual conversation I used to have with a good friend and previous coworker. We had that conversation at the job where we both earned more money than we’d ever earned before. From the outside it all looked good. The boxes were being checked and we were doing what we were supposed to do – we’d achieved success, at least the traditional definition of it.
But there was still a void, and many days, we tried to fill it by buying sweaters, or something else.
It’s been close to a decade since those sweater days, and especially after the past 2 years, I’m having more and more conversations with folks who are realizing a void in their own lives.
Everyone has their own version of buying sweaters. Maybe yours is shoes (I liked those, too!), tools, classes, over-working or never sitting still. Whatever yours is, it’s OK. My sweater buying was OK – I was doing the best I could with the tools and information I had. Give yourself some grace and be extra kind to yourself if you’re seeing yourself in these words right now.
Then start thinking about what you want to gradually add into your life.
Do you find yourself becoming more socially aware? Maybe you can volunteer with a local political campaign.
Do you worry about the environment? Consider composting at home.
Is your heart broken by the genocide happening around the world? Find a cause to which you can donate time or money.
Not sure where to start? Try the Wheel of Life tool to look at 8 different life areas and consider how you’d rate each one.
Give yourself credit for noticing that there even is a void. Although my friend and I jokingly used the word, I didn’t really have a deep connection to the fact that something needed to change, so if you’re already there, bravo. You’ve got the awareness necessary to start to live differently.