It’s always great to get motivation and validation for something I’m currently working on already. I’ve been calling it my “Ten Pillar” system of approaching life holistically (creative work, other work, pet care, home improvement, relationships/social life, healthy eating/culinary exploration, exercise/well being, spiritual growth/time in nature, other miscellaneous self-improvement (finances, learning to sew, painting my toenails), filling the well (anything fun or inspirational, including reading, films, and quality sleep). This summer has been challenging, due to moving and dealing with the illness and loss of a sick pet. I live in a third world country, which also presents its own hardships, but I try to keep veering back to those pillars.
Living in Mexico, I get a different perspective on productivity and the workday. While sometimes it’s maddening to experience the slowness of Latin American culture (and not always productive for locals either), there are times when I can learn from their more balanced approach to work and family life. When Mexicans take time off, they really enjoy it and immerse themselves in it!
Also, working from home and living so far from family, friends, and American culture, I can structure my days however I like. The low cost of living here has been the biggest boon of expat life, as it has allowed me to forgo commuting and regain both time and energy. Will I stay here forever? Probably not, but living abroad has been a great way to effect major changes in my life, especially to the architecture of my days and the amount of focus I can give to various projects. Six-hour workdays (and then four) were the next goal on my radar — thanks for the boost!