I’ve been eluding to the call to make some life changes on my feeds for a while and it’s time to just come out with it. I left my job. Not a complete quit, an indefinite leave of absence.
I returned to my full-time career in public service after each babe. It worked, for the most part. But this time, the fourth time, didn’t fit and I knew it immediately. But I kept at it because responsibility, livelihood, fixed income seemed like the “right” thing to do. But can I be honest? I was operating on fumes for months. I know…SO many people juggle full-time careers and family, and I did for years. But doing what works for your life NOW means silencing the comparison dialogue that runs in our minds and getting clear on what is right for YOU.
My heart has been telling me to take some things off the plate for a while now. To be more present for family and make what matters most a greater focus, in large part due to some heavy life circumstances – an ailing loved one and entering parenting territory we haven’t had to explore before which needs more of my attention.
I didn’t share how I was truly feeling all these months on the feeds because 1) having a job is a blessing (who wants to hear someone whine about that!?); 2) I don’t like to complain (I know we all have crap we don’t freely share and I don’t need to add to your plate), and 3) when I know I’m being called to change I go inward to gain a sense of awareness and not be persuaded by external influence.
I share this because I value you, my readers, who reach out via DM all the time asking me how I was juggling it all – a full-time career, freelance gigs, being a mom of 4, a demanding rep hockey schedule…The truth is I wasn’t always managing, at times a slow sinking. Stretched so far, I didn’t feel giving in any of my roles.
I began my work days at 7 a.m. from home (the craziest time to be unavailable to my family), ended just in time to dash to the school to beat the bell for pick up, rushed home to dinner panic, out the door for lessons…and exhaustion. Some thrive off constantly moving and doing from dusk til dawn. I am not one of those people. Without a bit of solitude and time to reflect I’m good to nobody, and my family had a front row seat to my downfall.
Then an internal change happened at work and the call that I would have to return to the office full time ensued. This probably should have caused me great stress, but in fact, it was a relief. Like the universe helped steer me in the right direction. This was my permission slip to release and adjust…because this arrangement just wouldn’t work for our family right now. A 3-hour commute on top of our already very demanding life…nope. So, after LOTS of deliberation, some stress tears and thinking every which angle about it, I’m temporarily stepping away. I don’t take for granted that I have this option. That when circumstances change, I still have a job I can return to. But, if I’m being honest, I feel I’ve outgrown my current career and feel pulled to pivot in a completely different direction. But this adjustment will give me time to figure out a new way, and most importantly have more space and time for things that matter most.
You can choose to stay in a state of frenzy and compromise your well being in the process, or you can put an end to hyperfunctioning and do what your heart and inner knowing knew all along was right…for YOU. It has a ripple effect on the whole family. It was time to take my hands off the frantic wheel and embrace a less demanding, more manageable pace. I preach about taking care of the mama soul all the time and it’s time I start listening to my own wisdom. In fact, its long overdue.
Here’s the thing, though…I like working. And I still want to. But there’s something different between doing work you HAVE to do and work you WANT to do. I also know being tied up for 8-hour chunks isn’t conducive to our family life right now.
At this stage in mamahood, I value my time much MUCH more. Investing in things that add value to me AND our family as a whole is my guide. So, I will continue to work, just in a more flexible capacity. Not on someone else’s clock, for now. And its kind of crazy when walking away from something that’s not working, new opportunities begin to creep in (stay tuned…).
I’m only a few weeks into this new routine. Way too premature to say I’m completely blissed out about it. Because change is scary. Even when you know its in everyone’s best interest. I’m still finding my groove. Admittedly a little lost some moments, but already feeling a whole lot calmer and lighter and that has to count for something.
I just finished reading “Finding Your Own North Star” by Martha Beck. It’s about tapping into your internal compass and aligning with things that compliment it. I highly recommend to any of you about to embark on change or if you’re smack dab in the middle of one. It’s one of the best books I’ve come across about the cycles of change and an amazing guide to move through each one.
I don’t have everything all planned out. If you’ve followed this blog for a while you’ll know I find over planning a bit of a joy kill. Going from full-time income to variable is a bit unnerving. But there’s always something beautiful about the unknown to me. So now I trade frantic and unfulfilled for a bit more flow (as much as this crazy life of ours will allow, anyhow), and so far, my soul has been thanking me. I don’t wake up and hop right on my laptop and begin my days in a jarring way. I have time to be fully present with the kids, and they’re loving this more chill mommy too. And I have more time for things that used to get pushed to the late hours of the night and weekends and have also started making some healthier lifestyle changes. Being able to work from home was in part a really good thing, but it was also socially isolating and being sedentary for a near 8 hours a day had me feeling so unhealthy.
Just a few weeks in, I will say big change isn’t a cake walk, and will require lots of lifestyle changes in our family to make it work, but in the words of an inspiring fempreneur Marie Forleo whose material keeps crossing my path, no matter what the circumstance “everything is figureoutable.” I trust that things will unfold as they should, and really, this just feels like the very best decision for our crew right now.
Have you made a big change recently? I’d love to hear your story.
Love & light,