It doesn’t feel that long ago (actually, just last week) that I would have done anything or almost anything to be promoted. To get that new title and to be that high powered (or whatever the word is these days) person at the office. The compliments from colleagues seemed to justify all the hard work, the hours I put in, the weekends when laundry didn’t get done, the house was a mess and dinner was just something I sometimes thought about. Lucky for me H is a very understanding person and pretty self-sufficient so most nights he would just figure out what to eat and he never said anything about the dust bunnies all over the house or the kitchen floor that didn’t get cleaned. He understood that career was probably more important than anything else for me.
I have been on a staycation for the past couple of days. Monday I checked email a few times and spent most of the day cleaning and organizing my closet. On Tuesday, I will be honest….. I did absolutely nothing but watch YouTube and Netflix…… New show I’m completely addicted to……. “Designated Survivor”….. Go check it out and let me know what you think. Yesterday, Wednesday, I spent most of the day creating a comfortable home. I went grocery shopping, Target, Joanne’s and I bought all things Fall. I set up flowers at my kitchen table, I mopped the kitchen floor, I put a few pictures in frames and placed them around the house and I decorated the front hallway and got it ready for trick-or-treaters. I even baked halloween cupcakes for my husband and made sweet and sour shrimp for dinner. Yesterday was an amazing day. I could not have been happier. It was as if I had found what I was truly meant to be doing. This is not a new feeling. I have felt the the same other times when I have stayed home for an extended period of time. However, somehow, as familiar as yesterday felt to me there was an element of newness.
As it’s always the norm when I’m on vacation/staycation I check my work email a few times a day. At some point yesterday, after my shopping and happy homemaker bliss, I opened up my work email and was faced with an email that in the past would have made me angry. I’m not going to deny that I felt a bit of disappointment, but this time it was different. It’s as if the earth shifted. I started to respond but immediately deleted it. “It’s not important anymore” I said to myself. It’s like I no longer care about being outwardly recognized. It doesn’t matter to me if I have 2 direct reports or 6 direct reports. In the span of one day my priorities completely shifted. As I was deleting my response to the email a little voice inside me quietly said; “you have bigger things to do with your time.” I have heard that little voice speak on other occasions but the difference is that this time I believed it and didn’t attempt to keep it quiet. I DO have much more important things to do. Somehow, this week, work became secondary or even last to everything else. The career I have worked so hard for has somehow become unimportant and only a means to an end. Work is no longer a priority in my life!
So what did that voice mean when it said I have bigger things to do with my life? In 2018, I set two goals for myself (among others) One was to start a non-profit to help girls overcome obstacles. To help girls understand that losing a battle does not mean that the whole war is lost and that everyone, with a little bit or a lot of work, can pull themselves out of a bad situation; to teach girls that everyone has someone who will extend a hand; that sometimes things look really dark but that’s just before the “sun comes up.” The other goals was to be a better wife, friend, sister and neighbor. I am not saying that I was bad at any of these things but I wanted to give more and be more in those areas. I didn’t realize either of these goals because I kept telling myself that I was so busy. However, something clicked this week. As I sat in my kitchen writing my to do list I realized that I have just a few short months this year and if I’m going to make a dent in those goals I need to figure out what I need to let go of in order to make room for what is important. I think this thought empowered the little voice because it spoke up again “work is no longer serving the same purpose it did before.”
I still need my job and I still want to be good at my job. That has not changed at all. It’s the rat-race that I’m ready to give up. Now, don’t assume that I’m saying that that this is how everyone should be feeling. We are all at different places in our lives and some of us will continue to push through and get those promotions and make it to the big window office in the corner. I’m just saying that this week my priorities have shifted and I am no longer willing to do what it takes to get to that place because to me that place is no longer a goal. It’s as if this week while I wasn’t looking two roads appeared before me and I decided to go in a different direction. I’m excited for all the possibilities. I’m excited to see where it takes me and those around me.