One thing that I find people failing at is their ability to take breaks (from life). It has been four months since I have posted in my blog and I’m here today to say that we all should take breaks from our routines. My last entry was just two weeks before I left my job as the Head of Product Development at my last company. I left without another job lined up. I left with savings and a supportive partner. I had reached a breaking point in my career where I found that I was giving more of myself to my job than to…myself. But, I can explain. I was in a very important position, I had a lot of responsibility, important projects that stole my nights, weekends and sadly, time from vacations. I had to put an end to the fight against myself, convincing the workaholic within me to take a break.
Luckily, my Love could see the struggle and convinced me to think of myself. He reminded me of my talent and how marketable I would be to any other company. So, I decided to take the leap. I was scared, nervous, you know, all the things we are when we’re outside of our comfort zone. But, I was ready. I was ready for change.
I gave my job a month’s notice to finish up any loose ends and transition my work as requested. It was a sad moment for me because I felt that my technology team was a part of my family. They too were sad to see me go. In that moment I thought to myself “I can see why people don’t leave their comfort zones because, well, it’s comfortable and it feels safe.” There are times in our life when we must pull the plug ourselves and make necessary changes. Taking breaks from our routines is imperative for reflection and growth. I took this time to reflect on where I was heading in life and within my career. What did I want. But, I also had to hold onto faith. Without faith, I would not have made it.
My last day was scary but refreshing – like that feeling when you graduated high school or college and you felt free. I walked out of those doors for the last time and I felt like I had won the lottery. I was taking a break from life and I could not have felt more at peace knowing that I was doing it for ME!
Two days after my last day, I had an interview with one of the most well-known companies in the country (I won’t disclose for privacy). I left the 4-hour interview with a verbal offer. I told my new employer that I needed a few weeks before I started my new position.
My point to this is – I took a leap of faith and that faith took care of me in the end. I followed my heart and gut; they steered me in the right direction. I got what I wanted and needed by transitioning my career to a role where I could grow professionally with a month to myself. I was so used to checking emails, returning client inquiries about a launch and so much more during my days “off” that I hadn’t truly had time “off” in years. Being a workaholic, a learned a very valuable lesson; disconnecting from reality is not only needed, it’s a vital part of our personal growth. We should always take a pulse check on ourselves to ensure that we are mentally and emotionally healthy since we can so easily get lost. We should make sure that we are continuing down a path that is right for ourselves that aligns with what we want, not what someone else wants. If we don’t have a plan for ourselves, then someone else will plan it for us!
I find myself refreshed and renewed. I don’t take everything so seriously anymore because at the end of the day, it’s a job and it’s not mine! When I run my own company, that’ll be a different story. There are things about my life today that I no longer take for granted and I find the value in the things that matter.
I highly recommend always keeping yourself in check and taking time away from any mundane routines. Trust me, I love routine, but hitting the pause button allows you to return to routine with a more appreciative mindset. I have decided that I will plan for disconnects at least four times per year. Now, of course I don’t mean I ‘m going to quit my job four times a year! I mean, taking a trip, planning a staycation, taking a girls trip, whatever comes to mind that brings me joy and peace. I’m doing pretty well by holding this goal true to myself. My month off from work was in November and we just got back from a week vacation outside of the country. Each time I come home, I feel renewed and rewarded for allowing myself to remember the big picture of what life is all about. You have to book it or it won’t happen!
In my twenties, I drove myself to the ground, grinding to make something of myself. In my thirties, I plan on reaping the benefits of the foundation that I built. Work hard, but love harder! Love your life. Love the control you have over your life. Love every single minute of what you are given. I have never loved as I do today. Grateful and fulfilled with every moment. I reflect and feel so thankful.
Disconnect. Reflect. Love. Be thankful.
Until next time…