Finally Taking That First Hard StepApr 12, 2022
A couple of weeks ago, I published a blog post centered around the topic of getting back into the swing of things after "life happens." I'd been in a place where I had a great balance with all of my roles and was even walking every day. And then life happened. I was hit with two very stressful events - one good and one not good.
Once it all settled a bit, I got sick and was down and out for a good week. One evening, when I was starting to feel better, I hopped onto a blog coaching call which happened to be about time management. This was not something I felt I needed help with, but I wanted to get back into the swing of things with my blogging community.
However, within seconds after I entered the call, the coach said, "Remember when you say "yes" to something that is NOT a priority, you are saying "no" to something that is."
My world was rocked.
One of the roles that I had been continuing to balance was my role/career as a behavior analyst working with kids and families affected by autism. This has been a career that I have absolutely loved and a community that I've been proud to be a part of. I helped build the company from the ground up and the owner is not only my boss, but one of my best friends.
But, I have been ready to let this role go for a while now. And haven't been sure quite how to go about it. Most specifically, how to broach the topic with Michelle, the owner. My friend.
Rebekah's words though...saying "yes" to something that isn't a priority means saying "no" to something that is - they really hit me. And, I knew that I needed to talk to Michelle. Soon.
I journal every morning and I added that statement to my journaling routine. But, I visualized it and personalized it. For example, I might write: "when I say 'yes' to working with one of my work kids, I am saying 'no" to seeing my grandchildren." Or, "when I say 'yes' to doing a supervision for work, I am saying 'no' to my Life Balance After 50 community."
I told Michelle that I needed to chat with her about work and life and we made a date to do it.
I was so nervous and yet, so excited at the same time.
The Day Of "The Chat"
Michelle texted me that morning to let me know that the plan was on but that she was keeping an eye on the weather - we were supposed to get some weird storms that evening. I texted back and asked that if we couldn't meet in person, that we meet via Facetime or Zoom. I did not want to put this off any longer.
Later that day, we ended up losing power which causes us to lose internet. I was on Facetime with my husband for a couple of hours trying to see if I could hook up our generator.
I could not. I was so nervous that this chat wouldn't take place.
She Wasn't Surprised
As I do with many things in my life and in my world, I built it up in my head to be this huge big deal. That it didn't turn out to be.
We had touched on this subject last year in the middle of the pandemic. So, she wasn't surprised at all.
The whole work part of the conversation was anticlimactic. We talked about how we saw my "fading" unfold and we both were on the same page.
We Spent Most of the Conversation Catching Up as Friends!
Which we hadn't done in so long! The work part took about a quarter of the time. The rest was spent catching up.
I hung up so happy that we'd had the chance to do that.
The Relief Combined with the Feeling of, "Oh my Gosh, What Have I Done?"
I did feel such a sense of relief that this was out in the open. I even reached out to my other "Leading Ladies" in the office to let them know that Michelle and I had had this conversation. (And, shocker! No one was surprised!)
And I cried. A good hard, ugly cry. Even though this was something that I wanted, needed, and had been ready for, I was also starting to say goodbye to something that had been a huge part of my life.
And, for a while, it had been a huge part of my identity.
Taking an Action Can Be So Scary
But also, so cathartic. Taking action is necessary. Action creates clarity.
I talk and write often about the "fear equation." The equation that forces us to overcome our universal fear of change. It is:
Dissatisfaction + Vision + First Concrete Steps is greater than our resistance (or our fear of change).
I'm able to go back throughout my blogging journey and see where I've applied this formula to push myself forward. And having this conversation with Michelle was another step in that progression.
More so for me and my place in this journey.
I slept so well the night that Michelle and I had our chat. I felt relieved. Free. Happy.
And proud. I did it!
And now I am working to try to establish my new normal. Continuing to put my family first but also making time each day to take care of me. Along with moving forward in my role of creating content and programs for my Life Balance After 50 women.
Women, like me, who are working to figure out what is next for them as they move forward on the Right Side of 50.