“Maybe” is the answer to both of those questions. I’ll opine on the first and maybe your presence here answers the second.
So why am I back again – even after professing that I WAS back in August of 2020?
I made two resolutions for the new year that are both related to finding myself outside of work. I know I’m not alone in feeling like the move to remote work suddenly (and then slowly and irrevocably) changed the game. I spent a year trying to navigate all of that while still being seen as a high performer in a company filled to the brim with high performers. Then, after achieving a promotion, I spent the last year trying to figure out how to work as a director in a highly cross-functional role while coaching my team and meeting incredibly demanding project timelines (all while trying to be seen as a high performer).
And I burnt out… majorly. The result has helped me have more clarity about what I want, how I should measure success and what I’m willing to give to work. For example, I stopped working at night. Full stop. And I felt guilty and some things didn’t get done or didn’t get done exactly right. And then, nothing happened. The most important things rose to the top and the unimportant things fell away.
More importantly, I felt like myself again. I was able to step away from work, to give my brain time to shutdown and recapture the in between moments where I can process strategic and creative work. I was more rested and able to show up for my team, which makes them more effective and, hopefully, happier in their roles. And I felt like I had time again for something else. So I made two resolutions for this year.
- Get involved with something locally to create more ties to the community.
- Do something just for me
My initial reaction to number 2 was to take a watercolor class. COVID being what it is, that’s not in the cards for me yet. But I also felt the tug to come back here and then I found myself “writing” this blog post in the shower. (Is this not everyone’s creative process??) And so here I am.
Truth be told, part of what dimmed my passion is the pace of our renovations. It has slowed way down. Apparently renovating an 1,800-square-foot residence is much easier and faster than a 5,000-square-foot firehouse. So I have plenty of projects to share now, but at some point I may not – or they may be few and far between. So I’d like to see how it feels to just write again and maybe some themes will emerge (like travel) that I like and that keep you coming back. I guess we’ll answer the questions above together.
In the spirit of catching up, here are some questions that absolutely no one asked me but I thought I would answer anyways.
Q: Do you still live in the same house? Any plans to move?
A: Yes, we’re in the same house, and no, we have no plans to move… but we still look a real estate. You are probably not surprised. We definitely love to imagine our lives in different spaces, but we’ve become SO MUCH pickier about what we’d need to actually move. This house still ticks a lot of boxes and staying here would help us achieve a new priority: retiring early. So as someone who sold a “forever home” I’ll never say never. But I will say it would take a lot.
Q: Still no regrets over selling the firehouse?
A: Not one
Q: So you like California?
A: We love it. It felt like a big risk to come here and it has paid of in spades. We feel so lucky that we were here when the pandemic hit for so many reasons. High on that list is our ability to drive to so many beautiful places. We’ve been fortunate to still travel a fair amount, using the social distance of camping to fill that need.
Q: Do you still work at the place that burned you out?
A: I do. I’m not using their name because this isn’t really about that company. Also, it’s in the biotech industry, and there are lots of rules around disclaiming that my opinion doesn’t represent the company’s opinion… not that they likely have an opinion on my house renovations, but, you get it, it’s a whole thing.
So that’s an update on me. Per usual, Instagram is great place to engage if you want to follow along, but there’s a chance I’ll respond to comments here if you want to give me a shout.