Change is Hard
I’m going on week 2 of doing nothing – at least nothing work related. For those of you who know me, you know I struggle with not working.
There must be something off. Leslie not working? Leslie not continually thinking, “What’s next?” or “Okay, that sounds like a great idea – let’s do that, NOW!” I’ve always been the person to push myself.
There's a Pattern
After 8thgrade, I decided to transfer schools to experience something different. I left my best friends since pre-k and a school I knew inside and out. Why? I craved a challenge. In high school, I continually took classes that pushed me to my mental and emotional breaking point: Honors Chemistry, Honors Math, AP History, AP English, and more. Why? Because I had this desire to push myself. I knew these classes would be difficult. I knew there would be times where I would cry and wish I hadn’t signed up for them. But did that stop me? No. After college, my then boyfriend and now husband decided to move to Seoul, South Korea to teach English. Was I excited to live abroad and teach? Honestly, no. But, I did it anyway because it would be an experience of a lifetime. After living in Korea, I dabbled in different jobs and eventually decided to get my Master’s in Teaching, which led me to teaching 6thgrade at a Title I school. Teaching at a low-income school with hormonal pre-teens was one of the most difficult things I’ve done. I knew becoming a teacher would be difficult. I knew it would push me beyond my limits, but I did it anyway. Add two of my own kids to the mix, several bouts of pneumonia, and running a blog, I kept doing more and asking what’s next.
As of May, I was freshly done with teaching and working on my blog, and once again went full on go-go-go mode. The Monday after school ended I stuck to a strict work schedule. My goal: develop a meal plan subscription business. Are meal plan subscriptions my true passion? No. But it was an idea that blossomed out of discussions with other moms, and in usual Leslie mode, I thought, “Why not? I can do this.” I’ve always pushed myself before, so, this was my next project. You probably see a pattern – a need to push myself. A need for a project. And not an easy, go-lucky type of project. Rather, a “let’s start my own business and expect it to go as planned” type of project.
I had failed
Well, I quickly learned that my meal plan subscriptions were not going to work as I had planned. For the amount of time needed to create the weekly meal plans and the number of people signing up, it just wasn’t worth it. Plus, it didn’t feel like the right fit. Yes, I was able to cook. Yes, I was able to be at home. But the dots weren’t connecting in the way I wanted. After a few days of panic, I accepted my fate. I had rushed into something that wasn’t going to work. My usual need to go, go, go – ultimately – failed me.
After the panic, I felt feelings of disappointment, regret, and discouragement. I was sad. I was sad that my idea didn’t work. I was sad that I put the time into something I thought had a future and it failed. Or rather, I had failed. I was sad that I couldn’t push through the difficult times and eventually create a great product that everyone loved.
The time has come
Once reality set in, I decided I needed to stop. I needed to do nothing. I needed to reset. Honestly, I’ve been going full speed for years and needed a break. Ironically, I blog about the importance of balance and putting yourself first, and I was doing the exact opposite. I was still putting others first. I was still putting other peoples’ opinions before my own. I wasn’t taking the time to think, “Is this really what I want to do?”
So, here I am a few weeks after this realization and having done basically nothing (except watch Real Housewives on repeat, listen to Rachel Hollis’s RISE podcast, read The Happiness Project and go on long walks.) I’ve also spent many hours thinking. Thinking about my past, present and future. I’ve spent hours evaluating and analyzing why I’ve made the decisions I’ve made and how I can learn from these past mistakes and triumphs. Honestly, I’ve never taken the time to think about my actions and how to learn from them.
growth is slow
And I finally did. Do I feel better? Yes. A bit. I still feel lost. I’m still not sure where I’m going. But what I can say is that I’ve learned more about myself in the past two weeks than I have in the past two years. Ironically, people ask me if I’m thrilled to be done teaching. Honestly, no. I miss my coworkers dearly. I miss the structure. I miss the schedule. I miss feeling successful. I question my decision to quit on a daily basis. But, then my husband reminds me that teaching and being a mom of two young kids was literally killing me (that whole pneumonia thing), and then I’m slapped back to reality- a reality that’s a bit difficult to come to terms with.
My husband keeps saying that change is difficult, and success doesn’t happen overnight. I try and remind myself of these things, but in all honesty it’s hard. Really f*ing hard. Will I come out stronger when this phase of my life has passed? I sure hope so. But until then, I’ll just keep chugging along. I’ll just keep cooking, eating, having killer tickle-sessions with my kids and hoping that my future is bright.
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hi, I'm leslie
Whether it's through nutrition, mindfulness, spending more time with family, setting monthly goals, or just finding the things that make us happy in life (Real Housewives of New York anyone?!), working towards any semblance of balance is the ultimate goal. Join me as I go through a journey to find the best ways to go from Super Mom to the Do What Really Matters Mom.
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