One year ago today, I found out that my great part-time PR job at Starbucks was becoming full-time. It was the day we were leaving for a two-week vacation in Tahoe, which was supposed to be relaxing but instead I was preoccupied with this decision I had to make - if I wanted to ramp up to full-time or do something else. It was one of the hardest decisions I have ever had to make but ultimately I decided that flexibility and maintaining my work-life balance were my biggest priorities. Fortunately it was a decision I got to make... and it has been the right one for sure. The time with Sofia is flying by and I know I won’t get it back. Plus, I have a lot of other passions I want to explore, so it ended up being a blessing in disguise. (Thank you Starbucks!)
It was a big adjustment for me after working at a "job" my whole adult life. I have found that being a mom is the hardest and most fulfilling job I have ever had. It has been a "learning year" for sure. I have learned to have more patience, to be more flexible, to go with the flow, to have more faith, to breathe when I’m stressed, and to cherish this special time with Sofia.
I have been doing a ton of soul-searching as well as I navigate this transition. Today I’ve been reflecting on the last year. Here are some of the highlights:
· I launched this blog a month after leaving Starbucks as a creative outlet and a way to explore my passions. It’s brought me such joy to express myself in this way and to know that I’m inspiring others to explore what feeds their soul.
· I’ve met many amazing new friends and business contacts and reconnected with old ones, including a woman I worked for in high school who is now my first consulting client. My life has been greatly enriched by each of these relationships. After all, that’s what life’s all about, right?
· I wrote my own personal mission statement – and I’m living by it.
· I started studying color. Through a fortuitous connection made by branding guru Tim Girvin, I ended up taking an intensive four-day color/design workshop from the world’s leading color expert. It was an amazing experience, to say the least. A blog post is in the works about that experience.
· I’ve greatly benefited from the guidance of my career coach. Thank you Cindy!
· I made monthly dinners with my mom a priority.
· I walk as often as I can in the Washington Park Arboretum near our house. I call it my “free therapy.”
· I led the rebranding of Sofia’s preschool and chaired the school’s 20th reunion celebration.
· I started going to church again. It has provided a place of solace and guidance during this time of transition.
· I’ve had more bandwidth to be there for friends and family who are going through challenging times.
· I launched a product (Glove Box Greetings) and pitched it to a potential manufacturer. Stay tuned on that front.
· I’ve started my own business: Fleurish Partners, a boutique marketing and communications firm that helps specialty brands thrive. (More on that in the fall when I officially launch it.)
· I’ve spent a lot of quality time at my favorite “third place”: Volunteer Park Café.
· I’ve taken up an old hobby (calligraphy) and started a couple of new ones (photography and water coloring).
· I joined Twitter, Pinterest and StumbleUpon.
· I started planning my husband and my joint 40th birthday party for later this year.
Wow, it’s been a busy, wonderful year. It certainly hasn’t been a walk in the park (although I have had many of those) but I feel like I’ve learned so much about myself and life and that I’m living more fully. It takes a lot of energy to figure out what you want to do when you grow up. I can hardly wait to see how much I grow, learn and change in the coming year.
In the meantime, I’m unplugging and heading to Tahoe for two weeks of bliss and tranquility. I leave you with this wonderful quote a friend shared with me yesterday:
It’s a great reminder that life flows and we’re not really in control. I find that the more I go with the flow, the more I get out of life and things seem to fall into place just as they should.