Tuesday, March 17, 2015

One Year After Taking the "Leap"

A little over one year ago, I took a leap of faith.  I submitted my resignation at my position - working for the State for fifteen years - fourteen years in my role.  I fell in love with leading my couch to 5K programs over the past three years and wanted to do more of it.  I felt like it was my calling - and still do.  I didn't feel like I was destined to sit a desk all day every day.  I was getting burnt out on working 8-10 hour days at the office and then heading around town to coach and run for a couple of hours with clients every night.  I was trying to schedule EVERYTHING in when I didn't have my kids (having custody of them only half-time) and I was at my breaking point.  I was also going to be assistant managing a running store in town, which I already had a great relationship with.  

Shortly after I cleaned out my desk, I was having anxiety.  My regular paycheck was no longer automatically showing up in our bank account.  We were paying triple what we previously were paying for health insurance.  I was counting every penny.

I wasn't sleeping.  My husband wasn't either.  My wheels would turn at night and I couldn't shut my mind off.  

I felt like every free moment I had (non-free time as well) had to be spent building my business, working on my blog and obtaining new clients and venues for holding classes.  I felt like I had to act on every opportunity, or failure could be right around the corner.  Even after a night without sleeping, I was waking up before 5:00 AM to work in my home office.

I was working nights and weekends at the running store.  This was still done when I didn't have the kids.  So, I was hardly seeing my new husband.  We were newlyweds of five months at the time.  The evening and weekend hours were also effecting my coaching schedule and personal racing schedule.

The schedule did work around my schedule with my children.  So, I was able to keep them out of daycare.  I valued the time with them after school and on our weekends together.  That was the one positive change.

They say that dreams should scare you.  I absolutely agree with that.  But this wasn't worth it.  The current situation wasn't making me happy.  

I was able to find a half-time opportunity back with the State that offered me all of my full-time benefits.  My employer was able to work my work schedule around my kids schedule, and I could still pick them up from school.  I was coaching 3-8 times per week.  Life was good.  Overtime, we still struggled financially, as this was a drastic demotion in responsibility and financially, so I took on an extra day of work.

Almost one year after going "back to work", my business is still thriving.  But, most importantly my kids are enjoying all of their extra time with me.  Those couple of hours after school are an amazing opportunity to connect, catch up on the events of their day, serve healthy snacks, complete homework, run them to sports and activities, run errands, go on walks and bike rides, and workout with them at the gym.

I was recently able to accept a promotional opportunity at work that offers me the chance to work even less hours.  This opportunity is also challenging me and a great fit with my experience and interests.  I cried happy tears on my drive home the other day, because I am truly the happiest I have been in a long time.  

I am currently:
  • Working in the office 22 hours per week
  • Working my business and keeping up the house 2 1/2 days during the week
  • Coaching 2-6 times per week
  • Picking Little Diva and Little Dude up from school 2-3 days per week
  • Have my weekends free for family, friends, racing and running 
  • Pretty content financially and carrying my family's health insurance
  • Sleeping well
  • Beyond happy! :)

Luckily, my business has been able to supplement the income that I lost from leaving my long-term position.  I like to have nice, reliable things that make my family and I happy, safe and content.  I just don't need to have the best - or the most - of everything.  We live modestly.  Almost all of my children's clothing has come from second-hand stores or garage sales (since birth), I meal plan and purchase generic, we have reliable vehicles that suit our family.  We are purchasing a home that we are comfortable with and are not over-extending ourselves.  I've always realized that it isn't the things that make us happiest.  It's the experiences.  

This year has also taught me that you have to say NO.  If an opportunity - or obligation - doesn't better myself, my family or my business, I have learned to politely say "no".  That is very difficult for me; someone who "has a fear of missing out".  Even if opportunities do relate to my business pursuits, but don't fit into my family's busy, unique schedule, I can now say no.  And I'm ok with that.

This past year has definitely had twists and turns of all kinds.  People ask me to justify decisions and changes I've made over the past year.  Why this?  Why that?  I still believe that everything happens for a reason - and teaches you something.  If something doesn't feel right, then it probably isn't.  Since my divorce, I've learned that I am in charge of my own destiny.  Change can cause intense struggles.  But, make a few adjustments to set you up for success - and life can be amazing.  Life is a process.  An amazing process.


  1. Truly amazing! Thanks for sharing


  2. I want a promotion that means fewer hours! How do I sign up for that? Sounds like improvements all around--very happy to hear this for you!