People are quick to say, “The grass isn’t always greener on the other side.” But what if it is? How would you know what shade the grass is, if you are not willing to see the other side? Do people say this out of fear? To convince themselves they don’t deserve better? Sometimes a different shade of green is exactly what we all need.
I am that woman. The one who spent her entire twenties and half of her thirties working around the clock. The one who was always accepting challenges head on, and filling up my day with projects for other people. In hindsight, I did miss out on a lot of things; a real college experience, traveling, family time, days spent soaking up the sun by the lake. You name it, I missed it. My parents did what they could to help, but I essentially paid (actually am still paying for – damn loans!) for my own education. This meant all work and no play.
On top of that I had an intense desire to succeed. I wanted better for myself and for my kids. I wanted to have nice things, be able to pay for college, and take those family trips my family was never able to. That drive for success landed me here. Yes, I am successful and have a dream job to many. I worked very hard and sacrificed a lot to get here.
Even on the rare occasion we do get to do fun things, I do not have a trained mind to stop and really enjoy the moment. I am always forward thinking. What should I make for dinner? I wonder if my client returned their contract. STOP woman, you are at a pool, in Miami, in the dead of winter in Chicago. Relax. Sooo, I wonder if that woman did send back her contract, let me just check my email real quick. Of course, one email turns into twenty-five emails, and then a phone call, then anxiety, then there goes my fun pool time. By the end of each day, I am mentally and physically exhausted.
But the success and money were worth it, right? Yes, the experience, the confidence I gained in myself and the connections I have made were absolutely worth it. On the other hand, it was not worth missing my son take his first steps, say his first words, watch him play on a sunny afternoon, or ruin my Miami pool day. This is time I can never get back.
So, since I make sh*t happen and was tired of complaining and watching my life go by, I decided to do something about it. Take that leap of faith I have dreamed about. I resigned from my Director position, at a company I truly loved, after eight years. I want to see if the grass is, in fact, greener on the other side. I knew I made the right decision because the Pope and I resigned the same day. He, apparently, had enough too. I will chalk this up as divine intervention. If the Pope could do it, so could I.
It has been several weeks since my last day. The first week was definitley scary. What did I do? Will we be ok financially? Did I make the right decision? The next week it felt like vacation. Now, it just feels great. Liberating in fact. I can do without daily Starbucks and other things I don’t need, if it means not being too tired to read my son a book before bed.
My theory is my career will always be there. I am a career driven person, that will never go away either. In the meantime, I will focus on expanding my family, writing and dedicating my time to my most important role of all… mom.
My advice to you: Take that PTO. Don’t save it for a rainy day that never comes. Spend a day with your family without sneaking off to check your email on your phone. Spend a day doing nothing but stuff for you. But above all, don’t miss important milestones in your kids life. Because those my friend, you will regret.
So is the grass greener on the other side you ask? In my case, so far, yes.