“Make yourself better at something.”
My parents spoke those wise words to me when I decided to leave a very successful career and transition to “temporary retirement.” Well, it’s been three months since I embarked on this life change and, just like the old cliché, time flies when you’re having fun! I’ve been fortunate enough to go on a few family trips but outside of that, I never imagined I would be able to keep myself busy each day. But I have.
Unfortunately, I haven’t been able to make myself better at something. In fact, I haven’t even begun to think about that tall task. Instead, I’ve mostly spent time making the things around me better. So my closets are cleaner, my drawers are more organized, my calendar is well planned out, and so on. I’ve managed to turn my newfound free time into a bid for the Guinness Book of World Records for organization and cleanliness. Marie Kondo would be proud!
It appears that I’ve completely missed the point of my parents’ wisdom, though. Clearly they meant I should focus on self-improvement. Learn to speak a new language, get certified in CPR, or take up photography…something like that. All of which are great things to learn, but aren’t they just superficial skills that will strengthen your résumé? I don’t think that they necessarily make you a better person.
Balancing my career and home life was always a challenge for me. After a long workday, I still found myself needing to continue that productivity at home. I gave my best self to work but I wasn’t able to give my family the same consideration. I thought it would be a no-brainer once I stopped working, but I have to admit it’s been difficult. I’ve always been a box checker, and the most positive trait in my career was my ability to get things done. So in my new life, I’ve found it’s easier to cross things off the to-do list than actually take time to make myself better.
I’m still committed to being my best self at home, though. To me that means being the best mom and wife I can be. A key component to that is feeling better about myself, starting with taking care of numero uno. I’m going to feel better by eating right, exercising regularly, and removing stress from my life. I’ve started to take baby steps toward this goal but I still have a long way to go. I’m looking forward to sharing my journey with all of you. Will you join me?