There comes a time in everyone’s life where you question everything.
You question your decisions. Your values. Your dreams.
For me, that time came in March this year when I suffered a stress induced stroke-like episode. It doesn’t really matter what it was. Regardless, it was scary and in an instant it made me take stock of everything in my life.
After the initial shock and fear, I was left with a certainty that this was a sign that I could not, should not, ignore.
I knew I had been doing too much. For a long time I’ve been juggling work, being a mother to three kids, all the medical and therapy appointments that comes with special needs parenting as well as all the demands of maintaining a family home.
There’s only so much stress and responsibility that one can withstand before something has to give. So it was clear that I had reached my personal breaking point. I was finally resolved to make a change. But the problem was – how?
I decided to start small. First, I took some time off work. When I returned I arranged to work some days from home. I was also careful to plan my time better in order to spread out my commitments.
While these were steps in the right direction, they still weren’t enough. Now that I had started questioning my priorities and my future, it was clear that band-aid solutions were not going to cut it.
I had seen what was really important when I thought I was having a stroke. My thoughts had been consumed by my family. Work didn’t cross my mind at all. Yet I have been living my life with work as a firm priority.
It was suddenly clear that my values did not align to my way of life.
Nathan and I discussed this and began to prepare for an exit strategy. We starting talking about various business ideas which would allow us to both leave our jobs and work from home. To start actually living our values. It was a pipe dream but we were determined to make it work.
But life has a funny way of messing with your head. And with the best laid plans. In June, my workplace asked for expressions of interest in voluntary redundancies.
Three months earlier, I would never have even contemplated leaving my secure and satisfying job.
But, in June, three months after my priorities shifted, I decided to submit an application. Another two months down the track I already know that I will be receiving a formal offer of redundancy. All that’s left now is to find out the details of my package so we can make a final decision that’s in the best interests of our family.
While I’m scared to leave all that I know, in my heart of hearts, I know that making a change is the right decision. I know that I cannot fully live my life and live my values if I am still tied to the past. As much as I love my job and derive great satisfaction from it, it is no longer right for me.
Change can be terrifying – it can seem to be a threat to everything you hold dear. But change can also be the opportunity to take a chance and make a life that is right for you.
In my case, I believe that making a change is the right decision – let’s hope that I’m proved right!
Have you had to make a change that terrified you? How did you decide? How did it all turn out?
Linking up with Jess for #IBOT