Looking back at it now, the beginning of 2015 was a slow, nerve-frazzling climb up the first hill of a roller coaster. I couldn’t hear the clickety sound, but I sensed the anticipation of a wild ride to come. I just didn’t realize how quickly it would come or what a crazy experience it would be.
I will start the story with a pair of slippers my oldest daughter gave for Christmas last year. Instead of my usual plain black Isotoner slippers, she gave me a pair sparkly red ruby slippers. They were so much fun! I brought them to work to wear on the days I wore snow boots to the office. My friends laughed when they saw them and told me to click my heels together as we passed in the halls. I’d reply, “there’s no place like home.”
(You can get them here on Amazon if you love them, too!)
My surprising one word resolution:
I skipped setting New Year’s resolutions and I chose one word to be my intention throughout the new year. My word was, steady. At the time, I had just come off the holiday shopping season and was desperately exhausted. I was craving peace, calm, and rest. I also wanted to continue to make steady progress on my weight loss and get control of the house.
January brought a somewhat slower schedule. I had the time to clear away a lot of clutter and create space in our life and home. I turned our bedroom into a retreat and built a home gym in the basement. Things were good in the “steady” department, for the first 6 weeks of the year, anyway.
The winds of change started to blow shortly before Valentine’s day
I had a situation at work that really left me feeling unsettled, frustrated, and angry. It brought up feelings I’d been wrestling with for a couple of years. It hit me to the core. I was tired of the retail marketing rat race and I was ready for a change. Work felt different and I wanted do something that made a difference.
I decided to get prepared, just in case
I have always stayed busy with various side-hustles. I’ve built many WordPress websites and done some freelance writing. I also moonlighted as a virtual assistant. Web design was my favorite, so I decided to explore it a bit more. My thoughts were to build something up slowly on the side and eventually grow it to full time. I filed papers to incorporate at the end of April and launched Wise Owl Marketing in May.
Timing is everything, and in 2015 it was on my side!
The day after I signed my first client, I was let go from my job. They eliminated my position after deciding to take the department in a different direction.
So much for “steady.” (Who moved my cheese?)
Throughout the summer, I dual-tracked the job search and business building. I went on countless interviews that left me feeling lifeless and unenthused.working with my clients was inspiring.
Working with my clients was inspiring. I was building websites and marketing funnels for life coaches. Helping them to help more people achieve their dreams and goals felt good. I was making a difference.
I received support from two very talented life coaches, Lacey Craig and Kimberly Campolattaro. They helped me to process my emotions and focus my thoughts. They also helped me to discover my core values: contribution, connection, accomplishment, and freedom.
Isn’t life so full of fun surprises?
After a random Twitter connection with a VP of Marketing for a local company, I found myself interviewing for their WordPress developer position. After learning more about the company, I was intrigued. Then after an interview with the VP of Marketing, I was excited. The job perfectly matched my skill set. The company’s values matched my own and the pay was more than what I was making in my previous 9-5.
I joined the Ticomix team a couple of weeks later. The position was a perfect fit. I was able to leverage my skills doing what I enjoyed. I had the freedom to do things my way, and I truly enjoyed the company of my new coworkers who quickly became friends.
But when I started I didn’t realize how much I’d changed, during my time at home all summer. The family had changed, too. The stress of juggling finances, searching for work and trying to launch a business was hard. But through it all, my relationship with Wes grew closer than ever, and I was deeply connected to the kids.
As excited as I was about the new job, the transition back into a 9-5 was challenging. Every morning was a frenzy trying to get everyone out the door on time. Our evenings were overwhelming with homework cram sessions and rushed dinners. I wasn’t taking care of myself, eating well, or exercising. I was taking melatonin like it was candy, desperately seeking sleep at night. My stress spread to Wes and the kids. Everyone felt overworked and underappreciated. Schoolwork suffered. Tension increased, and I made a decision.
I needed to put my job as “mom” first on the list. I was sad to leave my job and the friends I had made, but I needed to be home. So, I gave notice in mid-November and worked through the first week of December.
2015 was anything but steady!
I have to laugh at the irony of the word steady for 2015. It was a rowdy adventure that taught me a lot about myself. I didn’t make steady progress in the areas I’d hoped at the beginning of the year. I gained back some of the weight I had lost and our house gained back a little clutter, but a lot of things went right!
I had the freedom to take 3 family vacations, 4 mini getaways with Wes. I went on approximately 15-20 interviews and learned what I wanted in my career and what I didn’t. I made new friends and deepened relationships. I pushed my comfort zone and faced my fears. I started a business that will allow me to plan my work around my life instead of my life around my work. I learned how to be vulnerable, how to trust, and how to believe in myself.
My ruby slippers have worn through the soles and I received a new pair of black Isotoners for Christmas to take their place. I will retire them and the word steady tonight, New Year’s eve. They served me well this year and reminded me that there really is, “no place like home.”
Thank you 2015 for the challenges and opportunities you delivered this year. I am overflowing with appreciation and gratitude for my family, friends, coworkers, and clients who supported, and encouraged me this past year. I couldn’t have done it without them.
I wish you an abundance of happiness and love in 2016!
Happy New Year!