Today marks exactly one year since I left my job. I’ve thought about my year off a bit. As you know I love my lists, so here are some reflections about my career break thus far.
Why did it take a year to feel ready again? Well, it took the first month to just get work out of my system, out of my dreams, and out of my subconscious. The next month was spent selling all our stuff and house in Highland Park, visiting family/friends and moving to Florida. The next 3 months we played at the beach decompressing. Then we moved to Breckenridge and we spent 2 months getting settled into 2 different houses and getting the kids started at their schools. The real break happened in the past 5 months.
So what did I accomplish?
- Bringing our little family of 4 much closer together. This was our number one goal and accomplishment. We now function as a team and know each other so much better. Pickles and all.
- Learning a few additional recipes and cook more (and better) thanks to my brother-in-law’s girlfriend, Lara. He’s one lucky fella.
- My skiing has improved! I am no longer scared of fresh powder skiing and have even skied a couple double black diamond runs. I’ll hit my goal of 50 ski days this year no problem.
- Travis and I actually taught Zoe and Alex how to ski! It’s now our favorite thing to do as a family. I wish I had learned how at age 3!
- I’ve learned that I love hiking! Sure, it’s mainly glorified walking with a beautiful view, but just try doing that at 11,000+ feet above sea level and tell me how your lungs burn!
- I need yoga for my soul. Travis will tell you that if I go too many days without yoga I become a bit cranky.
- I read a bunch of books and some of them over 700 pages! This is a feat for me. While I was working I never made time for reading or if I tried I would fall asleep. The Kindle app and virtual library check out feature is my new best friend. The two books that stuck in my head this year were The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt and A Little Life by Hanya Yanagihara.
- Babysitting is a good way to get a “fix”. When I think I want another baby, I just babysit and get my “fix” and get some guilt free spending money for new outdoor gear or spa days.
- I enjoy volunteering! Every other Friday I help in Zoe’s classroom and afterwards I thank God that we have teachers that do what they do every day. I don’t have the patience for that! Also, every Monday since November I have volunteered at the Breckenridge Outdoor Education Center (BOEC) adaptive ski program in the office. It has been really rewarding and fun – and I’ve met some really awesome people.
- We’ve gotten really good at hosting guests! Similar to our time in Florida, living in a tourist destination has attracted many friends and family to come and visit us. We’ve loved seeing everyone, skiing together and sharing Breckenridge with our favorite people. Plus, it forces us to keep the house clean!
What’s left to do?
- Gotta get fit. One of my goals when I started the break was to get into super duper shape. Although I am much more active in Colorado, I also am not stressed. I used to be a “stress starver” – opposite of a “stress eater”. So, now I guess you could say I am fat and happy! Nevertheless, this is still an area I need to do better.
- Start Ski Touring. Next season I would like to get sorted with backcountry skiing gear, knowledge and energy to be able to tour with Travis.
- More outdoor activities. I want to learn how to snow shoe, mountain bike and cross-country ski.
So what’s next for me?
- Travis and I would love to stay living in Breckenridge. Housing is ridiculously expensive here, so in order to live this dream we both need to get on the job hunt! I can tell you I won’t go back into a similar level of job that I left. I’ll leave the big job to Travis and I’ll go for something more local and less round the clock.
- Stay involved in my kids’ education and will try to get on the board for Alex’s school and look for ways to volunteer with Zoe’s class next year.
- Another graduate degree may still be in my future in counseling psychology. This has always been in my heart and mind and some day I’d like to make it happen!
Until I get a job, I will enjoy every moment left of my time off. This week, I spent cuddling my little Zoe; she’s been sick at home from school. It’s been a luxury to be able to be home with her without the pressure of work mounting up and trying to juggle both. I’ve enjoyed guilt free cuddles from her on the couch all day, even though I hate seeing her sick and sad.
We’ll hit up Fort Myers Beach one more time in April over spring break and then get ready for whatever happens next on our amazing journey!