This week’s Thankful Thursday post is a long one — please bear with me as I pour it all out, and thanks to Jessie for hosting this link-up party!
In keeping with my December Sanity Challenge decision to focus on doing one thing at a time, I recently had a realization that fell into the same theme.
See, I’ve been having this little (read: behemoth) existential crisis for the last year and a half. Over the course of those 18 months, I’ve done a ton of soul-searching and deep thinking about what I want to do, why I want to do it, and how I can achieve it.
As part of that process, I spent the last year studying holistic nutrition at the Institute for Integrative Nutrition, and I’ve been planning to open a Health Coach practice.
Throughout that experience, though, I’ve been worried about having the time necessary to get a business up and running. I work full-time — and between my 40 hour workweek, my daily dates with the gym, and cooking dinner since Brandon usually works late, there’s very little time left at the end of the day.
What little time I have left, though, I want to spend with Brandon. My husband is awesome, and I really enjoy his company — and although it’s ridiculously simple, I love the time I spend with him when we’re just hanging out on the couch, watching TV, chatting, and making each other laugh.
All that doesn’t leave much of any time to be working with clients, let alone doing the marketing and PR legwork to even get those clients in the first place. This has been a constant source of stress for me, because I knew that I wanted to put what I was learning at IIN to use, and I knew that I wanted to help people.
At the same time, over the course of the last year my desire to write has grown into an irrepressable urge. On a whim in October, I started this blog as a way to have a creative outlet as I try to navigate my quarter-life crisis and get my ducks in a row.
As I’ve continued writing, I’ve found that it’s one of my greatest joys. Writing, running/hitting the gym, and chilling with Brandon are the parts of my day that I look forward to the most. I want to be able to devote my free time to those activities, because they’re the things I find most edifying — and not only that, but they make me profoundly happy.
I’d been considering putting the health coaching practice on the back burner to focus on blogging when two serendipitous things happened: first, I read this post on the Girls Gone Sporty blog. This quote reeeaaaallly resonated with me:
“Balance” the way so many people think of it, is a myth. None of us are the superwomen we’d like to be. There are 24 hours in a day. There are basic life demands like grocery shopping, sleeping, cleaning and running errands that are non-negotiable. There are leisure choices, like lunch with friends, dates with your spouse and playtime with kids that shouldn’t be dismissed. And then there are our goals. The demands we place on ourselves and the time they require simply because we want to achieve them. When you only have an additioinal three or four hours to give, you have to be focused and prepared to tackle those goals. Coming to the table with too many goals in too many areas of life will just leave you feeling stressed, overwhelmed and ultimately, unsuccessful. So stop. Reevaluate. Decide what you really want to achieve first, then go get ’em!
It’s as if she read my mind. I’d been fretting about the whole “there are only 24 hours in a day” and “I have so many goals, I don’t know how I’m possibly going to achieve them” motifs for a long time, and it was starting to wear on me. I was juuuuuuuust starting to come around to the idea that I might want to focus on turning this into a legit healthy living blog (as opposed to an afterthought as I launched the business) when I read this post, and the timing was perfect.
Then, a day later, Brandon and I were chatting and this very topic came up. As he astutely noted (in a shocking turn of events, my husband knows me really, really well), I love blogging and writing — and starting my business now would not only take away from that, there wouldn’t be enough hours in the day for me to write, do marketing, meet with clients, work 40 hours a week in my day job, and spend time with him.
We were both concerned about the demands that launching the business would place on my time and schedule and the time we spend together, and just as I was about to say “I’m considering putting the business on the back burner for now so I can focus on blogging,” he basically took the words right out of my mouth.
And when I had the same conversation with my mom, before I could even finish saying what I was thinking, she said she thought I should focus on blogging and helping people get healthy not through a health coaching practice, but rather through writing. And then she said this is what she’d been thinking all along.
Moms and husbands: how do they know this stuff?! Was I absent the day ESP abilities were handed out? (Answer: evidently, yes.)
As soon as I decided to focus on blogging, I felt like a huge weight had been lifted from my shoulders. More to the point, though, I felt like it was absolutely the right decision. There are some decisions that feel right on every level — in your mind and in your heart — and this was one of them. At the very seat of my soul, I knew I was making the right choice.
And for that, I’m tremendously thankful.