It is already Mid of January when you read this, but it took me a while and I needed a moment to find out what my overall take away on 2018 would be.
I wrote down my thoughts, looked through all the photos I took in 2018 as well as went through my email inbox.While doing all of that, it became pretty clear to me: The best thing about 2018 was that I did not go back to work.
Here is why:
- THE SECRET OF GETTING AHEAD IS GETTING STARTED
One important thing that made this year such a happy and good one for me is that I knew projects that I wanted to do going into this year. I knew that I wanted to write a book, that I wanted to take trips and go.see.do with Lucy and that I wanted to get fit and healthy again. Having these goals in mind, I could really enjoy the time and did not feel I had nothing to do. I had stuff to do, I did what I loved and wanted to do, and I appreciated having the time for it.
Everybody tells you the same thing and it sounds so cliché: Embrace the time with your baby! It is so true: Time flies with your baby and before you realize that she is not a baby anymore.
- NOW OR NEVER.
The days where you can take them to a restaurant and they just sleep why you get to enjoy a relaxing dinner don’t last long. This is just one thing, but there are sooo many other special moments that will never come back while there will always be great job opportunities. Period.
- DO WHAT YOU LOVE, LOVE WHAT YOU DO.
I never would have had the time, the passion and the brain space to finish my book and create a product that I am truly proud of. You can’t do that as side-project. Being an author felt like a full-time-job – at least mentally. It was amazing to have a whole year to do what you love and love what you do. I know that this is pure luxury, but I can only recommend it to everybody who gets the chance to take a year off – with or without a baby.
- PAUSE TO BALANCE.
I never realized how much I needed that break and, that so far, I never had a real break in my life. I started working right after I graduated and did so, like crazy, for 15 years and then had a baby. Boom. I needed this year to reflect, process, to look back, to be proud, to recover, to rest to forgive myself and maybe others for things that happened, and re-set myself.
Lucy was the perfect little assistant to do so.
- LISTEN TO YOUR HEART.
As much as I love working, I grew up in a Family where “family-first” is the rule No.1 My parents always worked but it was (and still is) is always family first. When my in-laws didn’t do well last year and had to be moved to an assistant living residence, I was more than thankful that I didn’t have a job and that I didn’t have to decide between family and work. Also, with Lucy being so little and my husband having a 200% full-time job, I knew the best thing for us as a family was to stay home and be the flexible part.
- BE AUTHENTIC.
Who am I? What am I really good at? Who do I think I am? I did take a few classes this year to figure out what my next career could be and where I can use my skills best. That included that I got to know myself better as well as I learned to analyze my skillset better. I realized that I am a great leader, that I have a lot of entrepreneurial spirit, but that I am not an entrepreneur or born business owner by heart. I hate the financial pressure and the 24/7 duty, but I have the empathy and the energy to support entrepreneurs and help them 24/7 if I want to.
It was definitely a major milestone to find out what I really want and what I don’t want. It makes me feel very authentic and real and allows me just to be me on a professional level as well.
- BUY LESS, LIVE MORE.
I definitely had to get used to the fact to have less and especially not my own money. The quote “create moments, not things” is so true though. I did spend less money on clothing as well as became in expert in consignment (so fun, so cool and you save so much money) and as the time went by, I realized that I also don’t want and need a lot of things (I was used to before) not anymore. I still like to shop, I still like to get my nails done but I probably wouldn’t treat that for a fun and sunny afternoon in the park anymore.
We took so many trips this year (big ones and smaller ones) and I never could have done that if I would have had a job. I learned more on this trip than I ever would have learned at work and I know that everything I learned is definitely helpful for any new job. No matter if it is my mindset (“it’s not the end of the world”, be flexible and let’s try), simply another level of multi-tasking or to take on more responsibility (driving a car with 3 little toddlers on board), I will always profit from that.
- THE BEST GIFT YOU CAN GIVE TO OTHER IS A HAPPY, HEALTHY, FOCUSED YOURSELF.
Life is so much easier, when you are happy, healthy and focused. Not only for you. For everybody. For your child, for your partner, your friends, your family and everybody you are surrounded with. 2018 made me a better partner, a better mom, a better friend and I almost feel like a better person because I felt balanced and empowered from within.
- FUN IS THE BEST INGREDIENT TO SUCCESS
We had so much fun last year because we had time to have fun. And we were able to turn this fun into success and luck. We bought the house we already lived in, we got to spend so much quality time as a family and with our friends and family. On top of it we met so many interesting people.
Also, I got so many nice, kind and promising work opportunities throughout the year that I wasn’t worries about not being able to find a job when it would be time to do so again.