I have always wanted to be the stay at home mom who got to be room parent and help out at school all the time (probably because my mom did that for us and seemed to love it)…but that just wasn’t how things started. I have spent years feeling guilty because I was working in a leadership role for a large company in our area and I enjoyed what I was doing (for the most part) but it meant lots of stress and long hours at work. Most nights I was too mentally drained to have any patience or energy left for my family. I was stressed, depressed, anxious and miserable. This is really the first time I have ever put into writing what was happening and how I felt but I am doing so in the hopes that someone reading this may see that no matter how scary change can be, it can also be amazing.
The company I was working with did leadership sessions throughout the year where they bring in some very engaging speakers to speak not only about leadership but also team work and having passion for what you do. There have been a few that really resonated with me and how I was feeling (overwhelmed, stressed, depressed etc.). Now, one of the things I was really struggling with during this time was that I had a boss who was very much a micro-manager which I struggled greatly with because I was used to being able to lead my team in a way that worked for us and just keep my previous bosses in the loop of what was happening. I knew that part of my stress was that I was a buffer between my team members and this boss and if I wasn’t there then no one would have my team members backs. Team work is very important to me and we had all worked hard to build a strong, dynamic team. One thing that was paramount was to have trust and honesty in our team environment and unfortunately we were struggling to make things work with this boss. I ended up speaking to a mentor and she asked me to do some reflecting. Well I did reflect, and pray, and cry, and talk to my husband and parents about a million times about what I should do…this lasted almost a year. During this time I was thinking about how, if I left my job, could I find something that gives me a better work life balance while still allowing me to help others….I kept coming back to helping others plan their Disney vacations. I have always loved Disney and have helped some friends plan trips. I researched and found a company that I felt was a good fit for me, so I joined Academy Travel and Mickey Vacations in June 2018 to be a Disney vacation planner.
So now was I not only working a more than full time job, I added an extra layer of vacation planning to it…was I crazy??? In the fall I started looking for vendor shows to help build my travel business and realized many don’t want just vendors but more craft businesses..so, then I added my boutique; Pixie Dust & Mermaids Boutique. What I discovered is that I LOVED making items for the vendor shows. Yes they took time to make but my daughter started coming up with ideas and then my husband had some ideas and before I knew it we seemed to be working on it as a family. My husband and I sat down and had some very serious conversations and basically he told me that he wanted me to quit my full time job because of the toll the stress was taking on me. While we do okay financially, we have never been a one income family so I was very nervous but he persisted and kept encouraging me.
As of mid November 2018, I left my full time job and the company I had literally been with for my entire adult life to pursue my passions. My family has loved working vendor shows together. My daughter loves to give me Disney travel advice from a kids perspective when I am helping clients and I am finally starting to feel like myself again. My point to this long (sorry, not sorry) story is that this was probably the single hardest change I had to make in my life to this point because so much of who I was had become entangled with my job. It was what I thought about day and night, someone always needed something from me or I had a deadline looming etc. Don’t get me wrong, financially it is an adjustment and we are still feeling the pains of adjusting our lifestyle BUT my only regret is that I didn’t do this sooner. Yes, I miss some of the people I worked with but I get to take my daughter to school and pick her up every day without asking someone permission to come to work late or leave early. I got to take care of her class Christmas party this year without asking someone if I could take the day off of work. One of the quotes from those leadership sessions that stuck with me was “Blessed not Stressed” and it’s true. I am blessed. I have an opportunity to spend time with my daughter and be engaged at her school. I am no longer exhausted all of the time or having daily panic attacks. It is a journey and every day is certainly a new adventure but it’s one that I am excited to be taking.
Thank you for taking time to read my journey.