Ah yes, Work. That super important part of my life. The part that makes me feel accomplished, relevant, able to make a difference etc. Where I get to engage with inspiring people every day. Where I feel challenged. Where I feel I can make a difference for others – mentoring, coaching, guiding. Where I get to make decisions that have a global impact. Where others have thought me so much – about who I am, what my values are, what I am capable of. Sometimes people undertake this adventure to break away from an unsatisfying career. Not me. To the contrary. It’s given me sleepless nights to think that I would leave work for a while, especially as we are going through a period of transformation. As a leader, this is when you’d most want to be present. As a mother though, I feel we have a narrow time window to make this happen. It’s our time. Undertaking this trip, for me, is work-life balance.
I can’t speak highly enough of my employer and my colleagues in how they have encouraged and supported us. I was so uncertain of our plan at times, and so excited about the direction we are taking as a company, that they could have easily talked me out of this crazy plan. But they did not. They all seemed to intuitively understand this is something I had to do. For me. For us. For our souls.
Call it a mid-career adventure! I love, love, love the company, my job, and the people I get to work with every day. Saying goodbye was much harder than I could have ever anticipated. I felt a deep mixture of sadness, apprehension and excitement. All at the same time. Sad because I know I will miss my colleagues dearly the coming year. Apprehension as we are throwing our family into a big adventure. And … excitement for the year of global travel ahead.
When I reflect on my “mission” in this life (a big word, “mission”, I know), it would read something as “To leverage my talents and skills to better the world, and to raise my kids to be global, curious citizens”. This year of travel then, is not far off the mission map. See a bit more of the world, explore it’s problems more deeply, and encourage my children to engage with the world at large.
Needless to say we all look forward to a simpler and slower life. As a family. Just the bare necessities in our pack. Extended time in each destination to explore. Never do I feel more alive, inspired, and energized than when immersed in Mother Nature. We hope to show our kids that the world can be their playground.