We live out in BFE. I avoid making multiple trips to town because I hate the drive and once I am home, I don’t like to leave. On Friday, I went to town to drop the kids off at school, then to pick them up, run a few errands, back home for 1 hour, then back to town to drop Haylie and Lexie off at a sleepover and drop Emily & Baby Cody off to go skating at Silver Wings. And then back to pick them up from the skating rink.
My car was jam packed with kids after school. My car was filled with giggles and lots of talking. On the 3rd trip to town, I had 5 kids with me. Haylie & Lexie were singing Glee Songs at the top of their lungs. Poor Baby Cody was trying to tune them out and had his music blaring on his phone so loud that I could hear it thru his headphones over the music and the girls belting out their favorite songs and Emily and I singing along with them. None of this LOUDNESS bothered me. I only had to get on Rebel once, when I received a call from Coby (Regional Sales Manager), but other than that it did not phase me or make me anxious like it normally would. WHY did the loudness not make me bat shit crazy like normal? It dawned on me – loudness symbolized something – something BIG & MONUMENTAL! It meant I had with me – kids who were HAPPY. They were singing, dancing around, taking pictures, giggling, showing each other things on their phones – things I never got to do as a kid, much less would’ve felt comfortable doing in my parents presence. As a chid, I was always embarrassed of them & not that I had a lot of friends, but I always preferred to go to a friends house verses have them come to my house, but even that rarely was allowed.
Since I’ve finally left my full time job (and had the guts to take that scary leap and fully believe in my ability to be a successful coach, not just now, but forever and leave that “safety net” that I was so afraid to cut ties with because honestly, I was afraid I’d fail and didn’t want to burn bridges, close doors or have to ever backtrack.).
For the first time that I can recall, I feel at peace. I feel calm. I am not on edge. I’m happy. I feel free. It’s been 2 weeks now, since I’ve been a SAHM and coach. At the end of each day, I feel like I have been extremely productive (even though I am still trying to master a regular schedule). I feel as though I am making a difference, by doing something fulfilling, with purpose. (I remember every evening at 5:00 p.m. I’d make a mad dash out the door. By 5:01 p.m. you could see me in a gallop across the parking lot towards my car, racing to get my boy from his school, to get home, to get dinner started, to try to fit everything else that needed to be done before bath/bedtime. There was a feeling of relief that I was able to go home, but it wasn’t really a soothing feeling. My mind was all over the place. I felt anxious and more tense as I got closer to home, anticipating the race against the clock that was my life every week. It was more like, enjoy your short trip to freedom, which will end as soon as you come back tomorrow. Once I stepped foot in the door, I never felt calm or like I could enjoy my home or my time not working. There I was dreading having to wake up and face the same day.
I am sure you can relate: You spend all week counting down to Friday. Once you get to Wednesday, you’re happy that you survived the first half of the work week and there’s hope since you can now see Friday getting closer. Then once you get to Friday, you are counting down to the end of the day so you can get your weekend started. Friday evening comes around and you feel like you need to enjoy your time off because you know it’s limited and before long the weekend will be over once again. But you are so tired. You can’t even think straight. But yet you go do something, just so you can do something you chose, that brings you a little happiness. By all means, you deserve some reward after that week, right? You are so tired the next day, but then get up to do all of the things you had neglected or simply did not have the time or energy to do during the crazy work week. So Saturday is spent taking care of priorities that are obligations that you end up resenting, because you are wondering when you will ever get some down time, to relax and not have to do anything. You spend all of Saturday focusing on the fact that tomorrow is Sunday which means you will have to go back to that job, the job that drains you and back to that long to-do list that never seems to get shorter. There’s always something to do and you never feel like you got anything of real value accomplished during the day. So everyday when you walk back in the door, you start to have a slight panic/anxiety attack because you know what’s waiting for you and you know even after 8 hours, at the end of this day, you still will be leaving with a long to-do list sitting there waiting for you again. And then it hits you – On top of that, there’s no telling what’s waiting for you when you open up your email. You even have a little game that you play every morning – How close can I get to guessing the actual number of emails I will have waiting for me in my inbox. Sometimes you win, sometimes you lose. Any of this sound familiar?
I will admit, it still hasn’t fully set in yet. It still kind of feels like just a vacation (although I’ve never had a 2 week vacation before). I am adjusting to this new life. It fits comfortably and I think I wear it pretty well.
I feel like a totally different person. Because I no longer spend my weekdays at a place I don’t want to be, away from my home & family, beating my head against my desk, counting down the hours to quitting time, dreading each task associated with my job title, being stuck with an office full of people who feel the same way as I do about their chosen career (75% of which I’d not initiate a friendship with outside of work nor do I feel they would seek out a friendship with me if it were a matter of choice). I no longer am surrounded by people who are extremely negative (I am guessing as a result of them being unhappy in certain aspects of their life.) I no longer am walking in the door of my home at 5:30, 5 days a week, irritable, cranky, mentally exhausted, drained & on the verge of a mental meltdown. (What a way to be greeted from your mother/wife after their absence all day right?)
Now that my mornings aren’t spent running around screaming and frantically trying to race out the door to get all 3 kids to 3 different schools so I wouldn’t be late to work (Because although some were habitually late, it was important to me to not be late regardless of how many reasons I had to justify my tardiness because I believe it shows good work ethic which is something I pride myself on. But this created stress because no matter how much you set out the night before, there’s just some mornings, that just don’t go right.) I am not in a rush, so I can give Rebel as many hugs and kisses as he feels necessary before I walk out the door. I can’t even begin to count how many times, we were running late and I had to rush him into his classroom and leave him crying for me because he couldn’t keep hugging or kissing me until he was ready to say goodbye. Let me tell you, that is a horrible way to start your day. You feel guilty and sad, knowing you left your child like that, as if it’s not already bad enough that your children spend more time a week with their teachers than their own parent. Now my days are spent doing something that I am passionate about, something that I feel I was created for. I get to spend my time how I please. There are no rules dictating how I dress I can choose to go grocery shopping now in the morning after I’ve dropped the kids off. (Not a major thing, but for the past 3 1/2 years my grocery shopping consisted of me racing in and out of a store with a small list after I scarfed down my lunch on my lunch break. I would only get a few items so it would fit in the refrigerator at my office or I would go on the weekends with kids in tote.) Now I can eat lunch and actually take time to actually chew it, enjoy it and take as long as I want. For years, being a working mother, I either ate my lunch at my desk while I continued to work, ate my lunch while I drove to the bank, post office, grocery store or other grocery stores or inhaled my lunch in the office lunchroom in less than 10 minutes so that I could rush off to run errands or in the first 20 months as a coach, I would spend my lunches glued to my phone, on calls with Coby, my Coach Becky, some of my personally sponsored coaches, my challengers, or checking in on my challenge groups, texting or emailing or messaging people back who were looking for my help & support. I became a master at accomplishing a lot of things on my 1 hour lunch break. I always get things done, but to be honest, this daily schedule left me feeling frazzled, rattled, anxious and tense.
I am not complaining, because it was my choice to keep a schedule like this. I have no regrets on any decision I have made when it comes to the time I’ve spent devoted to Beachbody because it was necessary at the time to achieve my goal to be able to create a pretty solid foundation and replace my income so that I could leave my full-time job. This chaotic, no-rest, GO GO GO schedule started to take a toll on me. It’s not an easy task juggling working full-time, using breaks and lunches to run a 2nd business which you love and having to spend more time doing a job you aren’t particularly fond of because it’s what is paying the bills at the time, and then rushing home to race against the clock, trying to complete all of the household duties and actually find some time to spend QUALITY time with your children, just to plop yourself in front of a computer as soon as they are in their beds and remain perched there til sometimes midnight or later responding to messages, catching up on personal development, and other coach related activities/duties. It was a schedule that I knew was non-negotiable & would require lots of sacrifice on my part and patience on my family’s part if I was serious about wanting to achieve my goal of being a full time coach.
Once I made this a GOAL, not just a wish and truly believed that this is something I could achieve and I WOULD make a reality. I made sure I let my family know. I let them know what it would require from all of us and what sacrifices would be involved so that they knew they were important and that they were why I was doing this, but it would mean that at the time being, I’d have to spend long hours (and lots of weekends) doing this to get to our ultimate goal so that I could be home more. Having their support meant a lot as I am sure being part of the decision made them feel like we were doing this together as a team.
I am glad that the chaotic schedule I just described is a thing of the past. During that time, it was extremely hard for me to wind down or relax because I was so used to going going going and I even noticed my memory wasn’t as sharp because I know, I wasn’t getting enough sleep and my brain was overloaded with so much information and things I was trying to retain. As soon as I stepped out of the office, the day of my retirement from the Insurance Industry on 11/1, it was like I freed up a huge memory space in my brain, that I’d been storing “insurance knowledge” – think clients/accounts, expiration dates, things I needed to complete by a certain date, which always left me feeling panicky, passwords to dozens of websites, and the list goes on and on. It was so freeing to not have that pressure anymore or responsibility for someone else’s insurance needs which is a huge liability and something that you must take seriously. That was always stressful, making sure everyone had coverage, no one slipped thru the cracks, things weren’t forgotten.
All of that means that now that have l less pressure & less daily stress. For the first time I get to have time to myself. I can sit in the quiet (the TV has not been turned no once since I’ve been home) and collect my thoughts. I can read my personal development without any interruptions. I can workout now without having to wake up at the crack of dawn, feel guilty that I am taking time away from my family or be distracted by all of the other household responsibilities that were waiting for me.
In just two weeks, I have noticed that I am more patient and calm. I have more energy & no longer feel drained mentally at the end of the day. When I was working there is no way I would have willingly made 4 trips to town like I did Friday, let a lone with a bunch of kids to run them around. 2 weeks prior, had my kids asked me to run them to all of these places, my answer would have been what it always was “NO”. Not because I didn’t want my kids to be able to attend activities or events, but because I was so tired at the end of each day that I just wanted to relax after a long, exhausting day at work. The last thing I wanted to do was turn around and go back to town after I’d just gotten home to the place I’d been dreaming of all day. Now I can finally do for my kids what they should’ve been able to do all along – BE KIDS, instead of being stuck at home just because their mom was too tired to sacrifice the small amount of time that she’d planned to use unwind & relax or scheduled to spend catching up on Beachbody stuff. Now, for the first time since my kids have been in school, I have the ability to pick them up from school everyday so they no longer had to be bus riders. (It broke my heart that everyday while Emily waited for the bus to come pick her up from school, she had to sit in the school cafeteria and all of the kids had to sit there with their heads down. Then they’d get on the bus to come home and it was PACKED. They’d have to sit 2 to a seat. Definitely not how they should have to spend the afternoon after being stuck in a desk all day long with only a 30 minute lunch) Now when they as if I can drive them into town to a friends house, or to the skating rink or to a school Dance, or to town on a whim because they forgot to tell me about a project that is due the next day, I can calmly say yes. (that same request or scenario before would’ve sent me into a meltdown & anxiety attack).
The MOST EXCITING part of all of this isn’t that I just have more time, patience & energy to drive them to & fro, but I actually get to enjoy them instead of being annoyed. I was able to laugh and sing and joke with them. I loved looking back in the rear view mirror and seeing my childen, actually in MY back seat before 5 p.m., SMILING and laughing as well as Haylie’s best friend Lexie, who I have spent some time with – enough to know she’s great kid, but not as much as I’d like since she is someone I’d like to get to know more since she is such an important part of Haylie’s life.
To some reading this, all of this may seem like such a small or insignificant detail of life. Maybe it’s because you have always been able to pick up your kids from school or maybe your older children never had to come home to an empty house and start chores and eat a snack and do their homework all alone. And maybe you are a parent who has been blessed with awesome parents who helped out by picking your kids up for you, helping them with homework which alleviated that feeling of guilt that your kids are home all alone and knowing that you are more relieved that they are doing their 2 daily chores because it shortens your to-do list than the fact that by giving them 2 daily chores, you are teaching them responsibility and skills that will come in handy when they leave your home. Maybe you are a super calm person by nature and never could imagine flying in the door like I described, with tons of things in your hands and feeling like a crazy person flying thru your house, whizzing past your family members in a fury, trying to get as much done as possible before bedtime.
So this may not be anything you can personally relate to or set as your own goal to achieve. It may not be an exciting story. That Mindy Hord got to play chauffeur and pick all 3 kids up from school for the first time in history before 4. It may mean nothing to you that I was able to take all 3 of my kids to the park on a weekday and enjoy it and not worry about what time I needed to get home to start dinner. But to me – It’s priceless. I finally get what my friend Leslie has been talking about for the past 8 years since she was able to start working from home and be there for her children’s school events, pick them up from school & hear about their day, have lunch with them on their birthdays and build memories and learn things about her children that I have been missing. For the past 14 years of being a mom, I’ve simply been working extremely hard to just provide for my children & help form them into not just good kids, but good people, that I haven’t really been able to enjoy them like I should, other than when they were infants when life is forced to be slowed down a bit. I haven’t been able to really listen to them either. Since Rebel was born and I returned back to work in October 2010, every evening would go like this: I’d fly thru the door, as I was cooking dinner, I’d be signing folders (not even sure what I was signing) and I’d ask them the same generic questions everyday as I was stirring and turning things in pots and pans on the stove, “How was your day?”; “What did you have for lunch?” But to be honest.. I never really truly listened. I heard them, but that’s not the same as listening. I couldn’t even tell you what their responses were. I nodded and said things like “Oh yeah?”, “Oh really?” to keep engaged in the conversation. I am not proud of that, but it’s a true confession from me – a person, a very imperfect person, who while attempting to provide for her children, juggled too much, which meant nothing ever received 100% of my attention or energy. It wasn’t that I didn’t care or wonder about their day or want to hear their responses or their stories. I simply didn’t listen to their responses because my mind was too busy racing 100 different directions – about what I had to do next on my list and doing the math to see if I had enough time to complete it before the timer for the oven went off. Or I was glancing at the clock and calculating how much time I had before I was to get on a coach call or a Team Call. Or if I needed to set something out to deliver to someone or something like set out clothes for one of the kids picture day the following day. When you have 3 kids – Well of a matter of fact this goes for anyone who is alive, you I am sure are well aware that there always seems to be a never ending to-do list. Something needs to be fixed, made, scheduled, picked up, dropped off, you name it. We always seem to have a to-do list going at all times, right? The worst thing is I kept them all in my head, so I constantly was trying to remember something that I knew I needed to do, but couldn’t remember. I didn’t use notes or a calendar, because I’d always used tons of methods: writing things on slips of paper, scheduling on a calendar at work or at home or on a day planner, or post it notes, or in my phone. Then I’d misplace them. Or leave them at work. What really needed to happen was I needed to slow down, sit back for a minute, compose myself and come up with a system that I used consistently. Luckily, since I’ve been home I’ve implemented a system and started utilizing the FranklinCovey daily planner that I purchased in July when we attended the Time Management Seminar in Dallas. I am using it to record every important goal, appointment, call, meeting, event, to-do list so that everything is in ONE place. This allows my mind a remove some clutter and get a break and this decreases the chance of something important slipping thru the cracks of my mighty juggling act in my brain.
Overall, I know now, more than ever that this was truly the right decision. It was scary going into it. But I can see it in my children. I am so much more calm (not saying that I still don’t get on them when they’re being jackasses, but.. I am not nearly as short tempered) that they are not as tense either. I have more time alone to clear my head and accomplish my daily tasks without any interruptions or distractions. I don’t have to try to multi-task. Each item on my list will get 100% of my attention which means the quality of my work, the results will be far greater than when I was half assign it or dividing my attention between several tasks. My days start off better. I no longer dread the day that lies before me. I am not surrounded by people who don’t believe in me or who speak negative thoughts that affect my mood. I am in full control of my environment and love that I have time to meditate on my goals, my tasks, my team, and whatever I want.
And I love that I am finally getting to know my kids and hearing what they think and feel.
1) Apparently, according to Haylie, if I were a kid who wore the clothes I selected/suggested for my girls I’d be made fun of.
Have you ever thought about this: How would your days be spent if you weren’t restricted to the confining hours of 8-5? How would your mood change?? How different would your life be?? How would your relationships change?