When I shared the news of my leave of absence from Accenture back in March of this year, I envisioned that during my leave I would set out to accomplish goals in 5 general areas. Here they are verbatim:
- Career Calibration – I need to figure out where I want my career to go in the next 3-5 years, what I find fulfillment and enjoyment doing, and how to best accomplish this.
- Health – Physical and Mental – I’m going to sort out my exercise and sleep regime, spend as much time outdoors as I can this summer, *not* commute in the car an hour each way, and hang out with my family without having to worry about the daycare pickup time
- Learning and Creation – I will commit myself to publishing something at least once a month (let me know if you want in on the distribution – I promise not to post too many selfies of ). I’m also toying with the idea of teaching myself to develop an app in one of the mobile technologies. Also will devote time to actually watch some of those TED talks that I’ve bookmarked away.
- Community – I have neglected contributing back to my community in the last few years. I want to devote some of my time this leave to volunteer. If you know of any organizations looking for someone with my skills and enthusiasm I’d love to hear about it!
- Home affairs catchup – to address parts of my home life that have been neglected over the last few years, e.g. long-term financial plan, home decluttering and organization, buying drapes for the windows, actually doing some gardening
Well, it is now end of August, just before the start of a new school year, and a good time as any to assess the last 5 months. Some of my more ambitious ideas (*ahem*, coding a mobile app) haven’t come to fruition yet, and others are a little late (I’m looking at you, blog), but overall I’m happy with what I’ve done these last months.
Most importantly, I’ve gotten my sanity back. Time, rest, reflection, family, and laughs truly are balms for a harried soul and weary body. My body doesn’t feel like it’s going into slow decay anymore. My mind isn’t racing out of control worrying about things I have no control over. I’m not driving the madness of the 401 Highway on a daily basis. I feel I’ve gotten back to a healthy equilibrium.
Second most importantly, I’ve learned a lot about myself and how to articulate it. With the help of my coach, I’ve worked through what values are core to me, that need to be satiated in order to live a joyfully in all aspects of my life. Not surprisingly, this exercise highlighted where these values were in conflict with my situation in the past couple of years and why I was so unhappy.
So what is next? Now I am working through what is it I want to do in this next chapter of my life. Do I return to Accenture in a different role/project that will enable me to live according to my values? Can I even find this magical role? Do I look at doing related work in another organization? Do I drop out of the workforce for a few years to focus on my family and immediate community? Do I switch gears altogether and find a completely new career path? All these possibilities I’m working through this September.
Wish me luck. ~Jen