I know it’s been a bit radio silent over here lately. I’ve been absurdly busy–new projects, weekend trips with the kids, a speaking engagement or two, adventures in cooking (more on that later), hobbling around with summer shoe-blisters, and the whole leaving my job to return to freelancing thing.
Yes I did.
Also, call me the only person in the world who leaves a full-time office job and then gets more busy.
Deutsch, the agency I returned to work for over the last 3 years is one of the most amazing, inspiring, big-hearted, culturally-rich agencies anywhere. For those of you who only know advertising through Mad Men, it is not that; we don’t even get booze before lunch! (That you know of, Mr. Holding Company Board of Directors Guy.) It’s just smart, strategic people doing the best job they can to create ideas that matter. I loved being in that environment. I will always be grateful for their support and encouragement of all the things I do outside the office too; how many bloggers can post some nice social media accolade on their Facebook page, check back, and see their CEO was the first to like it?
When I am asked, as I often am, “how do you do it all?” I have always answered that I don’t do it all.
I had an employer who respected that they were not my only priority in life, a village worth of committed friends and family to lean on, and a business partner who jumps in when needed, to say, no worries–I got this one.
Also, a few dirty dishes in the sink. Sometimes. Occasionally.
Is the change scary? A bit. But I have to say it’s nice to be not quite so exhausted, which I have been for a long time now. (With a delightful stash of undereye circle miracle creams to prove it.) Imagine months on end of finishing a full day of work, having dinner with the kids, reading and bedtime routine, then picking up work again around 9:30PM every night knowing I was still drowning in a sea of emails and to-do’s that I would try and tackle again around 5:30AM.
We all have to admit we have limits.
I had clearly reached mine.
Fortunately I’m more excited than nervous. It’s exciting to be able to focus more on my own business, consulting for different brands that I respect, freelancing with companies doing exciting things, and saying yes to Google calendar invites from people I want to know better
It’s nice to have meetings in coffee shops instead of staring at the same concrete walls every day. Its nice to get back to that guy who emailed me about that thing in oh…say, February, and tell him that yeah! I finally have time to come over and talk so how’s noon on Thursday?
(Are you one of those people? If so, here’s my mass apology for not getting back to you. Try me again if you don’t hate me by now.)
Doors are opening. It’s thrilling.
What’s more, I’m now realizing how much I’m loving having more time at home.
I think it’s all the little things with my kids that at-home parents may take for granted. Like spending an extra few minutes lingering after drop-off at gymnastic camp, surreptitiously watching the girls giggle and play without them knowing I’m there. Or making homemade chicken nuggets (panko, baby) and not feeling like I’m sleepwalking through it.
I don’t know if there’s ever such a thing as balance. Is there?
Yeah, “juggling” is about as tired as shoulder pads from the Dynasty era, but it might be most apt.
It’s interesting timing, considering I just started contributing to the American Express tumblr blog which is all about helping people pursue their passions. (Some say there are no coincidences.)
This week I offered up some of the best career advice I ever got myself, that’s actually worth taking. A lot of it is from my dad, who is awesome at that kind of thing. I think #2 helped me accept this decision. Although #7 might be my favorite.