As I stood there crying on the beach, something became so clear to me. I made a decision, at that moment, that I would do things differently.
Last week, my husband and I celebrated our 4 year wedding anniversary. After 3 years of financial and physical sacrifice, we decided that we were going to treat ourselves by doing 2 things: 1) we were not going to over-analyze how much money we were spending and 2) we would completely unplug from work. You see, since I made the decision to quit my full-time accounting job to pursue my purpose of empowering and uniting women through Women By Choice, both my household and my marriage took a hit. Going from a 2 income household to a 1 income household meant reevaluating our spending habits, which also meant less date nights and vacations together. Understanding how my choice affected our lives, good and bad, I transformed into a person who became obsessed with ensuring that the sacrifices we were making would not be in vain. To give up so much, I had to guarantee that we’d see a return on our investment. How did I do that? I worked and worked and worked. Even when you couldn’t see me physically working, my mind was always plugged into my work… thinking of the next online course, blog post, product to launch, quote to share on social media, ways to improve the Women By Choice Network, etc. Not only to earn money, but also because I am passionate about it. For the last 3 years, even when I called myself “taking a day off”, I was always plugged in. As you can imagine, that took a toll on me mentally.
The reason I was crying in the middle of South Beach was because I knew our trip was coming to an end and I was not ready to plug back in. In that moment, as I felt my husband’s warm embrace, I realized just how much I had been missing. This year has been the best year yet for me in terms of business and I’m so thankful for it. I’ve been paid to travel and speak at events, I’ve planned and hosted my own successful national and international events, I wrote and published a book, I won awards, I gained new coaching clients, I connected with amazing people, and so much more. I worked my butt off and now I am seeing great progress and receiving acknowledgement for my efforts. I prayed to earn income doing what I love and now I am and I’m so grateful. BUT, I miss my husband, my family, and my friends. Heck, I miss me.
With me always being plugged into work, I was keeping up with my friends less, speaking to my family less, spending less time taking care of myself, and the intimacy in my marriage was slowly fading away. My husband works long hours too, but the difference is that once he gets off work, he’s no longer thinking about work. With me, I was always thinking about work even when I wasn’t working. Turns out, that’s not very romantic or sexy. I had been praying that God restore the intimacy in our marriage and our anniversary trip did exactly that. We drove to Miami, FL from Orlando, FL with no idea of what we would do when we got there. We decided we would just go with the flow. Wake up when we wake up, eat when we want to eat, and relax on the beach. Intentionally unplugging our minds from work and our responsibilities made us feel free. We had long conversations about the things we love, our dreams, and our future together. We held hands. We stared into each other’s eyes. We laughed until it hurt. We expressed our love for one another. I got a chance to really see him, hear him, and appreciate him for the sacrifices he has made to see me live out my dreams. My tears on that beach weren’t just the sadness I felt about the idea of plugging back in and being mentally exhausted all the time, they were also a sign of how much joy my heart felt to be in my husbands arms and feeling the pure love between us.
That moment was a defining moment in my life. It instantly made me a different and better woman because now I know better. I realized that I hadn’t unplugged in 3 years because I felt guilty about not working 24/7 on a vision we are sacrificing so much for, even though my husband encouraged me to take breaks. I also had this idea that if I wasn’t present, things would fall apart. Choosing to unplug for 5 days showed me that I can go away and the ship won’t sink. It also showed me that I need to go away sometimes so that the ship won’t sink. I am no good to anyone if I am mentally burnt out. The passion I have for Women By Choice can no longer supersede the love I have for God, myself, my husband, my family, and my friends. I will no longer feel guilty for sharing my time and feeding my soul by spending time with people not associated with my business. Not because I love what I do any less, but because I love myself more. In order to be healthy, happy, and whole, I need quality time with my husband and time for myself. I need to give and receive love from my family and friends. For the last 3 years, I have been Women By Choice. Today, I am excited to welcome back, Andromeda.
Follow me on Instagram @iamandromeda.