Lessons and Revelations Thus Far
This time off has been good for me and my family. I have had the mental space to be creative. My kids go to school with full bellies and come home right after school instead of going to after-school care. My husband gets to focus on his job and not worry about getting a phone call to pick up a sick kid or take time off for doctor appointments. He gets to focus on work and comes home ready to focus on our family.
I have learned the value of having a parent at home when kids are young and in school. However, it must be the parent’s choice as well. It is a sacrifice.
Before taking my Gap Year, I imagined having so much free time. Surprisingly I still find myself feeling overwhelmed and time-restricted. I don’t always have time to work out. I have missed several deadlines that I set for myself. I have gained weight, so I am probably moving less and eating more. My house is still messy and dirty.
As I write this article, prices for essential things in California have continued to rise. I have my emergency fund, but I haven’t had to use it, until now.
At this halfway point, I’m starting to feel like I may be ready to look for employment outside of my business and home. My business is as old as the time I have been off, 6 months. It will take longer to keep building it. I didn’t wait to resign until my business was booming as is recommended. I don’t regret that. I didn’t have it in me to continue working while in a pandemic with three kids going in and out of school.
Most of my in-person work is in the evenings or weekends. Other than that, I’m working on the computer. A job while my kids are in school some days a week will work perfectly with my schedule.
I am open to opportunities where I can make an impact without bringing work home. I want to work part-time or while my kids are in school so that I can continue to drop off and pick up.
The clarity that I have now about life and what I want, and need could not have been achieved while working in my 9-5. I was unhappy and those feelings were overpowering.
I wish I would have taken more Gap Years as an adult. One after high school. One after each of my kids was born. We are conditioned to believe that breaks in our careers will hurt us. But what hurts us is not taking any breaks at all.
Without this time, I would not have been able to do work that I am passionate about on a personal level. My work choices always revolved around what was best for my family. In doing something that is personal to me, I have increased my level of confidence immensely. I no longer fear putting myself out there sharing information about something that I believe I am good at. Regardless of where I go now, I will continue to build my business.
Since we are now at a point where we will need to use our emergency fund to supplement my income, I am feeling a bit of stress. I want to be proactive and start taking steps now to earn supplemental income in about a month or two.
It feels great to not feel the pressure to earn a certain level of income. At this point, because I am earning a bit of money with my business, I just need a small amount to keep us from going heavy into our emergency fund. With time, I am hopeful that my business will continue to grow and prosper.
In addition to the extra income, I believe that interacting with others is an opportunity for growth for my business. Working at home can be isolating. I am an introvert, but I also know the value of building a network and socializing. People hold a lot of knowledge, and I can’t tap into that by sitting at home.
The universe has always had my back. I will continue to make decisions that align with my values as that has always put me in the right place.