It's kind of unbelievable, the present I now live in.
The sabbatical is over, and I'm officially RETIRED. From ever working again? Nope. But from a 20+ year career in HR, Recruiting, and Career Coaching? Yep.
As 2023 kicked off, we've made some big decisions for what life looks like moving forward. I've been blessed to have crossed off a few key things from my bucket list in the past decade that I never would have anticipated back in my youth, including but not limited to:
Living on acreage. Blood, sweat and tears on a 5 acre farm? Raising hundreds of chickens, five ducks and a few shelter dogs to boot? Hearing everything from coyote pups to bullfrogs to the neighbor's hyperactive mule from our back porch? Planting a vegetable garden and mini-orchard and chicken/duck house with our bare hands? Rebuilding the house from the inside out - and outside in? Chopping our own trees down for firewood? Check, check, check, check, check, check! The beautiful memories will always eclipse the necessity for leaving and the traumas that were experienced on the farm, and I've learned from both.
Experiencing motherhood. Maybe I never became a mother for life, but I have been expecting, I have welcomed a baby into the world and called him my son, and I have loved two girls who called me mom. So much of me would like to say that if I could go back in time I wouldn't do it, but when my husband asked this little girl if he could be her daddy, and she nodded with a big huge smile on her face? Or when she whispered to her sister "guess what! we can call her mom!" with glee? How could I want to erase those memories...
Becoming debt free. From paying off my student loans to eliminating credit card debt to achieving the mother of all goals, buying our current house in cash to become mortgage-free, even if there have been other financial tragedies along the way, this is something I think would make my dad proud...and has released me from chains I never realized I had. Every step we take from here on out is with that in the back of our minds - and with that, the possibilities become endless.
Owning my own business. While I'd moonlit in prior years as a photographer and a chocolatier, jumping off the cliff into full time solopreneur life in 2012 was a phenomenon I never could have imagined would last a full decade, and changed me for the better. Multiple times I wanted to bail, but the alternatives were just terrifying. Being my own boss suits me so very well, and I gained an entirely new perspective both on my profession and the industries I served...so much so that when the pandemic became a long-term reality and the adoption chaos began? I wasn't terribly devastated to leave it. Certain aspects? Yes. (I found myself volunteering to connect my nephew with an industry colleague/friend just this week...). But the majority of it? Nope. It's that lesson I've been reminded of throughout my life- just because you're good at it doesn't mean it's your destiny for ever-and-ever. It also reminds me of the old metaphor I used as a coach, comparing the job search to dating, in that we can have multiple soul mates in our lives! I am SO proud of the 20+ years spent in recruiting and human resources, in so many industries and company sizes and locations! I can't imagine having just stayed at one employer all those years, as I never would have been as good as I was as a consultant (or attracted such a diverse clientele) had I looked at work the way my parents had, the i.e., pick one job and stick with it. It just wasn't me.
Now the only one of the Top 5 on the bucket list I didn't achieve? Owning a horse. It was obviously deep in my soul since I was a wee lass, but after living on the farm and understanding not only the responsibilities that far outweigh those of having a kid (who you can take with you wherever you go...and way more easily find a sitter for!), not to mention becoming highly conscious that much of what I want to do moving forward does not involve sitting still ? I had to take that off the list. But I loved grabbing a big hunk of grass or a carrot and meeting the four beauties across the street from us on our farm and living vicariously...
Anyhow, so with that, I am signing off this blog, and kickstarting a journey on a new page. Because of the career advice, interviews, and tips I've spent years compiling, I'm leaving this blog online as an archive of my past, but have removed any comment/follow features and simply leave it now as evidence of where I've been.
Want to follow me on my next journey? I'd love to hear from ya! While it's in early stages, you can find me over at www.kitchengardenplanet.com. Ciao!