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I find it equally surprising and comforting that so many people took the time to comment on a post I wrote back in June 2012 titled “I’m leaving my job” because, at the time, I wrote it mainly to reassure myself I was making the right choice. I honestly didn’t expect feedback in response to what I wrote.

Since that initial post sparked a lot of well wishers to chime in and let me know I would be ok, I thought it would be fitting to follow-up three years later with an update. I AM better than ok.

You see, I left a corporation that had limitless time attached to it (no, that’s not entirely true, there is no place that is 100% safe). But I did say goodbye to a company with seemingly more security than I have now.

Back then I accepted a new role that is tied to a company that was awarded a defined-period-of-time contract to do business. I live with the knowledge that, as early as this time next year, I could be job hunting again if we aren’t re-awarded new business.

I like to talk the talk, but not necessarily walk the walk, when it comes to embracing change.

I know without a doubt that every leap I’ve made up to this point in my life has resulted in being better off than where I was before. Yet, it never gets un-scary to take that leap, does it?

There are likely more than a few of you on the fence right now struggling with an important life change. I’m here to tell you…it WILL be better than ok.

  • It will be better than ok so long as you’ve weighed your options (never underestimate a pros/cons list) and it feels like it’s a choice you can accept and embrace.
  • It will be better than ok if you can imagine the possibilities of pursuing something that calls to you without fear of the unknown blocking your perspective.
  • It will be better than ok if it makes it easier for you to explain to your children why you choose to go to work because, believe it or not, they are interested in knowing what it is that you do all day and why you do it.

If you are anything like me, you started working because you wanted to somehow make a difference along with a paycheck. You wanted to use your talents and work alongside compelling colleagues that brought out the best in you. You didn’t mind putting in extra hours when no one cared that you did because you thought your work would define your greatness.

Allow me to let you in on a little secret….

…. (come close and listen, this is good stuff)….

…. life happens when you least expect it.

It happened to me.

I graduated college, got married, landed a job, lived in a few apartments, played in slow pitch softball and volleyball leagues, bought a house, had three children, stopped playing all previously mentioned activities, leaned on and laughed with girlfriends, signed my kids up for too many activities, watched loved ones get sick, rejoiced when some got better, said goodbye to others forever, and started to listen more than I talked.

That last one continues to be a struggle.

This time in my life, this job, has given me opportunities that I won’t take for granted. This phase of my career has given me the chance to make an impression on my kids.

Lexington baby shower4

Helping a little guy with the ring toss game at a community event.

I have more life experience and, as a result, recognize how different people deemed “in charge” have either helped or hindered my progress over the years. Some were leaders who encouraged new ideas, other were followers who trickled down orders.

Because life happens, I now know how to take better care of the people who rely on me from day-to-day. I’m handling less projects and more people.

People are saying things like “Your communication was excellent,” and “I appreciate you more than you know.” Amazing the types of things you hear when you stop doing all of the talking!

Yet the future remains uncertain.

If it all comes to an end in a year’s time, I will never regret making that leap.

Because…I am better than ok. And you will be too.

Written by Heidi Woodard

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Boy, it’s been way too long since we last connected.

Not only have I not written here as much as I would have liked, I am behind on following favorite bloggers like One Thousand Single Days, 365til30, Contemplative Fitness, and others. Sorry, random strangers that I now consider lifelong friends, I will try to catch up soon.

I recently stumbled upon something interesting about forcing yourself to suffer for 15 minutes each day on a process that feels seemingly insurmountable. The point of this advice was that people will inevitably procrastinate on doing things that they dislike or that consider impossible to achieve.

But if you manage to devote a minimal amount of uninterrupted time each day to the activity you want to conquer, you will amaze yourself with positive results.

Here’s my dilemma: I am currently overwhelmed with a boatload of activities that I thoroughly enjoy. (Don’t you feel so sorry for me?)

I’ve got the full-time job where I’m getting paid to live a more mission-driven life. I’ve got my weekly blogging for momaha.com and radio appearances on the Pat&JT Show, which both allow me to capture memories of my kids growing up.

Speaking of those kids, I have these three amazing people looking up to me for love and support.

my proudest accomplishments

my proudest accomplishments

I’m training for my third half marathon, partially for the physical benefits I’ll reap, but more so for the chance to beat my equally competitive cousin.

And, GET THIS, I started freelance writing for a new client and recently got contacted by another interested party. If I’m not genetically wired or young enough to be a collegiate sand volleyball player, at least I get to spend my free time doing what I really enjoy: expressing myself through words.

So I guess my biggest hurdle is that my free time is slowing slipping away.

It’s a pretty spectacular dilemma to have. Facebook can wait.

Created by Heidi Woodard

So…about that new job. It’s going pretty great actually. I know you’ve all been losing sleep over not knowing whether or not I like it.

I still don’t know everything I need to know (tomorrow will be the start of my fourth week), but I’m not lost like I feared I would be after leaving a place where I knew my role like the back of my hand.

It’s Sunday evening and I’m not feeling any how-many-hours-do-I-have-left-to-my-weekend anxiety. I no longer dread Monday mornings. Strike that…I don’t dread returning to work on Mondays. I always dread mornings, no matter what the day.

Most importantly, I am starting to embrace my professional identity. I am now in a position where my success will be measured by how much better I make other people’s lives. It recently dawned on me that it is a role completely synonymous to what it means to be a mom.

Maybe that’s why I am excited for each new day? Or maybe I’m still simply in the honeymoon phase? Or maaaaybe…I don’t need to try and rationalize why I feel the way I do? I keep telling myself to simply live in the moment and soak up new opportunities as they arise.

I believe I have identified the x-factor when it comes to determining job satisfaction: To be happy with what you do for a living, you must share a personal desire with those who surround you.

Some people want to be known for having the greatest material wealth or influence, so they surround themselves with others who seek out similar status. Some people want to change the world so that it is better for future generations, so they forgo immediate gratification to pursue something bigger than themselves. Some are happy simply existing, knowing they have a support system in place who can remind them of their greatest strengths when they’ve forgotten. Some people want to laugh everyday and see the good in others, so they embrace similar thinkers and doers in the hopes of finding solutions instead of harping on problems.

After all, the world is a beautiful place and we only have but one life to live. It’s not easy to stay positive, but I’m going to embrace this period for as long as possible.

Even Monday mornings are worth celebrating my friends.