At the time of this post, it’s been seven months since I walked away from my corporate career and quit my job. In some ways it’s gone by quickly. In other ways, it feels like it was so long ago that I left, it’s almost as if it were a dream.
One thing has remained consistent: I have no regrets.
Having “no regrets” doesn’t mean that I don’t still have pangs of loss that hit me. I still find myself wondering in the shower (where all deep thinking happens) – could I interview a candidate right now? And then I strain to remember the questions we would ask, and I can envision the whole thing, down to the conference rooms we would typically use for interviews.
Before I quit my job, the company had recently been acquired and was still going through tremendous growth.
That means I am missing out on some of the big moments happening after I walked away.
Like when a friend mentioned they saw a commercial for my company on Hulu recently. National advertising wasn’t happening when I was working there, and in that moment, I thought, “Dang it. Of course, I quit before most people outside of our area had even heard of us.”
I’ve talked in the past about blocking out the white noise in my mind. For me, white noise is the thoughts in my head that don’t matter; the what if’s and what other people think about me.
The white noise is everything I can’t control.
When I block out the white noise, I have no regrets. I have a sense of peace about where my life is in this moment. Not every day is happy, but that’s life. If today is bad, tomorrow is usually better.
Something that helped me transition well from career + mom life to full-time mom life is being aware of the things I would miss most about working. Those things included taking our daughter out of a full-time preschool program that she loved, and the friendships I had with my co-workers (which I knew wouldn’t be the same once I stopped seeing them five days a week).
After quitting, I was hyperaware of the things I would miss and worked to find ways to fill the gaps:
- The leadership team I was on meets up with me for dinner once a month (thanks to Bailey for proposing it and setting a recurring invite on our calendars).
- I signed up our daughter for a cool preschool class held outside in a garden once/week.
- I enrolled both kids in a tumbling class.
- Our son was starting another season of soccer.
- We got library cards and went to our local library for the first time (and continue to go regularly).
- I connected with a fellow mom and we put standing weekly playdates together.
- I made an effort to take the kids to parks, especially our youngest who wasn’t going to be in school for the upcoming year.
- I’ve become closer with a small group of previous co-workers, and we also try to have dinner regularly.
- Someone invited me to a line dancing class, and I said “yes”!
I have tried to take control of a situation that could be scary – going from a career that I loved (until the last few months), to being a stay at home mom – and make my life reflect what I want.
It doesn’t mean that I only value staying at home now, or think corporate life is for idiots.
It means I made a choice to change the direction of my life; our life.
If you are thinking about changing course in your own life, I highly recommend: 1) blocking out the white noise, 2) having an understanding of what you will miss from your previous life, and 3) making an effort to fill those holes with new things.
And having no regrets.