def: Mid-life Pause (noun mid-lahyf pawz)
1. a temporary stop or rest from career around 40-50 years of age to reflect on where one has been, where they appear to be headed and to make any necessary changes surrounding their findings.
Ali is taking a mid-life pause and is thoroughly enjoying it.
Nothing like a 7 year hiatus from blogging (is this even still a thing any longer??) 🙂
So, a lot has happened in these past 7 years and I’m feeling the desire to start writing again. I’ve so enjoyed reading over what I have written in the past on here and on my previous blog from when we lived in Seattle, that I thought this would be the perfect place to add to again.
My biggest news is that I left my job of 19 years back at the end of June – without another job lined up. On one hand this was a super tough decision and on the other hand it was a no brainer. It is one of the scarier things I have done in my adult life. There were many reasons that contributed to this decision but they mainly had to do with my personal life at that moment.
As a working mom, I had made the decision every summer of my kids’ lives to choose work over spending the summer with them. This would break my heart at the beginning of each summer and it would take me a good 4-5 weeks to feel like my heart was somewhat put back together again. This summer was no exception. This time I also had the added sadness with our youngest graduating from 6th grade/elementary school. With him still being there, we still had one foot in the sweetness/innocence that is elementary school and I had witnessed firsthand with our oldest what can happen to them during the middle school age/phase and it wasn’t super pretty! I was mourning the loss of the innocence as well a the fact that here I was yet again choosing work over summer with the kids (who, frankly, aren’t really into spending that fun kind of time with Mom any longer). Couple that with some other events that happened at home (not to mention how things were shifting at work and my longing for exploring other paths in my career) and I was 85% sure I was going to leave my job – unsure of what to do next but needing to take some time off.
One day during this time, a member of one of my teams paid me a visit in my office. Having just returned from maternity leave several weeks before, she explained that she had decided to resign as it was just too hard to be away from her new bundle of awesomeness that is her baby! Much to my surprise, I immediately started crying! I apologized to her saying that I had no idea where these tears were coming from and that if anyone was crying in my office, it was usually the people sitting in her chair, not me! I remembered so well sitting where she was sitting after my first baby and making a different decision and how difficult that was. It as like I had to make the decision over again every day. Some days were easier than others to make that call. I was so proud of her for making the difficult decision that was right for her and her family at this time. Once she left my office (I’m convinced she thinks I’m a crazy woman!), it all became clear to me. I needed to go home and be with my babies! Leaving at the end of June would still give me some time to be with them during the summer even if I was just houseplant parenting (a term I recently saw Glennon Doyle use to describe parenting her teenage son – being present like a houseplant but not really offering many lectures etc. any longer but there if he needed her).
With 6 weeks left of summer and my husband taking a pause from career as well, I felt we had to take full advantage of this time together so we added a second summer trip to the list – Zion and Bryce Canyons in Utah with a couple of days in Vegas baby! It was amazing and we got to do some great hiking and spend some quality time together. We were back home for two days and then headed out on our original trip to Costa Rica for 9 days. This was our first trip out of the country with the boys so it was neat to see them in a different culture hearing a different language all around us.
Now, let’s be real, these trips weren’t all rainbows and unicorns and I am convinced that the only reason we made it back as one family unit was that we all took our Green Compass CBD oil every day of those trips! (Traveling with teens who don’t want to be traveling is hard work!) 🙁 Regardless, I am so happy for the experiences and despite the teenagers, I had a great time! I feel like I had a good balance of time to think and to have adventures.
Here I am back from those travels and now we are into the school year. My mid-life pause continues and I’m finding out all sorts of things along the way!
(Pic above of me in Costa Rica at our fabulous bungalow in Tamarindo. This was my daily meditation spot – swoon!!)
(originally posted Sept. 19, 2019)