Sabbatical

It’s funny how a stressful time can also bring clarity. I started out this year with dreams of contentment, progress, and moving forward. In my head that meant an ever-growing blog following, crazy social media stats, a blooming creative business, and finally, a light at the end of the tunnel on the last year of our lives.

I was talking to my mom recently, explaining to her how spending five weeks inside of a hospital room can make you realize just how unnecessary some things are in your daily life. The stress and the pause that forced on your life can create a vacuum where you have the ability to evaluate your time, your hobbies, your relationships, and the things that are important to you.

My entire outlook on life has changed in the last five weeks. Things that I once thought I was destined to do no longer seem of value. The petty, the dramatic, the time-suckers – they no longer deserve a place in my life. Life is short, and you’re, most certainly, not guaranteed anything beyond the here and now.

You see, I tend to go into things at one of two speeds: full throttle or half-assed. I thrive on the initial excitement that comes with a new idea or project, but as my enthusiasm begins to wane I lose sight of my founding inspiration, and then ultimately my desire to keep moving forward. I went at this year for The Corner Office full throttle. I was going to make my dream come true of writing for a living, and I was going to do it by growing this blog, creating social media pages, and interacting with the other bloggers in this community. In my quest to do this, I lost sight of my original passion: writing.

I’ve spent endless hours in a hospital room trying to go about my daily life – writing, posting, creating graphics, engaging on social media, keeping up with everything, and at some point, I just became so irritated with trying to keep up that I stopped. I took some time to pause. I reflected on what I wanted out of this space and this community – was it to create my own business? Was it to be some amazing, sought after, creative entrepreneur, photographer, graphic designer…the list is endless? No. I wanted to create a space to write, share my story, and, hopefully, inspire other people. I was disappointed with how distracted by the hustle I had become. I was going through life thinking about how I was going to document it for the masses instead of actually living my life. Which, let’s face it, is a huge problem in our society now – we live to share it on social media, not to actually experience it.

As I was packing my overnight back on one of my trips home I picked up my PowerSheets, a couple of markers, and a notebook. I wanted to take some time and search for clarity on how I see my life in the next year – it’s only March. There is so much time left in 2017 to get back to me. The next afternoon I spent a few hours, while Justin slept, looking out the window, sipping on coffee, and listening to…well…myself.

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The conclusion: I need to take a break and spend some time focusing on the real world and the things that are happening right in front of me. I need to be present. And being present means letting go of some things, at least for now.

I won’t lie to you, I contemplated contemplating deleting The Corner Office Blog. Walking away and getting back to focusing on just the writing was sounding really appealing. I asked a friend how crazy I was to even contemplate deleting TCO. She simply responded: You are not deleting your blog. I asked why and she said “I like it” – so there you have it. TCO will stick around, but, the constant pressure I put on myself to post, share, and promote will be going out the window.
I am taking a sabbatical. I’m not sure when I will post again – it could be tomorrow, next week, two months from now, or in a year. I am taking time to start planning my life out again and really listening to myself. Instead of letting the hustle take over, I am going to enjoy, I am going to learn, I am going to engage, and I am going to be present.

Mondays are for Making it Happen

Being outside of my usual routine, all of the days seem to run together. Waking up on my little pull out couch in Justin’s hospital room, I witness the hustle and bustle of a Monday but it still doesn’t feel like Monday. I woke up, walked down the hall to the bathroom, stopped to brew the first pot of coffee for the unit, stole some coffee for myself, and headed back to set up shop on my little couch looking out the window on the hospital campus as the parking lots fill up and the sidewalks start to fill with staff, patients, and students.

While my Monday morning is not structured as it normally would be, it’s a Monday nonetheless – and that calls for some motivation!

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REBLOG: Searching for Happiness – The Value of Suffering

reblogPart of my weekends are dedicated to catching up on my reading and networking with other bloggers. I was intrigued when I found a post on ScaleItSimple – a blog that focuses on Positive Vibes, Lifestyle, and Travel. Please take a moment and check out her post: Searching for Happiness – The Value of Suffering.

BLOG –> Scaleitsimple.com

FACEBOOK, INSTAGRAM, & TWITTER

Mondays are for GRACE!

We could all use a little GRACE now and then – I’ve definitely been using my fair share over the last few weeks. Here is your Monday morning reminder that you are capable of so many things! More than you can even being to imagine! Dedicate some time to stillness: close your eyes, focus on your breathing, and listen to your body. Give yourself what you you need, even if it’s a little bit of grace.

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The New Normal: Caregiver Guilt

the-new-normal_caregiver-guiltThere are so many layers to caring for a loved one that has an illness or medical issue. I thought I had experienced all of them, figured out and mastered, this role once and for all. It has been five and a half years since Justin’s original diagnosis, in that time he has participated in countless clinical and research trials, went through traditional chemotherapy, and has now spent a year of his life fighting this disease

I thought I was prepared. I thought I had figured out how to deal with the emotional aspect of being the caregiver to someone with cancer. The truth is, I wasn’t dealing with the emotional aspect of my role at all. I was avoiding it.

There is a part of me that shuts down when my husband is gearing up for, going through, or coming down from a treatment process. I become an all-business freight train. Every single thing that happens in my daily life is measured to what Justin is going through, not by him, but by me. I have less patience for nonsense, including my own.

There’s no crying in baseball.

Sometimes being a caregiver means you don’t get the time to deal with your own emotions, because, let’s face it, it’s easier not to. We all know it’s not healthy to ignore your own emotional and physical needs, but I’m here to tell you, as someone who avoided dealing with my own emotional well-being, it catches up to you.

There is this heavy guilt that comes along with taking time for yourself when you are also caring for someone else. It seems selfish to stop, to yell, to cry, to be still – there are so many other things that you could be doing – that you should be doing.

But just like the Delta Flight Attendants tell you: “Put your oxygen mask on first before assisting other passengers.”

Easier said than done.

Going into Justin’s admission I knew that I would stay the first night with him at the hospital but would head home the following night to spend some time with Bruno, our cats, and just get a good night’s sleep in our bed. As soon as, and I’m talking the minute, we walked onto the BMT unit the guilt set in. It was a pit in my stomach, a swarm of butterflies, all erupting at the thought of leaving him here to go back home the following night. The swarming caused this kneejerk reactionary crying that was unstoppable. I tried to hide it, to just swallow it and be present. It didn’t work.

I spent a good portion of our first night in the hospital and most definitely the second day crying about leaving Justin to go home. I asked him repeatedly if he would be okay on his own, knowing that he would say yes, and most likely needed me to get away from him for a few hours. He always said yes. Always.

As the hours ticked by the guilt was crushing me. How could I leave him here? Why am I reacting like this? Why am I not stronger about this? I felt so incredibly sad about him being in the room alone, and me in the car driving away from the hospital.

It’s strange being in the hospital for an extended amount of time. You lose your bearings and grasp on the real world, you forget about everything outside, the hospital campus, the hospital itself, and ultimately live life on a single floor. You forget what is going on around you. The realization of what’s going on out there while you’re stuck inside is paralyzing and overwhelming. I didn’t want to become part of the outside world while Justin was still stuck inside.

After several text message exchanges with my mother, a good friend, and conversations with Justin, I packed up my things for the night. I procrastinated on actually standing up to walk out the door. Started random conversations, putzed around on my phone, smiled at Justin with tears in my eyes. I was a mess.

Finally, I got up the courage to just go. I kissed Justin goodbye, asked him one final time if he would be alright and made him promise to call me, text me, and Facetime me. The waterworks started, he laughed at me, and pushed me out the door. I managed to make it to the car without having a nervous breakdown, drove the 20 miles back home, pulled into the garage, walked into the house, greeted my puppy, and collapsed on the bed crying uncontrollably. Bruno licked my face, laid down next to me, and once I felt like I had sufficiently gotten my emotions out, I set out to make some dinner and get ready for bed.

It wasn’t until the next morning, after getting a full eight hours of sleep, having the luxury of making my own coffee and breakfast, and being able to spend a few hours at home better preparing for my next trip to the unit, that I realized just how necessary that time was. I felt so much more refreshed and prepared to spend another night at the hospital. You see, I wasn’t doing anyone any favors by feeling guilty about needing to take time to recharge. I was nothing but a crying mess for 36 hours, and I’ll tell you what: crying messes are not useful in the bone marrow transplant unit.

I learned a valuable lesson with this new chapter over the weekend: taking care of yourself is imperative, and giving into the guilt is not an option. No one can be “on” all the time, it’s not a realistic expectation and chances are, no one expects you to fill quota anyway. Take time, be still, breath, recharge, and go back in the ring.

Grab Ahold of This Monday!

Happy Monday Morning!

It’s your last Monday of January – how are you going to use it? I plan on spending some time looking at how January went in terms of my personal, blog, and professional goals and start planning for February. It’s a whole new world for my little family – Justin has officially be admitted and started the treatment process for his bone marrow transplant. So I’ll be coming to ya from my little space inside his BMT (Bone Marrow Transplant) Unit room!

Take ahold of this Monday and DO YOU!

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It’s Meet & Greet Weekend!

Head over to the Meet and Greet at Dream Big, Dream Often! Meet some new bloggers and find some fun stories to follow! Happy Saturday!

It’s the Meet and Greet weekend everyone!! Strap on your party shoes and join the fun! Ok so here are the rules: Leave a link to your page or post in the comments of this post. Reblog this post. It helps you, it helps me, it helps everyone! Edit your reblog post and […]

via Meet and Greet: 1/28/17 — Dream Big, Dream Often