I have a very good friend who spent years working long hours in a stressful corporate environment. After years of this, they left the industry and worked somewhere else that, by their definition, was easier and more relaxed. They eventually left the “easier job” and stepped back into another intense role at a similar company to the original job.
When this friend talks about this in-between period of their life, they refer to it as, “when I took some time off.”
Knowing their full story, I can understand why they word it this way. To go from working 14+ hour days to 8 hour days must surely feel like a break. To go from a high stress environment to one filled with ease and simple joy must feel like a vacation.
But after several conversations around these topics that all referenced the in between job as “taking time off,” I had to interject.
You have to stop saying that, I blurted out of nowhere. I mean you really, really can’t think about it this way. I recognize what you’re trying to articulate by referring to that as ‘taking time off.’ But also, taking time off from what?
Love, this is your life! There’s no such thing as time off. You can stay in your bedroom all weekend but that calendar is still going to flip.
I’ve been thinking about time a lot this year – as I imagine many of you are as well. We all joke that this isn’t September 2nd but rather March 173rd. Since the global pandemic has impacted all of our lives in some way, the concept of time has felt shifty, at best.
With companies moving virtual, schools shutting down, travel grinding to a halt, and parties and gatherings feeling like a far lost memory, it’s easy to feel like the coronavirus has forced us all to take “some time off.”
But love, this is your life.
It may not look how you had planned. But this is your life. And the seasons are going to change whether we’re ready for them or not.
Things might look a little different now. But lean in. You’re learning. You’re growing. You’re here. And it’s your life.
What are you going to do with it?