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Dear self,

A few things I don't want to forget when I start my new job next week.

Sara Lobkovich
Sara Lobkovich
4 min read

This issue is slated for Tuesday morning, but I’m going to hit send early because today’s a big day. It’s my last day between jobs and I want to make sure I write this stuff down.

And as if by clockwork my neighbor squirrel just popped up outside the window to my left. It’s a fat one, well fed, with a big fluffy tail and they hang out in the tree during the day and I may never have noticed them if it weren’t for this time off.

Unplanned, unstructured, unscheduled time. It’s a gift, that shouldn’t be as rare as it is.

I’ve been in perpetual motion since at least 2016, probably longer. I’ve worked so hard and so much that last year my doctor sat me down and stared me in the eye and told me my life has to change and I thought “that sounds nice but how on earth?”

So as I wrap up my “in between” time, and look forward to starting my new day job, I wanted to take a few minutes to write a few things down for myself (and if you’re not me, and you’re reading this, I decided to hit send and share it with you).

Dear Self,

During this break you’ve been going to bed when you’re tired and getting up when you wake up. You’ve been reading books (voraciously) and not consuming as much screen time: more of your screen time has been spent connecting and creating. You’ve been getting to the climbing gym, and to the acupuncturist, and making your therapy appointments instead of canceling those things because of work. You’re sleeping better and waking refreshed and haven’t felt your blood pressure spike — actually, on that point, you haven’t taken your blood pressure in weeks because of so many “normal” readings in a row. Your husband has become more funny (or you’re noticing him more, and taking him for granted less). You’re feeling again. And remembering that not-feeling is a watch out: it’s a warning sign to heed earlier than you have been in recent years.

You started a business because you’ve spent your whole career building other peoples’ and you’ll spend the rest of it doing that too but instead of spending ALL your time building other peoples’ let’s remember to spend some of your time building your own.

You outlined a book: now let’s not forget to write it.

You started the long process of reconnecting with friends and family and the serendipity of saying “yes” to in-person get-togethers. When I was working a travel job several years ago I fell out of the habit of making plans because it was impossible to keep them. It will be a long road to change that habit but I’ve made a little progress on that front, and will keep chipping away at it.

And a thing I really want to remember most is the way it felt this morning when we woke up, and the nine year old’s week-long cold had turned into an ear infection, and you sat down on the bed next to her and she leaned, heavily, against you for comfort and you realized: there’s nothing else I have to do today. I can do this. And I wish that’s how every sick kid day could feel and that isn’t realistic — but I can do a better job of being present in those moments of what’s most important in the world even if I have to shift gears after that to something else that’s important to my work. It’s a strange thing to have a life as wholly blessed as mine is and to spend so much (all of my waking time) stressing about work. I love my work. And I love my life. And there is so much more to my life than my work.

And speaking of work, I want you to remember how you landed this job you’re starting on Monday.

As your last job started to wind toward its close, you panicked and sent out huge batches of job applications and cold calls and calls for help to your network and

an aside: your network caught you like a literal safety net, full of support and encouragement and “Yes, and…” and “you’ve got this” and “you should meet …” and “what can I do to help” and the urging reminder from my favorite misfit godmother to ask for help from the people who love me

and as you madly applied for jobs you also took a little time to daydream about what you’d actually really like to do with your working hours. To think about what work may bring your life more ease, and less conflict. What work may be more of a natural fit for you, and less forced.

And you cold-called two companies that were your top two choices to work with next, and focused your search on those two companies. And when you interviewed for a marketing job with one of them, you were honest in your answers about where your energy actually lies

not marketing;

my energy actually lies in coaching, teaching, results, leadership engagement and development, human experiences

and you didn’t get the marketing job but the conversation warmed up and that leader connected you with another leader there

and the job and terms you literally dreamed up came to be.

And you start on Monday.

So enjoy this weekend. Unplug. Get some more rest. Enjoy that husband who’s somehow even more handsome than when you met and the two little girls who are growing so fast I can’t even really call them little girls anymore. Don’t forget how good it’s felt the last few weeks to laugh more and furrow your brow less. Pay attention to your “stress neck” that was chronic and now pops up only in certain times — consider it an early warning sign that must be heeded.

Because I love my work. And my work is only one part of the life that I love even more.


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