Reflections on a month not-off
And a peek inside my brain at an idea that's taking shape.
It’s been an interesting little stretch of “funemployment” this month.
Full disclosure, I haven’t even taken more than two consecutive days off at a time. I wrapped up my day job the first week of January, then immediately started a project supporting that company near and dear to my heart with their participation at a conference near and dear to my heart then left the conference to hop a plane to meet Chris and the kids in Abbotsford for the Vancouver Motorcycle Show and
now we’re home for two days packed with meetings and self-care appointments then off for a little actual getaway that is actually vacation while we’ll really unplug (and get some sunshine)
and plan our businesses for 2020
and get ready for me to start a new job on February 10th
it’s not exactly funemployment but we are working out every day and getting back in shape for the motorcycle season and that’s helping my mood and overall well being and I wish 90-day sabbaticals every few years was a thing. I feel like 90 days would give you time for this frantic random activity pattern stage, then a period of actual rest and reflection, and then a ramp up to re-entry. But that’s totally theoretical.
It’s been a gift to spend the month this way. More unplugged. More face to face time with family and friends. Having time to think, and then realize I was spending too much time thinking, and then working on not thinking — then to realize that my “feelings cable” seems to have disconnected itself again, and to work on plugging it back in. Also, to read all the things (literally ALL the things … I found a great hippie-dippy book about menopause that I’m excited to dig into so LMK if you’re here for that and I’ll share).
The last few years have not been characterized by balance. My goal for this break was to find some way to try to exist with more balance. And I’ve still got work to do on that front, and boundaries with the new role to set and enforce for myself, but I feel like I’m pointed in the right direction now.
I made a fill-in-the-blank post for Instagram for the conference on Saturday and then decided I better fill it out myself. When I asked myself the question: “What do I plan to achieve in 2020?” the answers I said back to myself surprised me a little and they’re definitely different than I would have said without this time off to get reacquainted with myself. They put my life and purpose first, not my job. And that’s new (or new again) for me. And I like it.
I had ups and downs in my riding season last year (my motorcycle life lives at The Moto Curious) and as I started to unpack my reticence to start this season I realized that my first order of business is to tackle my imposter syndrome on the bike. I’ve made so much progress on my “imposter thoughts” elsewhere in my personal and professional life; I don’t remember ever feeling it in climbing — which is weird, because I’ve never been a particularly good climber, just avid at it. But on the bike at the track
I’m not good enough
I don’t belong here
I should get out of the way
I’m in someone else’s way
I’ll never be good enough
And even I can look at that and think — why on earth would a brain do this to itself? I’ve been riding for years. I’ve ridden with amazing coaches and mentors. I’ve trained (and continue to train) with some of the (literal) best coaches in the world.
So it reminds me that I have work to do.
I am good enough.
I belong here.
I’m not in anyone’s way: if they have the skill to, they can get around me.
I belong here as much as anyone else does.
I am here. I belong here.
I am here, now.
More on the upcoming day job after I get started at it (and I’m REALLY excited). In the meantime, I’m working on a little project that I wanted to start to share with you all.
I’ve spent the last month in a bit of a digital detox: off Facebook, limiting my social media scrolling time (focusing my social media time more on real connection with specific people and on creating content), getting my phone off my body as much as possible, and most recently, tucking my laptop and the phone into a spot in the living room two hours before bedtime so that I can wind down before bed.
I miss a lot of information from friends, which I don’t love. I do spend more time reaching out to people and checking in, which I like. So I haven’t quite found the balance on staying up to date with friends without losing time to infinite scroll, just yet.
But I also dramatically cut back my news consumption
and I love it.
I’d been pining for the days when I heard the morning news on the radio over coffee and watched the six-o-clock news each night and that was it. No 24 hour breaking news all day every day through six different digital apps and the TV and radio all at once.
Resuming that old fashioned familiar rhythm has given me a lot of time back, and has reduced my stress level significantly. I’m not disengaged: I’m still actively engaged with the issues of the day, and spending my time reaching out when people pop to mind. I’m just consuming a smaller amount of content about the world outside my present experience and I’m good with that. I can dive deeper when I want or need to. And I’m going to keep the habit up.
But for many of us, our livelihoods depend at least in part on being present in social media. And that brings me back to this idea I’ve been exploring.
I’ve been toying with an idea around consuming (infinite scrolling) less, creating more, and doing it with greater connection and reach.
For people whose livelihoods and/or creative lives depend on being digitally connected, but who don’t want to spend unnecessary precious time scrolling when we could be creating. For experts and explorers and content creators whose livelihood depends (at least in part) on social media and whose creation process (and personal well-being) crave unplugging and human connection.
If that describes you (or piques your curiosity) will you please shoot me a quick email?
What I’m envisioning is
- one part coaching / expertise sharing
- one part technical solution to the challenge of “infinite scroll” and social media as time-suck, and
- one part time-boxed, productive digital community.
I won’t do your social media for you, but I will help make it easier, more efficient, and more impactful for you to manage your social media professional life.
So again, if that speaks to you, please email me. No commitment necessary: I’m just trying to see if I’m the only one with this craving / need. I’m solving this for myself and the only gap in the framework right now is community and connection with other like-minded folks wrestling with the same things, so perhaps there may be a way to (virtually) work together?
And, if you’ve got a friend or colleague this may resonate with, can you please share this note?
As always, thank you for reading. Have an intentional week!
Sara Lobkovich Newsletter
Join the newsletter to receive the latest updates in your inbox.