Since we’re here at the end of the year (can you believe it?!), I wanted to take a moment to reflect on my journey in 2017.
This year was a big one for me. I left my job of three years to begin pursuing a masters degree in Human-Centered Design and Engineering at UW. In between leaving my job and starting school, I took a brief break from working full-time to begin healing from adrenal fatigue. And just before Christmas, I celebrated my one-year wedding anniversary with my partner.
2017 was a year of transition for me, and I’ve now come to know myself well enough to know that transition really throws me for a loop. I’ve known for several years that it was time for me to make a major career change. However, even when you know something in your gut and are completely committed to it, it can still feel really hard to make the leap when the time comes.
For me, the hardest part of transitioning is saying no and walking away from something. Especially something that you really love and care about.
This year I made the decision to walk away from two cookbook opportunities, stop doing freelance recipe development work, and put my weekly newsletter on pause for a bit. Coming to these decisions wasn’t easy by any means, and I spent a lot of nights tossing and turning.
In the end, the reason why I decided to say no and walk away from these opportunities is because I needed to make more space in my life.
On a particularly stressful day, I pulled out my copy of The Art of Extreme Self-Care by Cheryl Richardson.
You’ve probably heard me talk about this book before because it’s one of my absolute favorites, particularly when I feel overburdened, run down, and disconnected from myself. In chapter six, she walks you through the practice of creating an “absolute no” list, which are things you would like to stop doing in order to protect your energy.
As I began crafting my “absolute no” list, I kept coming back to the idea that I no longer wanted to feel pulled in a million directions. I’d rather focus on a few strategic areas and feel like I’m succeeding at those things, instead of trying to do too much and feeling like I’m failing at everything.
Although I love writing and creating recipes, it became clear that in order to create space to succeed in school and successfully transition into my new career, I would have to give some of these activities up. So, when it came time to make the decision, I decided to walk away from writing books and doing freelance work so I could keep running this blog and have more time to focus on graduate school.
What I learned this year is that although it can be hard in the moment to say no and walk away from something, it can also feel really good. Once you make the decision to say no, you open up space in your life for possibility and new opportunities. And that, my friends, is really exciting.
As we near the end of 2017, I hope you feel inspired to say no to things that no longer serve you and create more space in your life for things that excite you and bring you energy.
Wishing you a wonderful end to your 2017 a happy new year!