Oh sweet March how I have been counting the days to your much anticipated arrival. March has always been a celebratory month as I age a year wiser and also commemorate one of the happiest days of my life; however March 2017 is undeniably one for the memory books. I have begun writing a new chapter of my life as I recently quit corporate. The reasons for which are numerous but the basic truth is that although I was coping just fine, I have confidently reached a point in my life where “just coping” is intolerable. So after some deliberation and a whole lot of prayer, I quit and I have never felt lighter or quite simply, happier. Clearly, this would not have been a viable option if it weren’t for my incredibly supportive husband who is fortunately the best company I could have wished for in my comfortable corner.
My first week of liberation has been nothing short of sublime so naturally I felt compelled to share my out-of-office experience. It is rather amazing how much we can decipher from our inner voice just by some voluntary solitary confinement and opening our minds to new possibilities and ignoring the negativity.
Day 1 Freedom (aka Tuesday) entailed a breakfast date with a close confidant at an undecided upon location (because spontaneity is actually a thing!). Unfortunately, my date had to reschedule our Freedom celebration which left me needing to conjure up alternative festivities. After being positively perturbed at Ster-Kinekor’s early morning movie schedule not taking into account a recently – released woman, who wishes to watch an adult movie rather than the latest blockbuster animation, in between gyming and school rounds; I tried desperately to make a last minute appointment to pamper my desperately-in-need –of-pampering hair. Alas! All the salons could not accommodate my desperate plea because apparently there are a whole bunch of living women who can actually visit a salon during work hours! So instead of setting myself up for further disappointment, I decided to ……wait for it……do sweet nothing! I spent the morning lounging around in my pyjamas, reading a shallow book and watching Fashion Police (do not judge me!). I then decided to cook up a storm – nothing to rival cyclone Dineo but definitely along the lines of a typical Highveld storm. I even baked! Then before I hurt myself or raised my family’s expectations to unrealistic levels; I instructed myself to immediately terminate all culinary assignments and get comfy with Harvey and Mike.
Wednesday, recently referred to by me as its-the-middle-of-the-week-and-I-ain’t-miserable day, witnessed me indulging in a heavenly full- body one hour massage at the splendid Aronia day spa in Houghton. I think I actually had to pinch myself to reassert that this was my reality on a normal Wednesday morning instead of emails, spreadsheets and meetings. While this may be a routine act of bliss for some, for me it was paramount to an unsuspected mid-week getaway simply because it was not a special occasion, nor a surprise gift from a loved one. It was just me taking some time out in the middle of a rather ordinary week for me. I had discovered paradise!
Thursday turned out to be rather extraordinary as I attended my first bloggers’ tea. Lula Fox invited me to “An Introduction to Clean Beauty” and I will blushingly admit that I was mesmerised. The co-founders, Sinead Brook and Fiona Buchner, who were both corporate high-flyers juggling demanding careers and a growing brood; chose to ditch the tailored suits and boardrooms in search of a more flexible, balanced and ultimately fulfilling life (certainly does sound familiar!) . After years of research and acknowledging the blatant gap in the market, they launched Lula Fox – an all natural, local make-up brand that guarantees to live-up to mainstream, professional grade cosmetics but without all the unnecessary preservatives and chemicals that, unaware to most of us, cause toxic build up in our bodies which can result in life threatening diseases. These two phenomenal women who have witnessed the tremendous health benefits of a cleaner, healthier lifestyle are indeed the embodiment of what it takes to be a true “mompreneur”. After a rather informative albeit entertaining discussion, I was treated to a full make-over and learnt a few basic tricks to bring out the more glamorous side of me. Please can someone remind me where I was last week because today I feel like I belong on a red carpet!
Friday Emancipated saw me returning to an old habit that I had to relinquish in the days of clock-ins and deadlines. I invited my family over for our customary, Friday–post-prayer lunch and I spent the entire afternoon bonding with my sisters and mum over cheese cake and crème brulee. Is this not what life is ultimately about? And the best part is that the weekend hadn’t even begun as yet!
While my last job might have confidently convinced me that a full – time office job and my desire to also somehow be a full-time mum are completely unconducive; I am still slightly hesitant to totally write-off corporate life because once upon a time it definitely did fulfil my left-brain requirements. But for now I am savouring that my weekends have resumed their role of quality family time instead of my-planning-for-the-chaotic-week-ahead days; I am relaxed knowing that my entire week is not thrown into pandemonium should an unexpected event arise in my kids’ calendars and I am absolutely loving being able to do all the little things that we take so for granted. Confused some may say; but I say so what? Doesn’t acknowledging that we are miserable make us stronger instead of labouring through our days in a weak effort to convince ourselves that this is what life is about? Isn’t admitting that we may have possibly made a mistake the first step in the right direction? Don’t we owe it to ourselves to find that which brings us unconditional happiness?
Life Book Hacks:
- Seek happiness. Happiness presents itself in various forms for different people. So do not mindlessly assume that what brings one woman pleasure will do the same for you. But search for it no matter how long it takes or hard you fall – it is out there.
- Define your own success. This is a tough one. I like to simplify it by thinking of what you would like the mourners at your funeral to be praising about you.
- Make mistakes. Yes it is a cliche; but how will you truly learn what you love and are brilliant at if you are too afraid to mess up.
- Be sure to have a person – just one person who you can talk to about absolutely anything without being judged and who will in return provide you with unbiased advice but unconditional support.