Monday, August 12, 2013

Love Your Life

This is going to be a very personal post for me.  As I am writing this I am spending the night in the hospital with a very dear friend who is fiercely battling Stage 4 Melanoma.   She is sleeping and I am catching up on work emails. 

I am and always have been a very driven person when it comes to my career.  From college until I had my first child, my career in fashion/retail was my TOP priority.   It caused some strain on those closest to me and my personal relationships but those who loved me hung in there!  When I had a child my world shifted entirely.   There were no longer enough hours in the day for me to be who I used to be from a career perspective and who I wanted to be for my family.   I watched other parents do this seamlessly but I struggled.  I felt I wasn’t doing any of my roles well and wrestled with stress, anxiety and fatigue.  I continued to push on for seven months.  The morning of September 11th 2001 I said goodbye to my husband who  I had not spent quiet time with for as long as I could remember. I dropped our son off at a day care provider I was not satisfied with, and headed to work.  I was on the phone with a vendor in NYC when the planes hit.  I was supposed to be in NYC that day but my work trip had been pushed out.   It was a pivotal moment for me and millions of people.  Life is precious.   I realized I needed to make a change. 

After 12 years of all career it was frightening to let go.  I discussed it with my family and we decided I would step out of the industry for a year and see how it went.  We planned from a budget perspective…slashed our income in more than half….moved to a smaller home.   I was in a new world of stay at home moms with children.  For six months I introduced myself including the fact that I used to be a Merchant.   Hard to leave that identity.   I took an entire year off that I will NEVER regret.  But there is a part of me that gets great validation from my career and I just love the people in our industry.  So I slowly started working again.  12 years and an additional child later I have my own business and am back to full time work.

It is not the dream I used to have of being a Brand President leading an army of fashion talent but it works with the rest of my life.  The days are intense but there is balance and flexibility.  My dear friend who is fighting for days reminds me how important it is to love your life every day.  Our industry is intense and the more we earn the more is expected of us.  However when people perform, have confidence and plan there are always options.   I talk to many candidates who are not happy and in an unhealthy work environment .   Life is too short.  Make sure you stop and evaluate.  Have you had a pivotal moment?  Did you make adjustments or just keep muscling through?   Do you enjoy what you do?  Does your career allow you to have a balance in life that works for you and those you love? Does your life allow you to do work that you enjoy?   If you need to make a change…what are your options?   Keep an open mind there might be wonderful things you never considered just around the corner!

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