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Pause. I think that perfectly describes the last couple months for me. I took some time to catch my breath and rest after a busy Q1. When I returned to work from maternity leave, I started off strong, unstoppable and on a mission to make it my best year yet.
In fact, I have made it my best year yet but not without a little burn out along the way. I told myself at the start of the year, “I want to make at least 6 figures every quarter this year.” I did it pretty quickly in Q1 and somehow, by the grace of God, I continue to meet my goals; even while working the blog “part-time” right now. But at the end of April, I was beyond burnt out. The checks were flowing in, but I was exhausted. I was overwhelmed and the last thing I wanted to do was continue at the pace I was going.
So I stopped. I stopped blogging on my website. I stopped responding to emails. I stopped being available outside of posting occasionally on Instagram. I didn’t announce it. I just kind of stopped. Which of course started to drive everyone around me crazy from my management team to brands – but I desperately needed a break. My 9-5 was in the middle of a busy period and trying to balance both (plus my family) was more than I could handle.
I also needed to face a health thing that I wanted/needed complete closure on. When I was at the end of my pregnancy with Zoe, I was laying on the couch with Jason and randomly did a self-exam on my breast. I was pretty surprised to find a lump, especially since I go to the doctor regularly. I chalked it up to a clogged milk duct in preparation for my milk that would be coming in and tried not to think too much about it.
When I went to my next appointment, I brought it up to my doctor. He checked me, checked again and immediately told me to go see a specialist.
In that moment, I was pretty shocked because I was expecting him to say there was nothing to be concerned about … but I could see very quickly that this would not be the case. Next thing I knew, I was at Solis Mammography getting checked out. Because I was (very) pregnant, they could not do a mammogram on me, only an ultrasound. During my visit the doctor felt confident that I had a fibroadenoma – which is a benign breast tumor, but in order to be certain, I would need a biopsy. With Zoe expected to arrive any day, I decided to wait and focus on the healthy delivery of my baby girl and come back to do a biopsy after she was born.
Fast forward several months, I had my biopsy and I am happy to report that everything is benign. I do have to continue to see my doctor to monitor but this news was such a relief. This whole ordeal really put things into perspective for me and further validated that if I need to rest, I will rest. Life is too fragile to grind it out for the sake of appearances or money
My hope is that by taking a moment to rest, regroup and really put what I value the most into perspective, I’ll be able to come back to doing what I love with a full(er) cup and a greater appreciation for all of life’s blessings. Because quite frankly, I wasn’t enjoying what I was doing for awhile there. I was just going through the motions. Which is not how I want to live and it is not how I want you all to live either!
I am in the process of giving my website a little facelift and I hope to begin to rollout some of the projects that I’ve had tabled for a while now due to feeling totally overwhelmed.
At the beginning of the year, I hired a management team and an assistant and both of these decisions have been instrumental in maintaining a better work/life balance.
I think the next role that I add will be a social media manager but I haven’t fully defined what that will look like just yet. The more I can outsource and get support with, the better it is for my mental health – especially while I still work full-time.
There are a lot of words in this post, but the main thing I hope you takeaway is to take those moments of pause when you need them. I have found myself really needing to be intentional about rest lately. In my past, I would pride myself on being able to go go go no matter what. But honestly the older I get, the more I realize how ridiculous that is. We’re all only human. The important thing is to re-fill and then get back to work.
I hope this explains why I’ve been a little MIA from the blog and I am looking forward to slowly easing back in.
Thank you so much for being here. I truly appreciate each of you.
A Dallas-based blog featuring Fashion, Beauty, Travel and Motherhood by Steph Taylor Jackson.