Wednesday April 25, 2018
When I turned 30 in March, it was the first birthday that I felt like I had to do something. The entrance into a new decade did feel different, as if I had to acknowledge the expectation that my 30s would be the best years yet - so I had been told countless times. At first, I thought it was the big house party that I wanted, to fill our home with the people who we loved and loved us well, who we wanted Charlotte to look up to as she grew older, to feast together and merrymake over bottles of wine. But the thought of throwing a big bash at home while Donna was nearly about to pop seemed unsettling and the fact that extrovert me was internally recoiling at the thought of having people over and taking on yet another thing made me realize what I wanted, really needed: rest.
So we booked a trip to Hawaii. Our first real family vacation, my first time taking a leisure trip since 2015. To be honest, the time leading up to our time away was no time off the wheel for me and I was starting to feel the onset of burnout - something I hadn't felt since law school. I've realized, having worked more than I've ever worked before at the beginning stages of Our Heiday, is that burnout doesn't necessarily happen in the number of hours you work, but when the amount of work in the time you have makes you start forgetting why you're doing what you're doing; when the sense of purpose becomes muddied and blurred. And the only way to combat burnout is to value rest. We build it into our company culture as part of the benefits we offer and take our time off seriously, but the reality of running a company is that there are seasons of incredible, all-encompassing busyness, especially as new releases are approaching and trade shows are around the corner.
With deadlines met and responsibilities handed off (thank God for the brilliant people we have alongside us), Clarence, Charlotte, and I spent 5 nights in Oahu, soaking in the sunshine and letting our skin soften by the sand. We quickly learned that traveling with a toddler is no easy feat - vacationing takes on a completely different meaning when your days are filled with activities that bring new experiences for the little one while making sure she has enough to eat and places to nap. And while we took on two hikes, traveled around the island daily, and rarely stayed at our hotel, the fact that we were early risers and settled back into our room by 7 each evening made rest a built-in part of our packed schedule. How rejuvenating it was to unplug, to be present with family, to take in the breathtaking foliage at Waimea and the unreal water at Lanikai (see above).
To share every meal together, to observe our daughter despise the sand and love being in her unicorn floatie at the pool, to see her run around the maze at the Dole Plantation, to leisurely walk along the strand with my husband carrying our girl - all of these things reminded me of why I do what I do. I have been given the beautiful blessing of being able to do work that I love, a career that allows me the flexibility to spend time with my daughter and shape our company culture in a way that brings joy to the people who walk in here daily. Rest reminded of this is grace over my life. And as quickly as the time off passed by, I was entirely recharged as I walked back into the studio Wednesday morning. As daunting as it may seem to leave a whole host of things not completely finished, to leave some ties undone, sometimes the best thing is to walk away, to shut off. To trust that the work will be there for your tending to when you return allows us to choose to be with the ones we love; and often, this provides the only necessary inspiration to get back to your desk.
here's to rest for us all,