- Take the summer off. This is a short term plan, but I know myself well enough to know that if I don't plan to take a block of time off, I'll immediately pressure myself to start looking for something else. I need this time to relax, destress, spend time with the kids, and think more about what I'd like to do.
- Spend more time with the kids. And M. This goes without saying, but my current schedule doesn't allow for this. My kids have never had a week of summer vacation (or, even a few days, for that matter) where we just chill at home, going to the park, meeting up with friends, etc. Last year they asked for a week without camps, and I couldn't make it happen, schedule wise. This year, they may be begging to go to a few camps. ;-)
- Rush less. Every day is a mad scramble. A mad, mad scramble, in a week of mad scrambles that comprises a month of craziness. I feel like I'm constantly hurrying everyone - myself, and the kids. In fact, it's something they comment on. It would be very, very nice to rush just a little less. I understand that having two kids & activities means there will also be somewhat of a rush to get out the door, but less would be great. :-)
- Stress less. Work is the last thing I think about before I go to bed, and the first thing I think about when I get up. It's consuming & occupies virtually all of my brain space. And, it goes without saying that's stressful. I get called on weekends, evenings, holidays. You name it, I've worked from there. A professional soccer game with the kids? Yep, worked for 2.5 hours. Christmas Eve with my family? Yes, worked from my parents laundry room for hours. My birthday? Yes. When I was supposed to be on vacation? Until 2:00 am recently, on a bug? Yes. Yes. Yes. 48 hours straight after traveling? You bet. It would be amazing just to reduce the enormous burden of knowing that, at any time, I'll have to drop everything & work. Losing the "always on" feeling would be incredible.
- Support M's career more. Up until the past five months or so, my career has been more demanding. We've made many, many tradeoffs to support that, and M's career needs the same boost. It's impossible to devote that kind of time to both careers, so this will give us the flexibility to spend time allowing him to work late, go in early, etc.
- Be more flexible. I've never had a job that's less flexible than this. In my industry, flexibility is one of the hallmarks of the crazy schedules. Sure you work a lot, but you also get the flexibility to (mostly) set your own schedule. Not really the case when you're managing a team in three time zones.
- Enjoy the holidays. I'm on call, always, at the holidays. And, I'm not just referring to Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve, New Year's. . . I'm talking about Memorial Day, Fourth of July, etc. Any time other people have time off, that's when our schedule is the busiest. I can't imagine what it will be like to not dread pending holidays, when everyone else is looking forward to them. I can join in!! :-)
- Manage my own life. This sounds strange, but I really have no time to myself. I know this is the case for many people, but my work schedule demands 80% of the waking hours, and as soon as I come home, it's a mad dash for homework, dinner prep, laundry, and bed time. The possibility of creating my own schedule (around the rough parameters of the kids schedule, as well as M's work schedule) is freeing in ways I can't describe.
- Work out more. My health & fitness have taken a huge back seat to my career & our schedule. I want to run regularly, join a gym or yoga studio, and take care of myself.
- Volunteer. At the boys school, but also more generally. I used to be a Big Sister, and while that's a time commitment that I think could be challenging to swing with our life, I do want to find a way to give back.
- Work for myself. This may be short term, but I'd like to explore the option to freelance, and see if I can cobble together enough money to make it work. I'm pretty motivated & have some in demand skills, so I'd really like to put this to the test. I'd love the freedom to take on jobs that fit my life and schedule.
- Spend more time with friends and family. My mom is retiring at the end of this school year, and it would be great to have the flexibility to spend more time with my family. Every trip is currently benchmarked by when I need to be back in the office. Spending time with friends falls to the bottom of my to do list at the moment.
- Write. I used to write for myself quite a bit, and loved it. To say that all of my creative juices are gone would be an understatement right now. I don't have any expectations of writing the next great novel, but it would be nice to have the time and energy to do something creative again.
- Learn something new. Take a class, learn a language, learn a new sport or hobby. Push the boundaries of what I'm comfortable with.
- Say yes more often. We ruthlessly prioritize everything we do, to manage the basics. It would be really fantastic to say yes to more opportunities that come our way. To help the teacher in the classroom at the last minute. To meet a friend for lunch who happens to be in town. To get away for a night, to go see my sister. Saying no always starts to feel very negative - I'd love the freedom to be able to say yes more often than we currently do, because eventually, people stop asking . . .
I realize this list isn't terribly precise, like many of my other goal lists. I think that's kind of the magic of it. Until I get there and experience some of these things, I'm not quite sure what doors it will open for me. But, I want to be willing to open some of them and get out of my current, very precise, scripted & scheduled way that I live. I'll always be a planner and a goal setter, but I also like trying new things and taking risks. I've had to put away some of that in order to stay afloat in our current lives.
What do you think? Have you made a transition like this? Any input or guidance to share?