Episode 35: Birthday Break
Happy January 2019 and…
Happy Birthday to me (Jan.12)! I just got home from my first ever solo trip celebrating my 41st birthday in Cancun, MX. I decided on a solo trip for several reasons:
I needed a serious break. I have never been more physically, mentally, and emotionally tired in my entire life! This past year was a LOT. In so many ways it was wonderful and it was a struggle. I often call myself team too much, but this year I really was team too much. Have you ever been so tired that you cannot really do anything? Looking back at myself in the last 6 months, (especially 3 months) I realize I was BUSY, I was GRINDING, I was MOVING but I was also a zombie. I mean so tired I didn’t really remember one day from the next. So many events happened one after another. Any free time would be to try and catch a nap or catch up. I didn’t have time or maybe make time to actually forecast my goals, dreams, actions. All the things I’ve shared with such passion on this podcast and website. I just did not have it in me!
I wanted to celebrate! All the above being said, I had one of the most incredible years of my life and it was my BIRTHDAY! Last year, I turned 40 years old and so did ALL of my friends. I’ve girl tripped in the US, Mexico, and France. Also due to work, I’ve traveled more for work by plane and automobile than I ever have in my career. I wanted to travel and celebrate me on MY schedule doing what I wanted with no consult. Just me and my moves. It was even more liberating than it sounds. During the last year, I had been missing my natural ability and love for writing to document and reflect, take inventory of my wins and losses. I was simply just running. This trip was a nice moment to cheers myself (literally) and reflect on the fact that I did that! Thanks to God’s grace and favor, I’m still here. Still shining. Still stunting!
Be still, be quiet and listen for the next move. Spending time alone, being still and quiet finally cleared my head. Now my mind is sharp, my motivation is roaring back and I’m feeling like Jeanita again. After prayer and silent moments, I’ve been able to goal set and remember what It is I want to do for me. I’ve written down a few things I want to make happen in 2019. I also thought about what I want to birth in 2020.
I share this with you so you learn from my mistake. As professionals, we go hard at work. If we don’t pause to take a break, burn out can truly cause ineffectiveness. I’ve heard this before, but this time I experienced the downside of burnout. I will not allow it to happen again. I owe it to myself, my people and my obligations to be physically, mentally, and emotionally able to give my best.
It wouldn’t be View 112 without me sharing some of my reads. Here are 3 books I’ve read so far in January that really fed me:
1. The Bullet Proof Journal by Ryder Carroll. The book highlights a workflow of productively getting though your day, week, month, year, etc. This thought I have on how I plan the long game in short steps is spelled out in this method of journaling. The philosophy is right in line with other productivity methods I’ve read about. Starting with a process of decluttering your mind by getting everything out. Most don’t care the method, dump thoughts anywhere like notes apps, etc. This book really stresses the importance of writing it down above all methods. It also has really challenged me to focus on intention and taking inventory. A striking quote from the book: “We define the inability to transition between emotional states as mental illness” (p.144) This got me thinking about how I got so stressed out in the first place and really needed this break so bad. Its because I didn’t manage the transitions in my life as proactively and as emotionally stable as I could have. I just kept allowing myself to be pulled in any direction the wind blew. My goal is to exercise more intention and take more inventory and really assess why I am moving a particular way.
2. Radical Candor by Kim Scott. Not that I have much issue with candor, especially in the work place. The concept: Care Personally + Challenge Directly= Radical Candor . It’s important to have these filters aligned. Maintaining a balance will help me continue to find the right filter. My favorite quote is “Its not being mean, its being true.” Remembering that the candor I’m providing is not to be mean but to be honest and caring. In the beginning, it talks about how “We undervalue the emotional labor” of being the boss. (p.4). That was certainly true for me, but now that I am leading much larger teams, I am keenly aware of that fact. Now I need to take care of and protect myself better emotionally. Its given me some interesting perspective in accessing talent too. I naturally gravitate toward shining starts and ultra high performers. This book notes for a team to be great you need both super stars and rock stars. But rock stars in this book are not referred to as the “steady Eddie” on your team. Rockstars are people who are performing but not promotable to the next level because they are excelling and peaking at their current level and thats ok. Even if for a long while. But we shouldn’t ruin people’s career forcing them into promotions and positions they are not equipped to do.
3. The Windfall by Diksha Basu I read this novel for fun. Still, there were lessons to be learned. It’s the story of a poor family in Delhi that comes into a windfall of money due to a successful internet venture. It explores the age old question of does money really buy happiness. The book is quite funny. Some of the reviews liken it to Crazy Rich Asians. I’m not sure about that, but it is always cool to learn about other cultures and read from authors with different perspectives.
“Books are the plane, and the train and the road. They are the destination, and the journey. They are home”-Anna Quindlen