Evidence of this is the changed perspective I have of myself after all this time. I expected to be less stressed, and I am. I expected not to have to set my alarm clock, and I don’t. I expected to be able to work on projects that were important to me, and I am.
Here are some things that I have learned:
1. I’m not really a morning person. If you asked me two years ago I would have said that I was. I would get up early to get into work early so that I could have time to get some real work done – before non-stop meetings started at 8 am (and went until 6 pm or later). Early mornings or evenings were the only times available to do work. I have discovered that I am my most creative in mid-afternoon – a time that was never available to me before.
2. Being the boss isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. I became a boss early in my career. I never intended to be the boss, but my own bosses pushed me in that direction. Never being the one who likes to be told what to do, being the boss seemed like a good idea at the time. But being someone else’s boss is very different from being your own boss. I still don’t like other people telling me what to do, but I really don’t miss directing and appraising others.
3. Perspective matters. Ahhh yes, I’m talking about time to think, time to look at things from all angles, time to digest information and mull things over. I like to mull. In Corporate America I was forced to view the world through a very narrow lens, and often to take action before all avenues were explored. I’m enjoying new perspectives.
4. Laundry and grocery shopping don’t have to be done on the weekends. Nor do they have to be done on a weekly basis at all. The grocery store is surprisingly quiet in the mid-morning hours during the week.
5. Sleep matters. I am always amazed by executives who appear to be able to function consistently at a high level on what appears to be very little sleep. I truly wonder what they would be able to accomplish if they got more sleep.
6. Passion is key. This one isn’t really a surprise; I’ve always known this to be the case. What’s different is my perspective on how much passion matters. When you are doing what you love, time flies.
7. I prefer to work alone. I thought I would miss the people I worked with every day, and I do – most of them anyway. But I not only don’t mind working alone, I prefer it. That doesn’t mean that I don’t seek out advice and reactions to my work, but the execution is all me, and that’s just fine.
Which brings me to a big announcement:
Between now and the end of the year I will be busy working on my non-fiction book, Learning to Bake Allergen-Free, which will be published by The Experiment next spring. You’ve probably guessed that I will be doing most of my writing in the afternoons.
If you want to learn more about food allergies, or baking allergen-free, visit me at Learning to Eat Allergy-Free. Don’t worry, I’ll still be here too, but if I miss a week you’ll know why.