On coasting. Also known as the slowdown, and sometimes known as the WTF am I doing with my life, middle-aged edition.
This all resonates with me. "Permission to Live". You wrote it all so eloquently.
So many things to think about here, but the most urgent feeling I have is to say WOW to your daughter’s beautiful website! It’s absolutely stunning and so powerful. I hope it gets meaningful attention - it certainly deserves to.
About work - I started law school part time a few years ago and it is so hard not to hoard consulting work! I had to set a goal for income for the year so that I could try not to overdo it and take away from all the school opportunities I have right now. My partner thought I was setting a goal to try and grow my business, but it was really the opposite - defining what is “enough” income so that it’s easier to take a step back.
This resonates on so many levels. Similar desire to not chase design/UX/UI career goals anymore and focus on making time for human connections and things that fill the bucket. One kid college bound, the other with two years of high school to go. Parents aging rapidly, which puts into perspective that we should not postpone everything that truly matters until we're too old or frail to make it happen a few decades down the line. It took a lot of readjusting my inner framework to disconnect self worth from professional achievement. Just like it takes work to disconnect from relentless beauty standards and the youth fetish while entering peri-menopause. Thank you for sharing your thoughts so eloquently – it helps to know that there is an army of women who are stronger and more content than they were in their 20s, 30s, and even 40s.
Also, love Claudine's project so much and shared with our (Hapa) teen artist
Relate to this so much. (I was even just thinking about that function on Linkedin before I read this!) I was laid off from my job of almost 18 years in December and it sent me into a total identity crisis. I had been so miserable but continued to let every aspect of it consume me and didn't really know who I was without it. And now I am starting to figure that out and focusing on actually enjoying my life and family. Thank you for writing so eloquently about your journey. It definitely helps me process my own.
Claudine's site and work are beautiful-- I shared it with a humanities teacher that I think will love adding this resource to her students' repertoire. Thank you!
I recently went to a book event where the author, Simone Stolzoff (he's also on Substack), talked about his new book - The Good Enough Job. One thing he said that has stuck with me since is " think about what your life's vision is and how your job can support that, instead of the other way around."
Thank you for sharing your thoughts on this. I always enjoy reading your writing.
Thanks for sharing, and your youngest's artwork is beautiful.
I feel like I completely relate to what you mean about what seems like a sudden outward change in perspective actually being the result of years of slowly unwinding and untangling different fears and beliefs until your actions start to match your values. For me, I so desperately wished for an external push ("I dare them, fire me!" said as a joke to a mentor during the past few years of company layoffs) that it took even longer for me to realize that no one could make the hard decisions for me except me.
Love the roses and the artwork done by your youngest.
I’m so glad you made this choice. I know how awful burnout is, and hoe hopeless and helpless it can make one feel. I’ve dealt with it for almost a year, after a period of constant studying and countless exams, one of which was very important and which I failed, and only in the beginning of this year did I manage to truly feel healed from it (though to be honest, during periods of work bursts I still feel the dregs of it). Taking time for yourself is important. No, scratch that: it’s mandatory. My therapist talks about how we always need to manage ourselves on three levels: physically (by doing sports and eating right), mentally (meditation/breathing/taking long silent baths etc.) and emotionally (laughing at a funny video, spending time with family or watching cartoons). I think that’s something to keep in mind, as a sort of gauge to help us stay afloat. Thanks for sharing, Jenna!
Your daughter's site is AMAZING. Would it be okay if I shared it on The Yellow Pages (or would you/your daughter like to do a guest post?!?)