So it’s been a little while since we’ve been in touch.
You may have been wondering where I’ve been this past month. The truth is, I don’t have any glamorous story of exotic travels or whirlwind globetrotting.
I’ve just been on a break.
During the spring, things started to get hectic for me. I was getting busier and busier and busier. My son is growing up and getting more and more high energy. My husband and I also own a rental property – we had tenants move out in the spring and had to do a lot of work to get the place ready for new people to move in. My dad moved from the 4-bedroom house he lived in with my mom for more than 20 years to a 2-bedroom apartment, and every weekend for 5 weeks I made the 4-hour-each-way trip to help him downsize and move. I mourned the loss of a musician I loved for 25 years, and made the pilgrimage to Texas to see his final performance. I also ran 2 free challenges for my business and recorded interviews for 2 podcasts and a fertility summit.
I was spent, and the more I looked into the summer the busier I saw things getting — so I took a time out.
I’m all about the break – it’s impossible for us to be all things to all people, all the time. The person we end up shortchanging most of all is ourselves.
Breaks can also serve us well on the fertility path. Conventional wisdom, especially in America where I was born and raised, has always been that you have to work non-stop around the clock to achieve your dreams and that if you don’t do that, you don’t want it badly enough.
This way of thinking is twisted. While I totally believe that we need to work for our goals – and that the work is not always easy – we need the occasional break from the work. If we don’t take it, our work will suffer and then we have to work even harder, drain our energy even more and maybe we even become physically ill. Think about it – don’t we always hear the stories about celebrities checking themselves into rehab citing extreme exhaustion?
Without taking time to replenish, our cups get dangerously close to being empty. And when that happens, we don’t have anything left to give to anybody else. Nobody wins.
Sometimes a break will also give us clarity in what we want, or in our path to get what we want.
During my 3-month break from fertility treatment in 2012 I realized that I needed to change my approach to my fertility journey. Up until that point I’d been single-mindedly getting healthy to achieve my pregnancy goal. I’d cleaned up my diet, started taking vitamins, practiced yoga regularly and charted my menstrual cycles.
Everything I did in my life was in the name of having a baby.
What I had to show for all this work was 2 miscarriages and a cancelled IUI cycle that led to 3 months away from treatment.
What learned during this break was that the work I had done up to that point was putting me on the right path, and to keep doing it. But that there was a missing piece. My mindset.
Once I realized this and began working on my mindset, I conceived and had a healthy pregnancy very quickly.
If I hadn’t taken that break, I wouldn’t have realized what I really needed to do. I’d have blindly kept on the path I was on. The path was serving me, but it was incomplete. I needed the break to see this and add what I needed to my life to be fully served.
When we give ourselves permission to slow down, we have the time to really tune in to ourselves and listen to our heart. Our heart always knows the right path for us.
Part of taking a break is also taking stock of where you are in your life and letting go of the things that are starting to feel like more of an obligation than something that we really enjoy.
In addition to taking a little break from writing, I relinquished another project I’d been doing for a client for 3 ½ years. It was something that I really enjoyed, but I knew it was time to pass the reigns on to somebody else.
If you tune in and let go of the things that no longer serve you, you can create the space for the things that you really need.
The fertility journey is a marathon, not a sprint. We’re not designed to go full-steam ahead all the time, like we would for a sprint, on this path. And just like a marathon, sometimes we hit the wall, and that’s when we need to slow down, fill our cup again, and regain the strength we need to carry on.
I’m so happy to be back with you, refreshed and ready to go! Now my question for you is, do you need a break?
[originally appeared at B Fit, B Fertile July 31, 2017]