well worn mental paths

With less than two weeks left of my sabbatical, I have started to more seriously think about work. Coworkers have begun reaching out and checking in which has helped move me back into that part of my universe. As I do so, I find myself stumbling upon well worn mental paths around work. I’ve spent so much time exploring other parts of my mental forrest that I forgot I ever had these readily accessible paths. Two questions come to mind as I rediscover them: Do I want to walk along these paths at all? If I do, how can I approach these paths differently than before?

A dear friend of mine works on political campaigns and after a particularly rough campaign she thought about walking away from it all questioning if there was any true way to do campaigns sustainably. We spoke long and often about this. Deep inside me, I knew that if anyone could do it differently, it would be my friend. I knew there was a more sustainable option. While I don’t feel that way about Automattic, I am not naive enough to think that there’s not a more sustainable way for me to approach work and my life.

These final weeks and days have me in a deep mindset pondering how I can set my short term future self up for success. A few years ago when I was going through a really bad breakup, I wrote an ever evolving note to myself on my good days. Most if it revolved around waking up to the love still in my life, loving myself, and remembering the bigger picture. I clung to this note on bad days often re-reading it over and over to talk myself down. I plan to write a similar note to myself before returning to work to better take advantage of the calm mind I have now. While I can’t bottle up the feelings I have in this moment, I can leave a trail of words behind me so my future self can hopefully land back here.

More than anything, I’m genuinely excited for the future and the present I currently exist in. My life is so good and this sabbatical has brought the richness of my life to the forefront. My only task now is to not lose sight of that and to continue broadening this life I’ve worked so hard to create.

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