What I Did Right and What I Screwed Up...
I write this as a recap for myself, but also for those who think people in the health and wellness space have our all shiz all figured out and we eat smoothies all day and sleep like a baby every night. Ha!
Speaking for myself, I don’t have it all figured out and I’m just doing the best I can everyday. That’s my hope for anyone reading this (probably just my mother reading, but that’s ok =).
May 2018. I’ve had two small businesses for five years (functional health coaching business and a photography business for 17 years). Oh, and in March 2018 I began nutrition consulting for a local concierge medical practice where I saw 98 clients between April and July.
It’s late day Friday and Eric is on a call with his former boss that’s now in Seattle working for Microsoft. Hearing one side of the conversation I asked, “did she offer you a job?” I said, “call her back, I want to live in Seattle”. You know, those things you say because you know it would never actually happen…
Within 6 weeks we went to Seattle, found a rental based on a high school for our girl (she wanted to move btw), closed a business and sold off equipment (a year earlier than planned), sold a little place at the lake 3 hours away, sold our house and physically moved 2800 miles from the only city I had ever lived in and got her there two days before volleyball tryouts.
Wait. What?! Nobody does that.
Oh, and our college senior was planning to move home for a semester and save money. oops.
Now I could focus on my ONE business, which is where my heart truly was for the past year.
Seattle? That’s where all the functional wellness people are they said. That is a mecca for integrative, wholistic and functional medicine they said. You will find so many people to collaborate with they said.
I. was. so. excited!
I logged hours on Linked In harassing, I mean messaging, like-minded practitioners in my new city that’s the capital of functional wellness, ready for my warm welcome into the tight knit community, blah blah blah - all the things ‘they’ said.
I attended business networking meetings. I joined a Business Among Mom’s networking group. I attended the longest running monthly Functional Medicine meeting in the country. I networked in a co-working space I found (the rental got reallllly small during the winter). I had “virtual coffee'“ with a handful of Linked In connections that would become my new wellness BFF’s - only problem was they didn’t know it…
Suffice to say, my grand plans were not working out as hoped. Oh, and Eric’s boss, 4 weeks in, after half of his group left (for competitors, cause that’s what techie’s do in that market) tells him she never would have brought him out there if she’d know what a shit-show things would become. He was working 12 hours at the office, then working after dinner til bedtime, not sleeping… but the good news was his new-found functional gym was saving his sanity. Oh, and the teenager in the basement was making friends like a boss and was embracing the new-girl attention, but didn’t really want to study for the AP classes or re-take SAT’s to get into the one college she would apply to, because, well, that requires studying instead of the football game or girl’s night. Ugh.
Meanwhile, I am doing all the things to manage stress - all the supplements (L-theanine, magnesium, CBD, adaptogens, you name it) and wine. Oh the wine. I know this isn’t part of the protocol, but it’s what was making me happy at the end of the day. We had a beautiful view of Lake Washington from our rental and a glass of Oregon pinot noir was my friend each night. I’m sharing this because it was my reality. Yes, I knew it wasn’t serving me, but I was depressed. I was in “armadillo” mode (where I go into my shell and retreat from the world). I was praying, journaling, exercising, IR sauna, castor oil packs and hydration were on point. Sleep would come and go, but self care (other than the vino) was super consistent.
Six months in I was learning things about myself that I was wishing I kept under wraps for my kids to work out with their therapists at some point. sigh.
Wow! I like control more than I ever thought. My defense has always been “I have to have control or the logistics of our life would go off the rails - who else is going to keep up with the moving parts of this family?” At this point most everything in my life was out of my control (I have come to see this was a good thing), but I needed to shine a light on some internal beliefs that were holding me back and even though it was hard, it was a blessing.
We loved the PNW and all it’s adventures, but we knew it wasn’t where we wanted to be long term.
Regret the move? A little. But with each decision we listened and this is what we heard. Will regret serve anyone? Nope.
When the reality of the offer came to decision time I said “if this is God’s plan for us then things will happen as they were supposed to”. And they did. Not as smoothly as it could have, but the house and place at the lake sold, I found a buyer for my photography studio, a volleyball player from the new high school was already reaching out, making plans for our girls’ arrival. Same thing when we thought about moving home. We listened and that’s all we could do at the time.
“Ok God, this is happening, I’m giving it to you now”.
Even though I had the second anxiety attack I’d ever experienced amidst all of this change, it was a reminder for self care and all the things I teach…practice what you preach sister…
Now we’re back home, living in the urban part of town we always said we want to be in. Momma is figuring out a new normal around who she is with an empty nest (we left our college freshman in Seattle) and one business to focus on and life is good for the most part. The stress did a number on my hormones (2 periods a month for 4 months) so I’m working hard to develop a meditation practice to better connect my mind to my body.
So even though I love to learn and share and teach all things functional wellness, it doesn't mean I’m great at self care and doing all the things when it really matters. I struggle like everyone and I hope if you’re still reading this you take away grace - for yourself and others - and when faced with decisions, listen.
Even though the past year was hard, it was also exciting, terrifying, exhausting and fun and I really wouldn’t change it because we learned so much from it, good and bad. And we listened. And that’s all we could do at the time and have no regrets.