an image of Sarah Egerton-Idehen

Some weeks ago, I was handed this resignation letter by my daughter.

Dear Mom

Please accept this letter as a notice of my resignation from my position of washing the dishes. My last day as employee will be on Monday May (10th) 2021.

I am hoping to receive an employment request to do the laundry and after a careful realization I would enjoy laundry more. It has been a pleasure working with you.

I am able to recruit and train my replacement.

Mom, Thank you again for everything.

Love Sarah

Now my first reaction was to be furious at the situation. We had just moved to a new country (Ireland) and we were trying to get some stability to our routines. I had assigned chores to my son and daughter hoping we could all contribute to working out a stable routine and my daughter was slowing me down. We would later negotiate and come to some compromise (more like a delayed transition to laundry for a reduced scope of work and some free games for her.)

On reflection and reading the letter with less emotion at later stage, the second paragraph caught me. Where she indicated that after careful reflection she wanted to move to laundry rather than washing the dishes! Have you ever thought of changing direction mid-course and giving yourself permission to do so? Change mid-way can be difficult for a lot of us once the end goal is set. Changing course sometimes requires stepping back and asking tough questions on self-reflection. I felt my daughter had the courage to do that from reading her letter.June is half the year and like so many others into goal setting, we sometimes never consider making any changes to them mid way. I have decided to make some changes to my goals and two things have influenced that.

Firstly, I have realized these past 18 months of Covid or the pandemic is that we are transitioning, sometimes in a state of “ languish” (quoting Adam Grant’s article in The New York Times.) Languishing is a sense of stagnation and emptiness; you’re not functioning at full capacity. Languishing dulls your motivation, disrupts your ability to focus, and triples the odds that you’ll cut back on work.

This languish experience and many other factors is causing me to relook at life, it’s the smaller things that now matter. When you have a wardrobe of formal suits, dresses and heels you cannot wear, a car you have no need to drive due to lock downs.You spend most days working from home in sweat pants with your kids running around you. You are not in control of a lot of the “normal activities” you were used to. The way you see life changes with the loss of normalcy. I am now setting smaller goals, doing things that fuel me and promote my mental well-being. This might be a far departure from my traditional goals in the past.

Secondly, the pandemic has in some ways given me a new perspective causing me to relook at my core values, priorities and vision. The loss of loved ones might have been another strong contributor as well. Two years ago, my goal list would have been very heavy on my material acquisition; investments, career advancements. For example, the need to upgrade my car, buy another apartment, position myself for that board seat, diversify my investment portfolio etc. These past months have truly seen a shift in what I want. Time has become a precious element: more time to spend with my kids, creating an environment where my kids can communicate with me, spending time feeding my family healthy meals, living a healthy lifestyle, supporting young ones in my community, giving my time to mentoring. Some of these activities for a while never where prioritized the way I do now, it was difficult to quantify and set measurable millstones for them. They sounded fluffy and were in so many ways de-prioritized. Personally, the long pandemic has seen me evolve as a person and subconsciously this is reflecting in my goals though I have never thought about changing them to reflect my transition. Now following my daughter’s example I am willing halfway through the year to change my goals to reflect that.

We have all had a disruptive 18 months. I have shared some of my experience and reflections these past months and some changes I am making. It is 6 months into the year are you comfortable making changes halfway? Share one goal you are likely to change midyear.

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