In case you’re new here let me catch you up real quick. I’ve been a realtor for eight years.   I had my first child in early summer of 2018 and my second late summer of 2019. The pandemic hit in spring of 2020 and realtors were deemed essential workers. My business took off and I was the busiest I had ever been. Fast forward to 2022, I formed a team with my bestie, hired the most amazing assistant and we became the number one team in our company by year end. I had everything I ever wanted—the successful career, the perfect family. I had it all, or so I thought.

In February, of 2023 I had a mental breakdown. I’ll never forget when it happened. It was after the girls had gone to bed. I opened my computer to start the nightly work routine. I was inputting a new listing and writing the description for the home. I froze. My mind went blank. I couldn’t think. I called my business partner and started crying. I said, ‘I’m not sure what’s happening right now but I can’t form the words for this description.’ She quickly took over and I hung up. Then I cried more, off and on, for weeks. All while still working and being a mom. I went to see a therapist. I had many conversations with my husband, business partner, friends, family and ultimately came to one conclusion. It was time for me to find my happy again and in order to do that, I needed to take a summer sabbatical. So I did.

Many are probably wondering how my business partner took this news so I’ll touch on that first. My business partner is like my sister. We are family first. We know everything there is to know about each other. I hope everyone is lucky enough to find someone like this in their lifetime. Supportive during the highest of highs and lowest of lows, calls you out on your bullshit, tells it like it is and loves you unconditionally. So how did she take it? Like a best friend. I’m forever grateful to real estate for introducing us. She has changed my life more than she will ever realize.

I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention our assistant. From day one she has been a go getter, our biggest cheerleader and a yes girl. She saved both of us. Forever grateful to her for the time she gave me back with my family. My appreciation and respect for her runs deep.

Ok, let’s dive in. My sabbatical began Memorial Day weekend. I completely checked out and stopped working. To say there was an adjustment period would be an understatement. I’m a go getter, doer, perfectionist, the list goes on but you get the idea, lol! The first few weeks I was very anxious, ashamed and felt guilty. Guilty for up and leaving my business partner and for halting income for my family. Anxious about not having my phone with me at all times in case a client calls, anxious with thoughts of did I make the right decision and have I failed everyone. Shame in how I couldn’t handle it all. These thoughts are still around to this day but they’ve subsided a good bit because what I realized during my sabbatical has changed my entire mindset for this life of mine.

I don’t want it all. At least not the ‘all’ I thought I wanted. ‘All’ used to mean the best in my career, the perfect mom, best friend to everyone…a picture perfect life. I assumed that with all of this came happiness and for me, that just wasn’t the case. I had never felt so lost or been more sad, overextended and drained than I did in February 2023. My mental breakdown was a major wake up call and the best thing that could have ever happened to me.

I spent the summer fully immersed in being a mom, a wife, a friend and finding me again. I jumped off the diving board, did cartwheels, got my hair wet, laughed so hard I cried and played in the sand. I didn’t have my phone with me for hours on end. I cultivated deeper relationships with my friends. I learned to say no and pulled back from things that I realized no longer served me. I read (well, listened to) books and practiced yoga. I spent time by myself watching shows, going on walks, kayaking and sometimes doing absolutely nothing. I launched this passion project, started writing and opened up about my struggles. Above all else, I found my happy.

My biggest takeaways from the sabbatical are as follows:

  1. Small pockets of joy can fill your cup if you let them.
  2. My career doesn’t define me.
  3. Motherhood is hard with or without work.
  4. Sometimes the juice just isn’t worth the squeeze.
  5. I must protect time for myself.
  6. Gratitude is everything.
  7. My kids really are only little once.
  8. My capacity is different than someone else’s capacity and there is no shame in that.
  9. Taking a sabbatical was the best decision I could have ever made and I didn’t fail anyone.

If you’re striving to have it all and do it all, first take a step back and define your ‘all.’ Next, think of having it all like a book. The whole book has it all but we have to read each chapter one by one first.  We can have it all, just not all at once!