I have never been a quitter. I've always been a fighter. My fighting (or feisty) spirit, as friends would say, has served me for better or worse and in more ways than one. When it comes to quitting, I used to think it meant you were giving up, admitting defeat unwilling to persevere through hard times. Then I discovered that sometimes the smartest thing to do is to walk away. There's a time to quit and time to stay. The difficulty is being able to figure out which is the strategically sound move!
Not long ago, I had a great job and enviable career. I also happen to be the family breadwinner, a wife and a mother to two young boys. At the end of 2014, I resigned from a company I’d been with for 10 years and gave up an 18-year career. While this kind of change isn't unique, it does beg the question - why would someone walk away from a great job? From stability, security and comfort. From the ability to pay for a bigger home, a better car or an expensive vacation. Because three years ago, I got a phone call telling me I had cancer. In that moment, my world and the world of those closest to me changed forever. It was in fact, a wake up call. The kind that forces you to reexamine all your priorities. Without it, I wouldn't be working on the launch of Wake Up Kate, which I hope will be a big deal and benefit many people.
I'm curious if the meaning of success has ever changed for you? I'd love to hear about it. In the last few years, it's changed a great deal for me. For starters, it's less about predictability, more money and bigger houses. It's more about having an intention to live more moments in the present, not in the past and very little in the future. It's about being there more for my kids. It's about taking more control of what I choose to spend my time on in work and life. It's about stepping out of my comfort zone, making friends with adversity and overcoming things I never thought I could do. It's about simplifying life, owning fewer things and paying fewer bills so we can enjoy more life experiences. It's about continuing to grow, having more purpose and giving back.
As I've learned, making these kinds of changes requires a ROCK solid family foundation. Because truthfully, it's like admitting you hate roller coasters and then intentionally choosing to get on that roller coaster every day. But you know what? It helps to listen to your heart, to trust your gut and to know intuitively that everything's going to be alright. After all, we've survived worse.
We're well under way with launch preparations for Wake Up Kate. It's been an incredible couple of months, full of everything from silent nine day retreats to intensive professional training with the University of Massachusetts in Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction, planning the business, figuring out programs, products and services, marketing development, design, website creation and even some business cards. And of course, precious moments with my Kerr boys.