The medical term is seasonal depression. I call it the sink. It’s that sinking feeling that creeps up over time and too many bad days and it tells you everything is wrong. I felt it a year ago just a month after making a million massive transitions in my life. I remember staring out the window at a whole new view and wondering if I had ripped up my roots or planted seeds. Either way, I felt out of whack. Out of alignment.
Earlier this week, I woke up with the same feeling I had a year ago sitting in a room staring out the window at a whole new view, wondering. It was hard to feel like everything has changed – literally everything – but deep inside was this desperate feeling that nothing has changed. “What now,” I thought with frustration. I wrote in my journal angrily, “what could you possibly be upset about?”
Listen to this week’s letter here!
I did. I changed everything. I got rid of all my stuff. I moved into the van by the river (joke intended, I’m only by the river sometimes). I did the thing. Why doesn’t anything feel different?
It was enough for me to allow all the fears and whispers that tell me I’m crazy for doing this van life thing to become deafening. I was almost convinced I should just pack it all up and head back to Colorado.
Depression is a jerk. A good liar, too, because that voice would tell me I’m wasting my time changing my views. The truth is that I’m wasting my time trying to change everything in my life if I never change how I spend my time.
Let me say that one more time because it hit me like a ton of bricks and saved this van life from coming to an anxious end: You can change everything in your life, but if you never change how you spend your time it’ll never feel different to be alive.
So I sat down and wrote out how I spend my time. Lately it has been mostly on work and worrying. And truly if these last few months on the road have taught me anything, it’s that this is not the best way to spend my time. I love catching up with friends and family. I love wandering beautiful places and wondering. I love storytelling and writing.
But these are the things that I treat like burdens when the cards are on the table. “I’ll call tomorrow,” I think but never actually do. I prioritize getting one more thing done because the endorphin rush from a business win is faster. But I know if I want to feel like I’m standing on solid ground most of the time, that’s what has to change. The priorities. What gets my time.
Of the thousands of people I’ve met in my lifetime and career, I’ve never met anyone who said they had too much time. That they got it all done.
If you want this life to feel different, if I want this life to feel different? We have to take our time. Make our minutes matter.
Pay attention. Show up. Say I love you for no reason. Text and tell them you wish you could hug them. You will never have the day before your kid gets his driver’s license again to give them a ride. You’ll never have the first steps twice. You’ll never have the first homer of their baseball career.
Give these moments your time because if we’re wasting anything, it’s on wasting time worrying we don’t have enough and giving the wrong things our energy.
My blog this week is about why I believe you should give overhauling your job posts some energy. It was inspired by a recent speaking engagement at UC Berkeley where I spoke to a group of students interested in creating ethical technology for HR and tech.
If you are truly interested in an equitable future of work, you’ll love this post.
Until next time –
Katrina Kibben is the Founder and Principal Consultant of Three Ears Media. For most of Katrina’s career, she has been a marketer living in a recruiter’s world – listening to both sides of the talent equation to understand the real issues and find solutions for engaging and hiring better people. Today, she uses her technical marketing know-how and way with words to help both established and emerging brands develop and deliver content that fuels smart recruitment marketing that makes the right people apply.
Katrina has written for Monster.com, HR.com, RecruitingDaily and many other digital publications. She is a recognized leader in recruiting and employer branding who speaks regularly at conferences around the world.