this is a hard post to write, but an important one for me.
i’ve experienced some pretty significant a-ha’s in the past week or two, all around the sustainability of my lifestyle, my identity, and my most important relationships.
a month and a half ago, i started a leadership coaching process with john townsend. and i was asked to talked about myself at the first gathering. i wrote a bit about this on this blog (the whole plate spinning thing). since naming that, i’ve had a few more words to describe the dissatisfaction i’ve been feeling about my life; but i still felt way short of clearly understanding what i needed to do about it.
then, last week, on our ys leadership team retreat, we were spending some time talking about blindspots and roadblocks. to make a long story short, it became very clear to me that two things consistently eclipse the relationships and values that are actually most important to me (especially at this stage in life and work):
1. my family
2. the staff of youth specialties
the two imposters that constantly threaten (or supercede) the things that are most important to me are:
1. my travel schedule
2. being the voice of youth specialties (or, to put it in a more negative way, “nurturing my public persona”)
here’s a thought: our behaviors –> reveal our priorities –> which reveals our true values.
here are a couple photos i snapped in new zealand (ironically — mr. travel) of the “community lounge” on the back side of a church
i took these pics because i thought the sign and location of the “community lounge” said something significant about this church’s value of community. in other words: they might have a community lounge, but they don’t seem to actually value community.
this is a metaphor for why i’m making some big time changes.
i’ve been having a value stand-off, between what i say my values are and how i’m living my life. and it’s eroding (and threatening) my long-term happiness, and the life i really want.
let me get to the point:
1. i’m going to stop nurturing the whole “ysmarko” thing. which means, starting today, i’m going to stop using facebook (i’m planning on deleting my facebook account tomorrow), and stop twittering (i’m going to delete my twitter account tomorrow), and this is my last blog post on ysmarko (at least for the foreseeable future, though i’ll leave the blog sitting here for now).
2. i’m also reframing what “essential travel” is for me, which is allowing me to cut back 50 – 75% on my travel. i won’t be traveling internationally in the next year or two (or ever?), other than our canadian convention. and i’m cutting back on all other travel, other than a few truly essential things as well as family-related and personal stuff.
i know this is going to be hard in many ways, and i’ll likely go through some form of withdrawal. but i’m also excited about the new focus, extra time, and relational presence i expect to experience in the coming months.
i’ve enjoyed the interaction i’ve had with so many of you through this blog, and pray god’s blessing on you, as i ask you to do for me.