Does a break to rethink life sound tempthing? To me it did

And I could add: it still does! Since late 2016 my key hanger has been empty lying in my top drawer. I left a challenging job in a global food company behind. I had wonderful, competent and passionate colleagues around me and a pipeline full of interesting projects as well as the opportunity to fill it with evenmore interesting innovations. Anyway something didn’t feel right.

The journey to accept it and act on it has been long and hard. I don’t know exactly when it began. I am however not in doubt that my motivation had left me already before I left on maternity leave with my youngest in April 2015. To begin with I thought maybe it was just my pregnancy leaving me without energy this second time. Anyone having two or more children know time to relax when there’s already one child in the family is limited. But during my leave I even had proplems enjoying time with my daughter. Small everyday tasks easily overwhelmed me especially as returning to work came closer.  By the end of my leave my energy and motivation never came back like it had done the first time around.

I went back to work in February 2016 when my daughter was 9 months old. I know we are privileged in Denmark but the days felt ever so long and yet never long enough to really get a firm grip of my projects again. When I returned I landed in the middle of a huge reorganization which after a few months led to me moving to a new category still focusing on innovation. Something however still felt wrong. I started seeing a coach and I promised myself to give my new job a proper chance. The truth is that every month I dreamt of leaving. I remember those months almost a year ago as horrible for me and for my family. I was so low on energy trying to make it work and doing my best.

In Behind the blog I write more about how we as a family were at a cross road to either slow down and simplify or speed up; buy more help, an extra car and cut more corners. But boy it felt wrong! If I didn’t already feel fed up with our lifestyle – the thought of a life in which we were to speed up further and keep our eyes conveniently shut to how our busy and unconscious overconsumption influences the planet we live and rely on – surely made me dishy and nausea.

In reality the decision was quite obvious but the process of taking the decision was anything but easy. I felt so many uncertainties connected to leaving my job. Will I ever get a similar job again? And do I want a similar job? What if I regret? What about my pension? What about insurances? What if I don’t get better? What if we don’t getter better as a family? What will other people think?

For someone who has used most of my adult life trying to do what other people expect or even worse what I think they expect instead of listening to what I deep down inside want to do was hard. Beside seeing a coach, taking a highly recommendable intensive MBSR course at Aarhus University led me to connect better to myself. The actual decision making took almost 18 months and I would encourage  anyone with similar thoughts to make the decision much quicker. Being caught up in thoughts, dreams and worries for so long drain you for energy and leave you unable to enjoy life when it happens – right now.

I felt relief like I have never felt it before once I had made my decision. Everyday I am grateful it is possible for me to take a year to rethink my life. Now five months into my break I’m much more positive about the future and I’m much better at enjoying the moment.

For long it has been a dream of mine to make a difference in the world. I’m now certain that putting sustainability at the center of my activities both privately and workwise is right for our family and me.

  • I want to start small cleaning up our own cupboards and habits
  • I will investigate where and how to start
  • I will listen
  • I will experiment and I will share our experiences, ups and downs with everyone who wants to listen
  • I intent not to preach instead I hope to inspire and wish for dialogue
  • I do not know where we will end nor what success looks like
  • As long we have minimized our environmental impact on the planet while feeling more happy and content I will celebrate succes – any day

Want to hear more from more.conscious

I believe Fashion, Food and Traveling are essential for us to rethink if we want to build a sustainable lifestyle. I already have two posts on fashion on my blog: One on the cost of clothing and why we need to make it last longer and one on second hand clothing.

Beside more posts are to come e.g. on the options within sustainable and ethical children’s fashion.

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Make each clothing live longer

Clothing and how we carelessly consume it has tremendous impact on the environment. I say it is about time we dust off some old habits in order to make each piece live as long as possible.

According to businessoffasion.com  and National Geographic the fashion and textile industry is the second biggest polluter only outcompeted by the oil industry. It easily takes roughly 20,000 litres of water to produce 1kg of cotton equal to one single t-shirt and a pair of jeans. Moreover an overwhelming number of 8,000 different chemicals are used to turn raw materials into clothing while putting both unprotected labour forces and end-users at risk.

In Denmark we are concerned about the environment and we like to believe we live accordingly. On fashion consumption we are however far above (35 percent) the world average and the worst in the Nordic countries wrote DR in December 2013. DR further concluded that our consumption has increased by 20 percent to 16 kg each year since 2000.  I wonder did we really need more or did we just get a good deal!? Being a Dane I know we sure like a good bargain.

I suggest a focus on fashion similar to recents years’ focus on food waste. Use less, use more consciously and last but not least take care of what we already have in our closets. At least this is a journey I have embarked and mending is one of the roads I’ll be traveling.