I hope you and your family had a Happy Thanksgiving. The Castelli Family had a great day—not too crazy and just a short trip across Fishers to Carmel for dinner with my wife’s family. I’m not a huge Thanksgiving food fan, so I managed to escape the day without overeating and feeling—I’ve been pretty disciplined with my nutrition and workouts lately and while one day doesn’t ruin months of discipline BUT it can be a slippery slope, especially as we head into the holiday season.
It’s often tradition to share what we’re thankful for at Thanksgiving and many of us default to the same “safe” things: our family and health often top the lists. Don’t get me wrong, both of these are extremely important and we should be thankful for both—every day. I am. Both are included in my daily gratitude meditation and I make a conscious effort not only to be thankful for each but to take care of them as well—being more present when with Ang and the boys and to do what is within my power to continue to improve my health each day.
So, you’ll get no argument from me that we should be thankful for our family and health.
But, when we move beyond family and health is when things get interesting. Prior to finishing this today I read my friend Casey Grisez’s latest blog post. In his post he shares a story that gives more perspective why he is so thankful for his health—I won’t ruin the surprise but it’s a crazy story. After he shares the details of his health scare he shares a bunch of non-traditional things he’s thankful. They are so non-traditional they might even be considered bad or setbacks, yet as Casey shares they all help provide perspective and help us grow.
”But I’m also grateful for all the hard things in life. Major surgeries at 17. Job offers that don’t come. In-laws. Flat tires. Botched meals. Rained-out tee times. Sick parents. Kids’ fevers breaking at 3am. The ends of friendships and relationships.“
If I look back over the last 12+ months to look for non-traditional things to be thankful for I have a number of things I could highlight but if I had to choose one it would be for burnout.
It was around this time last year I realized and finally accepted that I had committed to too much in my life. Since starting RLS Wealth in 2015, I’ve always had multiple ventures going on and managed to avoid burnout. But last year I noticed the stress I was putting myself under was impacting my health, happiness, and in hindsight my family—all things I consider a priority and non-negotiable when it comes to taking care of. At the time, I didn’t FEEL stressed but I knew I was putting my body under a lot of stress, regardless of if I felt it, and my annual bloodwork showed the impact of the stress on my body. There was nothing alarming and no health scare but there were biomarkers at lower levels than the prior year that woke me up.
My burnout led me to have a few tough conversations, which were good for my growth as an individual since I tend to avoid conflict and upsetting people, and eventually creating more white space on my calendar. With this white space I was able to slow down—no more moving from client meeting to conference call to sales call in the car to virtual client meeting at home to practice for one of the boys to conference call on the way home. When I look back at what I was squeezing in each day I’m lucky I didn’t end up doing some major damage to myself.
Eventually, I began to fill some of the white space.
I filled it with more meditation. I filled it with a new passion for yoga. I filled it with getting back to lifting weights and riding our Peloton. I filled it with creating and exploring interests. I filled it with electronic-free time with Ang and the boys—being present. I filled it with writing. I filled it with a search for more ways to make RLS Wealth better. I filled it with more time with my AGC family. I even filled it with nothing.
It might look like I put myself right back where I was last year but it’s not even close. There is a difference between a calendar filled with meetings and a calendar with self-care, family, creating, and activities that make me better and happier.
Post Feb-2022 has been amazing. I’ve been moving at a “slower” place, enjoying being more present, prioritizing my health and happiness so I can be better for everyone else, exploring my inner Creator and expressing myself in new ways, making more space for my passions and eliminating distractions, and connecting with my spirituality. None of which would have been possible without burning out.
While you reflect back on what you’re thankful for this Thanksgiving holiday weekend don’t forget to look at the imperfect events in your life that with the benefit of hindsight were actually positives for you.
Disclaimer: Nothing on this blog should be considered advice, or recommendations. If you have questions pertaining to your individual situation you should consult your financial advisor. For all of the disclaimers, please see my disclaimers page.