I’m really excited to bring you today’s Moments that Matter feature! This story is truly an inspirational one that reminds us it sometimes life puts obstacles in our way to guide us towards a different path. Today, I’m bringing you a story from Cheryl, an inspirational lady that I met in a group called Boss-Moms. In fact, this entire group is filled with inspirational ladies and you’ll be hearing from quite a few over them over the next few weeks. I’d tell you a little bit about what Cheryl does but her story does that in a much better way than I could. So, read on below and don’t forget to head over to her Facebook page at the end for some added daily inspiration!
You know when you’ve worked really really really hard at achieving something and you set a goal so big and so hairy and so audacious and you finally reach that goal and then you figure out when you get there, that it wasn’t as great as you thought it would be, but because you worked so hard and wanted it so badly, you sort of put your blinders on and shut everything out and just soldier through? Yeah, that’s me! I worked very long and hard, taking schooling with 2 young boys and a newborn baby to get certified to be a General Manager, and man was I proud when I got my first position. But here’s where the story plays out…
A year ago, December 2015, I had one of the absolute WORST days ever in my Management career. I had been working as a Senior Manager in the Retirement Residence world and had endured many struggles but this day took the cake! I had NEVER been treated the way I was that day, I had never been under such immense pressure, and had never felt so powerless. I was a WRECK, my head was spinning, and all I could think of was my 4 boys at home, waiting for wife and mommy to come home, but I was stuck at work dealing with some pretty tough crap.
It’s not that I couldn’t “handle” it, I dealt with that day with much grace, patience, maturity and confidence, however, there’s only so much that a person can handle before they either start crying, or say “that’s enough”. I’m pretty glad my office had blinds because there were definitely a few tears of frustration shed privately that day! When I got home, 2 days before Christmas, to the loves of my life, I was just a shell, just a shadow of Cheryl. That day, this typically joyfully bubbly person was dimmed quite dull… I was in such shock, that I remember coming home to the sound of “Mommmmmmy” and looking at my husband and trying so hard to hold it all together for the sake of the boys. I remember texting my Dad, asking for his advice, my husband Dan pouring me a glass of wine and both of us praying so hard that when I returned to work the next week after Christmas, that it would all just magically get better…
I had just started an online Health and Wellness Coaching business around 4 weeks prior and was absolutely LOVING helping my clients lose weight, rediscover themselves, and get rooted in a healthier lifestyle. It was then that I knew I REALLY wanted to make my part time Health and Wellness coaching, my full time gig. After spending some time discussing that potential with my husband, I determined that it would probably take around 2 years to build up my business to replace my income and be able to stay home full time. And so I created a business plan and set out to make it happen….even with everything happening in my management position.
We have 3 beautiful boys, and unfortunately through this stressful time as a manager, my boys were getting the worst of me. I was at work pretending I wasn’t a mom and at home pretending I didn’t have this high level position. The stress continued, the school began to call more and more with behavioural outbursts from my sons, our home life became strained, my marriage became flat and I was quickly losing who I was as a person while I gave and gave and gave all day long. I was so busy taking care of my residents, their families, my staff and my coaching clients, that I was unable to see the downward spiral happening in my own home.
In April 2016, something so drastic happened in our home with one of our boys, who had a bad reaction to his ADHD medication that I knew, right then and there, this madness had to stop. I needed to be there for my son, to be fully present in his life and also for the sake of my other boys and my amazing husband. When this all shook down, I took one look at my husband and said, “I quit. That’s it. I’m done”. He hastily agreed and 5 weeks later, I walked out of a job that I had worked 10 LONG years to achieve, leaving a career that had spanned more than half my life and into the somewhat unknown, taking my coaching business from a back up plan to the sole source of my personal income.
I won’t lie, it was scary as hell, BUT, I felt SO convicted in my heart that what I was doing, for my son, for my family and for myself was far more important than that career. At the age of 35, that career would still be there for me if I ever wanted to go back.
The health of my son was my focus with my business a close second.
Within 5 weeks of quitting that job, my son was getting back to his regular self and my business took off like a rocket! I rank advanced 2 levels in my company, quintupled my client base, my hair started to grow back in (hallelujah!), my husband felt like he had his wife back and I started to feel like myself again. I was finding my true identity, my passion and purpose combined, all the while being able to stay home, be available for my boys and contribute to my family’s finances.
You see, if you had asked me, 10 years ago, when I first said I wanted to pursue a career as a senior manager in the Seniors Housing Industry, if I’d be willing to work for 10 years to achieve it, to have to then suddenly give it up for the sake of my family, would it still be worth all the blood, sweat and tears, I would have said yes, a million times over. I believe that everything happens for a reason. I believe that there are sequences of events and people that are brought into our lives for a strong purpose. I believe the person who introduced me to the possibility of becoming an online Health and Wellness coach was a pivotal part of my story as much as having that terrible, no good super rotten day in my job that made me realize it wasn’t all it was cracked up to be. These defining moments are just that, defining. They are part of our story, part of the beautiful thread that is woven through the tapestry our lives and ones that when we are 85 years old, sitting in a Retirement Home, playing 20 questions with the other residents, we will recount with fondness, maybe a tear in our eyes, because even though they are tough to go through, they truly make us who we are.
Don’t worry, that terrible, horrible, very bad day, finally resolved 5 months later, about 3 weeks before I quit my job and left that life behind. And there were so many beautiful lessons, both good and bad, learned from that day, that I will treasure in my heart for eternity. Where I am today, what I’m doing right now, is EXACTLY what I’m meant to be doing. My heart and soul are at peace and I can’t say enough about what being a Beachbody Coach means to me and my family. To be able to sit, and just ENJOY everything happening around me, without pressure, without work stress, without having to stuff emotions for the sake of my kids….THIS is living. THIS is how life for me was meant to be!
Appreciate those times the world feels like it is falling apart right beneath you. Because at some point, you will look back and realize the beauty sitting right in front of you!
About the Author
Cheryl Janssen is a Registered Practical Nurse and certified Long Term Care Manager, who currently works as an online Health and Wellness Coach, as well as consulting for Retirement Living Companies. Cheryl is passionate about empowering women to be the best they can be, giving all her clients the tools they need to succeed and leaving the world a better place than how she found it. She lives in the Niagara Region of Ontario, with her husband Dan and 3 energetic boys. Check out her fitness page for inspiration on healthy eating, exercise and motivation to live a clean and healthy life.