You, version 2.0—Don’t give up on the things that bring you joy

By Kerry Seitz on April 20, 2017

When I was in college and during my twenties, I was a runner. I ran almost every day—participating in multiple races and even training for and successfully completing a marathon. At the time, I self-identified as a runner, and others often referred to me this way. Friends would ask for my opinion about things like the best sneakers and good training routes.

My twenties turned into my thirties, and time once spent running a 10K road race was replaced by different day-to-day priorities, like keeping up with my three young children. Without much conscious thought, I eliminated “runner” from my self-definition, since it was no longer a part of my daily life. When I did make it out for the occasional run, I would say to others that I was, at one time, a runner.

Until last year.

As I stared down my 40th birthday, I decided to prioritize running again, and I committed to getting out once a week. I quickly reconnected with my love for time alone with my thoughts—and certainly appreciated it more than I ever did in my twenties.

I began to question why I abandoned “runner” as a part of my personal story. So I consciously gave myself permission to reclaim it, even though it looks different now than it did when I was 23. I have discovered that I’m not alone.

Take a Moment to Remember What You Enjoy

Working women have a tendency to become so absorbed in the chaos of daily routines—focusing on what we think we should be doing, and not pausing to notice the parts of our work that we enjoy the most.

I’ve heard many women leaders dismissively categorize their love for writing or research or connecting with people or (fill in the blank) as something that’s not integral to their role. I wonder—why can’t it be? And more importantly, what would the impact be if it was a part of your role?

Yes, circumstances change, and we continue to evolve over the course of our lifetime. This doesn’t mean that we should abandon what’s core to who we are and what we’re passionate about. It’s up to each of us to create the space that we need to think about this.

Make an effort to hit pause and give conscious thought to the things you’ve eliminated or dismissed. Ask yourself:

  • What is one activity or area of interest that I’ve lost touch with?
  • What would today’s “2.0 version” of this look like for me?
  • What is one thing that I can do in the next two weeks to get one step closer to making this a reality?
  • How would this help others connect and understand who I am and the value I bring?

Bring Back the Present Tense

If you are missing something meaningful, revive it. Allow yourself to reclaim it—perhaps in a new package that’s compatible with your present life demands and job priorities. Commit to reconnecting with it and claim it with pride and without apology—you just might find yourself a bit more joyful and fulfilled.

I am a runner. Share with me who you are.

Posted in Blog, Leadership Development, Women in Leadership

About Kerry Seitz

Kerry Brady Seitz is the Executive Director of Linkage’s Women in Leadership Institute™, where she oversees the design, development and execution of this global signature program for high-performing women leaders. She also guides the design, development and delivery of Linkage's Advancing Women Leaders & Inclusive Leadership Solutions.
2 comments on “You, version 2.0—Don’t give up on the things that bring you joy
  1. Elizabeth Clark says:

    Hello Kerry, thank you for your post! I have left so many of my passions by the wayside as life and family demands took over, it is like I relinquished parts of who I am….and they are the parts that gave me the most joy and fulfillment.

    I’ve not figured out how to incorporate those back into my life yet, but since you asked, I will tell you how I self-identify: I am a martial artist.

    • Kerry Seitz says:

      Thanks for sharing, Elizabeth, the martial artist! I find that the hardest part of reintegrating these passions back into our lives is defining what the 2.0 version looks like. Perhaps you can’t make it to the dojo as often as you once did, but what could you do even once a week? Mark it on your calendar and commit to it-–and then let me know how you feel afterwards!

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