I often talk about the value and the need for transitions in our life—those in-between times when we go from one thing to another—whether it’s a job, relationship, or other major life event.
I want to share with you one of my own experiences of a big transition that was so pivotal in my life. For many years, I worked in the healthcare field in a variety of very interesting positions. One day, while I was working as a registered nurse, I felt the need to take a break from my career—one that I had worked so hard to get into to. I didn’t want to be responsible for anybody else’s life for a while. I just wanted to be responsible for my own life.
I thought, What am I going to do? Where am I going to go from here?
Something I had always dreamed of doing was to have my own antiques business. I was a collector for a long time—my husband and I love to go to flea markets! So, I thought I’d just start buying and selling antiques in some multi-dealer shops and at antique shows. This was a very different lifestyle in every way from the high-level, professional healthcare work I had been a part of for so long. But this was also very creative. It was different. I was outdoors a lot and it was much more physical work for me than what I had been doing.
The incredible thing is, that after being away from healthcare for about two years working in this antiques business, I got to a point where I was tiring of it. I missed my connection to healthcare and nursing. It was at that point in time that it finally came to me! I said to myself, “I am not living and working to my highest potential. I know there’s something else, something bigger, for me to do.” That’s when I had the divine energy to actually go out and start my own business, which is the education business I started 26 years ago. That was a pivotal time in my life.
I share this with you because sometimes people get tired of what they’re doing. Maybe they crave a change or just need a break. But they would feel very guilty or their family would say, “What are you doing? You’ve got a great job” or “…very successful practice” or “You’re an accountant or a teacher!” or whatever. You sometimes need transitional time to step away, reflect, refresh, reconsider, and regroup.
For me, it was an opportunity to step back. My life was very different during those two years. At the end of that period of time, it was amazing to see where I was able to go from there! Without that break, and that transition, I’m not really sure that I’d be where I am today. So don’t be afraid to do what you want to do, what you need to do. I always say to go with your gut, follow your heart, and the rest will work itself out.
That’s what happened to me. I’m confident the same thing will happen to you.
Donna Cardillo, RN, CSP, FAAN
Donna Cardillo, MA, RN, CSP (Certified Speaking Professional), FAAN (Fellow in the American Academy of Nursing) is The Inspiration Nurse. She is a powerhouse of energy, wisdom, humor, and solid content and has been referred to as a positive force of nature who lights a path for others to follow. Donna is the author of the award-winning book Falling Together: How to Find Balance, Joy, and Meaningful Change When Your Life Seems to Be Falling Apart. She is also the author of Your First Year as a Nurse: Making the Transition from Total Novice to Successful Professional 2nd ed., The ULTIMATE Career Guide for Nurses: Practical Advice for Thriving at Every Stage of Your Career 2nd ed., and A Day Book for Beginning Nurses. Donna is a Reiki Master, Certified Forest Therapy Guide, Certified Meditation Teacher, and labyrinth facilitator. When she is at her home base in Sea Girt, NJ, she serves as a local spokesperson for family caregivers.