What I Did with a Month Off & What It Taught Me

Well that was interesting. A month off from work that is. As some of you know I finished my last day at SEOmoz Moz, back on May 15th, and I am kicking off the new gig at BigDoor, another Seattle startup, this Wed June 12th. Okay so it’s not exactly a month but let’s roll with it for our purposes here. 

So what did I do?

snack time on the beach

A few things—some more productive than others. Big things include spending a week in Kauai…by myself, traveling to Duluth, MN to keynote my first ever conference, and heading back to Vermont to enjoy over a week with the family. In between that I did a lot of pilates, running, sleeping in, and wine sipping. I called friends I’ve neglected for too long, I read a lot, and listened to some great music. 

Other random things include:

  • Staring out a window for half an hour…watching a squirrel. True story.
  • Played cribbage with my pops for the first time in half a decade. Best two out of three actually. If you MUST know…he won.
  • Painted my nails like 10 times in 30ish days. No really. Strange I know.
  • Got a massage/spa day in three different times in four weeks. Particularly gluttonous. 
  • Did a cartwheel (okay maybe a few) in my living room. I don’t know – it just felt right at the time.
  • I Vined for the first time ever. And the second, and third. Let’s be real – I’m hooked.
  • I read a book to my nephews before bed for the first time in years. I also was there to tuck them in three different nights. Goodnight kisses and all. #lovethemsomuch 

I also did a little work in there:

  • Loaded up over 20 post drafts up, expect some good ones coming your way.
  • I kicked off my stint with Entrepreneur’s Team Digital, and we’ve since published two posts. Honored to be contributing with such a crew of amazing people.
  • Went back and forth with my dev team on my ISITaYES app- which had its final build in TestFlight go out yesterday. Holy crap people, its almost time to launch.
  • I may, or may not, have done a ton of competitive analysis, and industry mapping in my new company’s vertical – customer loyalty and engagement– just don’t tell my new boss. I was supposed to be “recharging” and off the grid. Shhhh.
  • I revamped my daily feeds, killed a bunch of daily mailers I get (fine…I kept Gilt & Ideeli, stop judging me!), and enveloped myself in my favorite blogs again.
  • I watched SEOmoz launch into Moz, and took a deep breath of pride, and wished my old team the best of luck on this new chapter. They are going to kill it.
  • I keynoted my first ever conference –Zenith Social Media Summit in Duluth. I was a bag of nerves if we are getting honest up in here, but it went amazingly, and I’m really thankful for the day. Subsequently, I was asked to keynote two more shows this year. Wowzers. #stoked

Then what?

After travel, random things, and some work…the only other thing in there was the purpose of the break itself – the recharging. I did a lot of that. I ate a lot of whole foods, I slept a great deal, I laughed a lot. I practiced gratitude meditation (a new fave of mine) and I hugged a lot of people (sorry if this got weird for anyone).

The truth is taking off 30 days between jobs scared the hell out of me when I first committed to it. I thought such silly things like “what if I missed something” and “what if I lose momentum?” Bahhhh! So silly.porch time feet up

Come to find out, vacation with family and friends and the gift of time to myself was just what I needed. So I’ll say it here…in all caps nonetheless – ALL OF YOU WERE RIGHT. Okay. Geesh. You cats are so smart.

But let’s also be honest. I’m looking forward to jumping back into the swing of things. I miss sitting at a desk, with headphones on, listening to good tunes, wandering the web, brainstorming with smart people and building things. I’m ready to get back to it. New gig starts on Wed. Wish me luck.

It’s going to be fun…

13 Comments
  • Mollie Ruiz-Hopper

    Congrats on the new gig! Can’t wait to hear more about it. Your time off sounds amazing, can’t wait for your app!!!!! !!!

  • http://austinstf.tumblr.com slavetofashion

    I cannot wait to see what the next chapter brings for you. Since I first met you, I’ve considered you a role model and an inspiration. It’s so important to see successful women take a step back and take some time for themselves. The time off is just as important as the time spent working. Making yourself a priority is huge, and I’m so glad you took that time to recharge your batteries. I would say good luck at the new gig, but you are so brilliant and awesome that you don’t even need luck! Congrats again my friend!

  • Jessica Adams

    See, you have grown so much in just 30 days. (And if not in your industry definitely in parenting) so proud of you! Good luck Joanna Lynn… U r amazing!

  • KateMorris

    <3 so glad you got to spend time to recharge, and I know for you that includes some work. Good luck darling, can't wait to see what's next.

  • joannalynnlord

    Thanks Mollie! I can’t wait for our coffee date so I can hear all about what you’ve been up too! #busybees

  • joannalynnlord

    Thanks lady :) You have always been such a great friend for the pep talks and support. I can’t wait to catch up at PubCon, and also…see what you are wearing. Miss fashionista ;)

  • joannalynnlord

    Thanks love! You are the best. p.s. we still need that lunch! ha. Maybe we can make it work now that I’m farther away…hmmm. ha. Lets figure it out!

  • joannalynnlord

    Thanks sister. It was a great time this week. Love you so much!

  • Cindy Krum

    Congrats on the keynotes – that is SUPER awesome! Oh – and glad you took a break. You deserve it! :)

  • joannalynnlord

    Thanks Cindy! I am excited, it was super fun. Hoping we can catch up soon, are you traveling a lot these days? Like maybe to Seattle? :)

  • Cheryl

    So glad we had a day with you!!!! Go get em Joanna !!! Good luck!

  • Cindy Krum

    No idea when I will be in Seattle next, but I will let you know. :)

  • Hannah Ozubko

    I just laughed out loud at the squirrel bit-did he find his acorn? Thanks for being an inspiration!