Two years, Two Months, and Two Weeks

It’s going to be a big week here.

In two days, my little family and I are packing our bags and heading back to the motherland (UK) for 4 weeks. While traveling with young children is never high on my list of things to do, COVID wasn’t kind to the elderly members of my family, and this trip is about introducing my daughters to their great-grandparents while we still can. We are also using the trip to have an adventure, taking the girls to see things like castles and to find the Lock Ness Monster. It should be a lot of fun.

The travel itself, though, isn’t why I’m writing today.

I stood at my kitchen counter last night and realized that I was feeling glum, a little lost even. I couldn’t place where this feeling was coming from at first.

Slowly, however, it dawned on me. While I was excited about the trip, I won’t be working during that period. My basic business essentials will be packed just in case, but on the whole, I will be in the bubble of the family for an entire month.

I want to be clear, I’m not sad that I won’t be working.

The sadness came from the realization that, for the first time, SafeStack doesn’t need me to function. There are now zero jobs in the company that require me to do them. Everything has a process, a second in command, and oversight. Besides fundraising, every other role I now play is supporting other teams and working on long-term vision and strategy.

I felt like a parent realizing their child was leaving home and finding they are somehow unprepared for that realization.

We are two years, two months, and two weeks since launch; I guess I forget how far we have come in that time and how much of that isn’t because I do everything but because Erica and I have built an amazing team around us.

At the start of December, we gathered that team together for the first time in person. I was intimidated to stand in a restaurant for the arrival dinner and look at the huge empty table and realize those seats were all filled. When we broke into groups for the 2 days of planning and collaboration, I could stand back and lead with coaching and direction rather than make all the decisions.

I guess the signs have been there for a while.

So as I pack my bags and try to convince my 4-year-old daughter not to unpack or repack them on my behalf, I guess it’s normal to feel a little strange about this new stage. Rather than feeling sad or lost, I will focus on feeling proud of what we have achieved and excited about what will come. This change doesn’t mean SafeStack doesn’t need me anymore; it just means that SafeStack needs me to grow again and become what it needs next.

So I will be gone for 4 weeks; I will play and rest and explore and do all of the wonderful things you are supposed to do on a family holiday. Then, in mid-January, I will dust off my work supplies and return to business, picking up from where the team got to in my absence.

Whatever this next month brings you, I wish you all a happy holiday season.

For those with big dreams, don’t forget to celebrate all that you have achieved and plan for the next year ahead later.

Laura

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