By Gretchen Williams •
How do you unplug?
A few years ago, I found myself struggling to answer that important question. I rarely took vacations and was tethered to my devices 24/7. I told myself that the time I spent with family and friends was my way of unplugging, but I never left my phone at home – so I really wasn’t unplugged.
What brings you joy?
Before I could answer this question, I needed to get clear on the definition of joy. I love my job and the diversity of initiatives I invest in that create value in our community. I’ve always been connected to purpose-driven work, so I thought that passion was my joy. But I realized, while the work is fulfilling, and the passion tied to making a meaningful difference makes me feel happy, it’s not what brings me joy.
Unplugged and Joyful
After some soul searching, I realized that I found joy in being outside and spending time with animals. So, four years ago I began to build my flock. My coop has now grown to 3000 sq. ft. and close to 70 chickens. I start every day watching the sun come up, in the fresh air, surrounded by my beautiful birds. I end every day watching the sunset, gathering eggs, and settling in my birds for the night. I never take a phone with me when I’m in the coop – I’m completely untethered to electronics. I’ve found that by starting and ending my day this way, I am more present and authentic in my connection with people that I come in contact with throughout my day. My quality of life has dramatically improved as a result, and guess what… I am no less productive than I was five years ago. I am simply happier, calmer, and better at balancing competing priorities.
So, I invite you to ask yourself these questions.
- How do you unplug?
- What brings you joy?
Being a chicken farmer may not be your answer, but I promise you – once you’ve stepped into what brings you joy and truly unplug, you’ll ask yourself the same thing I did. Why didn’t I do this sooner?!