It's over. My three month Leap Tour traveling across the country and back for book readings, workshops, visiting some of my favorite people, and of course hugging!
I have officially stored my roller bag in the closet and unpacked my toiletries.
What happens now you may ask?
A long nap. A massage. Lots of kale. These are my first thoughts.
Here's the real answer: I have No Idea.
When something big ends, fight the inclination to know what comes next. It's not time yet.
This is true for jobs, relationships, graduations, when you've reached personal goals, and even at the end of a year.
Everyone in your life, including you, may be asking about the future. You are too tired and wrapped up in what just happened to know for sure. And even if you do know what's next, please do yourself a favor and do these two things first. You'll thank me later.
What to do when something big ends:
1) Say what happened.
For six months, this introverted homebody traveled to New York City (five times plus living there for three weeks), Washington, DC (three times), Cleveland, Denver (twice), and Madison WI (plus driving into the northern and western corners of the state and Minnesota), and in-between each traveled home to upstate New York to see my family.
What else happened?
- I ate a lot of peanut butter, my survival food.
- I read one book in every home where I stayed. You learn about people, even those you know well, by what's on their bookshelves.
- I wore navy blue often, because it matches everything.
- Corollary: I used laundry machines in six different cities.
- I spent hours staring out airplane, train and bus windows, and the occasional car.
- I signed new clients, sold books, coached over the phone and Skype from hotel and guest rooms.
I set out on this adventure with four goals.
This Leap Tour was an opportunity to share my story, and the response was overwhelming and wonderful. Someone at every reading said how my words helped them see their own life from a new perspective, or will help them be there for a loved one in a new way.
I also hoped this tour would expand my business. I'm thrilled to report that Simply Leap has new clients and contacts nationwide! Speaking gigs in 2014 are already in the works.
Third, I wanted to be inspired to write another book. While stuck in Denver during a mega-storm, once again staring out the window, a new story found me. More on that soon.
It's amazing what happens while you are waiting.
The fourth goal was to know where I would land.
For two months, I will be in upstate New York, staying close to family, celebrating the holidays, and getting my financial and personal lives in order.
Where I land in the new year is still up for grabs, but that's what is next not what is now.
2) Celebrate the crap out of it.
Writing all of this down - what you did, what you learned - is a celebration in itself.
That's how it feels for me. This post crystallizes all that I accomplished while I was so busy moving I hadn't noticed.
Next up is letting others celebrate You.
Chances are that people in your life are even more excited about what you just did than you are. Allowing them to express that, and allowing yourself to take in their excitement, is hugely rewarding for everyone involved.
When I see friends, they light up as they ask about my tour. I instinctively wave their excitement away as if it was no big deal. Or I focus on the tough moments along the way.
Let's agree to stop that right now.
When someone enthusiastically asks about your accomplishment, take it as a sign to celebrate.
- Say Thank you.
- Take a deep breath and remember what you did to get here.
- Choose one thing you're proud of you, and say it.
- Most important, look directly at the other person. See their excitement coming to you. Take it in.
My clients have the best ideas for celebrating. They are getting really good at it!
They take luxurious bubble baths, go on weekend getaways with good friends, and do happy dances in their kitchens.
Taking their lead, I celebrate my Leap Tour by writing this post, hiking through misty autumn woods, scheduling the whole week off at Thanksgiving, and napping!
What's next will become clearer. What's now, for me, is downtime and reflection.
What is ending, and how will you celebrate it?