April Jeppson: When in doubt, take the trip with family

Published 8:45 pm Friday, August 13, 2021

Every Little Thing  by April Jeppson

My husband takes our children up to Bismarck, ND every year to visit his family. I’m usually in another part of the country at a Scentsy convention (10 years this month!), so he packs up the family and heads up north. Due to most things going online this past year, I was able to virtually attend my conference a few weeks ago and was no longer double booked. My husband invited me join them on the trip this time.

April Jeppson

I’ll be honest, I wasn’t feeling it. This summer I received a promotion at work and instead of just overseeing my own day to day duties, I now find myself over multiple departments and about 30 staff. There are so many facets to my job and I’m still trying to find my footing. With deadlines approaching, and my supervisor retiring in the next 2 weeks, I just didn’t feel right taking a vacation right now. It felt irresponsible.

2 weeks ago I started laying out all that I would need to do in order to go with my family. All the shifts I’d need covered, the backup staff I’d need in place, emergency protocols with plan B and C lined up, the program guide that needs to get published and into people’s homes. Then there was all the stuff I needed to do to get my kids ready for school. Buying supplies, cleaning out their closets, figuring out what clothes I needed to purchase and what still fits… So, as I’m working extra hours and trying to get everything lined up, I finally gave up. It would actually be easier to just stay home and work.

The thing is, I like work. No, I love work. Not just work in general, (I’d much rather be napping or having lunch with friends) but this work. For the first time in a while, I feel like I’m in the right place. Teaching cosmetology gave me life, coaching gymnastics fills my cup and juggling all the different things I do each day truly is enjoyable. My hyperactive brain is no longer hindering my performance but is a help to me. The stars have once again aligned and I’m utilizing my talents to their fullest.

So no, I didn’t want to take a vacation, at least not now. But a few days before we left I had a change of heart. I worked a couple 12 hour days, called in every favor and rescheduled a few of my meetings. The morning we were set to leave, I threw a bunch of clothes in a bag and hoped that I had grabbed items that fit. I had everything lined up and kept my phone on me ‘just in case’ but we were off.

I’m writing to you from the comforts of my in-laws kitchen table. I’ve been out in North Dakota for almost a week now and I am finally relaxed. Although I’ll be returning to a pile of work, nothing went wrong or burned down. My co-workers, friends and my family had my back. My mother even drove 4 hours to clean and organize my house while I was gone. I seriously am blessed with the BEST support circle.

Although I love my job, I love my family more. At any moment I could get fired (fingers crossed that doesn’t happen in the near future). However, I will always be the mother to my kids, whether they like it or not. This was a good opportunity for me to pause, reflect and change my trajectory slightly. I seriously love my life and where I’m heading; however, I need to remember that nothing is more important than family.

Albert Lean April Jeppson is a wife, mom, coach and encourager of dreams. Her column appears every Saturday.