Over a year ago, my incredibly supportive husband gave me the green light to focus on my business full time. We agreed on a one year timeline, in which I would quit all part-time jobs and try to make a living out of Kids Movement Project. Over the course of that adventurous year, I tried many new programs. Some were successful and some, well...not so much. In all of it, there were lessons to be learned, especially from the failures. The lesson I did not expect to learn, is that sometimes less really is more.
The combination of doing work that I'm passionate about, the pressure to make a living at it, and my tendency towards serial multitasking resulted in the creating of a whole range of programs all over Portland. I was in schools, hospitals, studios, and the outdoors. It was a whole year of a bit of everything.
Although I enjoyed all aspects of running a business, trying to do too much really threw my work/life balance way out of whack. I became distracted at home and couldn't even read a book to my kids without thinking about the website update I needed to make, or the new program I was working on. The work was becoming a detriment to my most important job, being a mom to my two incredible boys. I realized that sometime you can't do it all. Sometimes, you have to revisit your priorities and make choices.
So, I picked up a massage job at a chiropractic office and decided to focus on only the KMP programs I am the most excited about: those that involve getting kids outdoors and building our community of incredible families.
For this coming year, I will offer one outdoor KMP program per season. In doing so, my hope is that I will have more space to be fully present with the work and the people in my life. I will continue to create loosely structured programs where kids can discover the joy of outdoor play without too many guidelines or complicated agendas.
In the end, my year of exploration helped me to redefine my goals for KMP... and for my life. That goal is simply to do less and enjoy my life and the people in it more.
If you are interested in a recap of last year's programs, see below. I hope to see you soon!
Much love, Jill
2017-2018 KMP Programs: Baxter Bike Club - This was a home run and I will continue to offer this program in the spring and summer. Janel and I have also been talking about a second location for this program in Cape Elizabeth...so much to explore over there!
MOVE Longfellow: Although we had a lot of fun at this morning movement program, waking my kids at 6:15am and feeding them chocolate to get them to school by 7:15 am (up to five days a week) was not a win. I realized that asking kids to arrive this early was unrealistic and that sleep deprivation is a real beast.
MOVE at Ocean Avenue Elementary - This after school program, which happened in the school library, confirmed my belief that kids should be outdoors after a long school day! I did LOVE working with the Ocean Ave. PTO and am thrilled to be teaching a running club there, Mondays and Wednesdays this fall.
Studio Classes at the Rosemont Studio Collective - I learned so much from co-founding this studio and met some amazing families through the work. Again, I realized that I prefer to be outside with kids. Although I am no longer involved with the studio, I recently checked in with Cayce (Maine Yoga Kids) and the studio is going strong and is cozy as ever.
Movement Therapy at the Barbara Bush Children's Hospital - I started doing this work in May and will continue, hopefully forever, because I absolutely love it. I do movement games, yoga, dance, and play with children who are staying at the hospital. Although the work happens within hospital walls, I try to bring the outdoors in through guided meditations. The kids, families and Childlife staff that I work with teach me so much about the resiliency and strength of the human spirit.
Baxter Skate Club - Such a blast! I will be offering this again in the winter months.
In closing, I would love to hear from you. I am open to any program ideas, feedback or suggestions you may have...as long as they're not too complicated. :)