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I have the last school day blues
ā€œPausing, reflecting, celebrating and saying goodbye"

entrepreneurship mindset personal stories storytelling-truthtelling Jun 30, 2023
Karolien Vanhelden - Personal Branding - Last school day blues

Today marks the last school day here in Belgium. And I have the same feeling on this last day as I always have on the first day of school: a lump in my throat, a sense of melancholy, a pass-the-tissues feeling,…It’s like someone sends me a reminder that my little girl becomes more and more a lady. I see how big Lilly became. That big school bag you see on the picture? She now wears it easily on her shoulders. So the school bag alone is already a reminder of the days of yesteryear… 

I dare to admit that this first year of primary school has been quite a challenging one. There were periods I felt more like a teacher than a mom, trying to repeat sums over and over again, making the right curls in writing (Those who know me will laugh very loud, because my own handwriting is terrible) and discovering the world of books and reading. But Lilly didn’t give up, showed resilience and kept on absorbing new things. And, of course, we couldn’t have done it without the unwavering support of Lilly’s teacher, which shows again the importance of being surrounded by the right people.

But did you know that today also the first school year of me as an entrepreneur comes to a close? That’s right, I officially registered my business on the first of September. So for already one school year I am discovering the entrepreneurial life, in combination with my family pleasures and duties. Just like Lilly, I needed to learn and unlearn certain skills and show resilience (because it isn’t always milk and honey). But luckily I found communities who support me, just like the teacher, to let me grow as an entrepreneur.

The first day of school ten months ago is now a mere flash. How did we go from waving at the school entrance and going for breakfast to celebrate my business launch to crafting a ‘thank you’ present for the teacher and preparing for another client session this afternoon?

As the school year winds down, we might consider two things:

  • The importance of pausing and reflecting:
    Use the start of the summer holidays to refocus and regain balance. Reflect on what you learned, how you grew & changed and what it all means for next school year or the rest of the year. You might want to make a ‘More/Less list’. What do you want to do more and what do you want to drop?
    I want to pinpoint what Lilly is already doing right, so she can do more of it next school year. And for myself I want to shine a light on how I can become even more myself in my business.
    But this asks for pressing the pause button: Lilly playing her way through summer holidays and me slowing down, taking a step back from my business and gaining new insights and perspectives.
  • The importance of celebrating:
    This is something we often forget. It is not only about looking back and acknowledging the challenges. It is also about celebrating our successes. Ten months later I am already welcoming fascinating clients and Lilly is growing into a person I am very proud of. And as tradition prescribes, we celebrate the start of the summer holidays and now also 10 months in business with mussels and fries…

Pausing, reflecting, celebrating,… and every now and then saying goodbye. Voilà, these were my end-of-school-year emotions. Happy almost-summer holidays!

Want to pause and reflect, refocus and regain balance? Just like me, shine a light on how you can become more of who you already are... 

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