What happened to Ways We Work?
Last weekend was Ways We Work’s third birthday and I definitely felt some guilt around the fact that it passed without much fanfare.
For over two years it was my passion project and for over a year it was all I did. Launching Ways We Work and sticking with it is by far one of the best decisions I’ve ever made. It is 100% the reason I am where I am today. I can’t describe the amount of confidence that comes when you will a random idea into existence and do it all the way.
When I started in my new role at Shopify back in October I was good and burnt out from a year and a half of doing Ways We Work full-time. Somewhere in the hustle of trying to make it my full-time job, I lost what I enjoyed about it. It became a grind to try and just get by financially. I didn’t allow myself to do anything if it wasn’t somehow related to the site. I didn’t have hobbies, I didn’t read books, I didn’t build relationships that weren’t related to the project – I made a lot of mistakes. I’m sure it’s pretty obvious that the combination of not making enough money and letting my work consume every aspect of my life is not exactly a sustainable one. So I made the decision to the take the pressure off and let my passion project be my passion again. Shopify was the perfect place to do that and once I had settled in I was ready to figure out what doing Ways We Work part-time again would look like.
Then, in December, we lost my stepmother to cancer. The one thing we hoped and prayed would never happen for the last two years happened. One Saturday afternoon she was just gone. Losing Crystal changed my life overnight. Grieving for me, has meant needing to be incredibly selective about where my time and energy goes. Right now that’s getting up every morning and doing whatever I can to bring my best self to work, it’s caring for myself and my family, looking after our puppy and spending whatever time is left on recharging to do it all again the next day.
For weeks I beat myself up, asking myself when I’d get back to doing interviews, when I’d get back to Ways We Work until finally I just made the decision to stop putting so much pressure on it, on myself. I write all of this because the site was always about real talk and often times the way that life and work converge.
Ways We Work was and will always be one of my proudest accomplishments, where Matt and I were able to take it was beyond both our wildest imaginations. Matt was not just my partner on Ways We Work, he’s a great friend and we both agreed that the project fulfilled every goal we had for it and more.
So for now, I’m taking a step back to appreciate everything that Ways We Work was instead of worrying about what it should be. I’m figuring out what my new normal is after dealing with such a huge loss. I’ve learned (and continue to learn) a very real lesson in taking care of yourself and spending whatever time you can with your loved ones.
Ways We Work was nothing short of a great adventure and who knows, maybe sometime in the future we’ll dig back in and take it somewhere new. But until then, I’m taking everything one day at a time and refocusing my energy where it needs to be right now.
Thank you to everyone who has sent kind words and reached out wanting new interviews. Hearing from so many of you who loved the site so much has been so incredibly encouraging. I’m proud of the archive of content that continues to live on the site. That’s not going anywhere so if you love the site, please share it, or rediscover an old interview you connected with.
Thank you so much to everyone who supported the project through all its iterations – I can’t thank you enough for following along with us through all of it. 🙏🏻