The Mini: The Hike that Saved Me

The Mini is an occasional series that talks about personal stories that helped shape my life and career. These ideas have helped shape who I am today and started me on my journey to financial independence.

Last year I experienced something that pushed me to look at my accounting career…I burned out. I pushed myself too hard for too long and ran straight into a wall.

I no longer worked at taking care of myself or my needs. Instead, I concentrated too much on what my job needed from me. I began losing sleep – stuck thinking about the day and tasks ahead. My work day began earlier, ended later and became filled with more and more. Not once did I stop to think about what this was doing to me long term.

That is, until I took a few days off to escape to the woods and camp with my family. During this time I was able to finally take a look at what I was doing to myself and what needed to change.

The first morning of our camping trip, we went for a hike in the woods – two year old daughter strapped to my back. As we hiked on the trail, I experienced something I hadn’t felt in a long time…peace. That moment, I forgot everything except being in the present. I was able to enjoy time with my family and the beautiful view around us.

We need these moments in nature, away from screens, email, and life’s daily stresses. They help relieve mental pressures and take our minds off the things that don’t matter.

I’m still fighting off that burnout but these moments away are helping center my life again.

Don’t forget to take moments for yourself.

Patrick Schneider

8 Comments

  1. February 19, 2018
    Reply

    Getting away is so important. Sometimes you have to get out of your head and remember what’s its all about. Thanks for stopping by my blog. Welcome to the neighborhood!

    • t
      February 20, 2018
      Reply

      Totally agree – Thanks!

  2. February 19, 2018
    Reply

    Oh, I’m so glad you went on a hike. I experienced some pretty big lows in a career I was burned out and hated as well. It was when my husband told me, “just quit …no workplace is worth your misery.” I didn’t quit, but felt empowered knowing that it was OK with my husband to quit anytime I wanted, and then I finally put that energy (the energy that I was giving my workplace) into updating my resume and applying for different jobs…and it finally worked out and I was blessed to have a new job opportunity to come into my life.

    It makes life much easier when you aren’t sitting in your driveway crying before going into work in the morning, but actually looking forward to what you have to do that day. Keep up the hiking with your family!!

    • t
      February 20, 2018
      Reply

      It seems like everyone has their own story on how their job led them to burning out – I never realized how common it can be.

      Glad you found a new opportunity!

  3. February 28, 2018
    Reply

    I completely get how one can burn out being in Finance. Between month-end closes, reporting, tax filings, internal and external audits and ad hoc analysis, it is a never ending cycle.

    I haven’t figured out how to balance this life, but it has made me more focused than ever before to obtain financial independence. I believe a career adjustment will happen before FI.

    • t
      March 1, 2018
      Reply

      It is a hard thing to balance. Part of it is having a larger goal to work towards but you also need to find a career that you can stand going to everyday. It isn’t worth killing yourself for 10 years while waiting to achieve FI.

  4. March 7, 2018
    Reply

    Burnout can have serious physical and mental health implications, and its common in our field.

    If you ever want to talk coping strategies, please feel free to reach out to me, I’ve had to deal with these challenges far too many times for my liking.

    Like you, it’s generally in one of these dark spots that a getaway, or the right fresh air puts me back in perspective, and its generally when I’m drawn back to the concept of FIRE.

    Very glad to hear you addressed the issue and are still working on it.

    Finance Stoic

    • t
      March 8, 2018
      Reply

      Thanks! I will probably be reaching out to you soon because I still find myself struggling from time to time.

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