Mom, wife and ultrasound tech, Michaela Gasseling, took a leap of faith to follow her heart. This is her personal story of difficulty and triumph.
Farming, Fitness and Breastfeeding
Living a life of no regrets
Many people use mottos to help them through life. I actually have two. The first motto is “to live with no regrets.” The other was taught to me by the boy I dated for years as a teenager. I could look back on our relationship regretfully, but that’s just not my style. Instead I took with me, motto number two: “If you don’t like something, don’t complain about it, change it.”
Now I want to share with you the story of the most important time I have applied these mottos to my life.
My journey to who and where I am now, started one night in December 2013. I was working full time, plus on top of that, I was on call an additional 20-100 hours a week. This meant I worked overnight, weekends and holidays.
I LOVED my career as a registered diagnostic ultrasound technologist and still do. I made a good income and prided myself as the breadwinner of the household. However in less than seven years I was feeling burnt out. Something was missing. I was busy and stressed and all of my energy was spent on a job that really did not fulfill me.
I was never home on time and my husband had to drop off and pick up our almost-2-year-old daughter from daycare. Due to my crazy hours and the need to be 20 to 30 minutes from the hospital, we missed practically every family event.
In other words, I was becoming increasingly unsatisfied with my life. I had a great-paying job, but I felt like I was missing not just family events and holidays, but more importantly I missed seeing my baby grow up. I was always told that after you have kids, your priorities change. That is the truth.
So, back to this particular December night. We were having a typical Nebraska blizzard, I just worked a 13 hour shift and was called back into the hospital three times already that evening. It was now 1:00AM and I had not been to bed yet. On top of that, I was scheduled to work a 13 hour shift again the next day. I had just crawled into bed and the pager went off AGAIN for an ultrasound exam in the emergency room.
I got off the phone with the doctor, burst into angry tears, and, I’m sure with crazy-eyes, told my husband that I was quitting my job! That weekend I wrote my letter of resignation and literally just prayed that God would provide.
It was the best decision—and scariest—that I ever made. Did I mention that I was seven weeks pregnant with our second child?
I will forever call it the biggest leap of faith we have ever taken. But the way I looked at it, I had a choice- I could continue working at that job, losing a little more of myself each day or I could choose the scary option.
That option included a huge loss of income, but the freedom and flexibility to raise my kids and not miss anything important again. It also allowed me to work part time doing things that I loved.
A few weeks after having our second baby we sold our house and moved to my husband’s family farm. Life with no regrets- right?!
So we overhauled our budget and kept praying that God would provide and He did in more ways than one.
I still work two half-days a week doing ultrasounds at a rural hospital. I also became a health and fitness coach and a certified PiYo Live fitness instructor and I also became an accredited La Leche League leader in which I run a support group for pregnant and breastfeeding moms.
To top it off, I recently started a blog and write about our new life on the farm, health and fitness, recipes, and mom-life adventures.
I cannot tell you the difference that spending my life doing what I am passionate about has made. I went from thinking that there just HAD to be more to life than work to being the boss of my own life.
All of my energy goes only into things that fill my cup.
So now I work, but it doesn’t feel like work because I spend all my time on what I am passionate about— my family, our farm, fitness, supporting other moms, and empowering other women— all of this equals happiness.
I hope my story inspires you to leave “comfortable” behind and do the scary thing. I promise you that there is so much waiting for you! I want you, like myself, to be able to live with no regrets.
Mom. Wife. Health & fitness coach. Healthy eater (most of the time). Nebraska girl. Runner. Certified PiYo Live Instructor. Empowerer.