We had the good fortune of connecting with Sean O’Dwyer and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Sean, how has your work-life balance changed over time?
I don’t know a single person who feels like they’re on top of work/life balance in these pandemic years. Certainly not parents. If you have fewer commitments, I suppose a certain kind of balance might seem attainable. For the rest of us, the growth seems to be in accepting our limitations and learning to go with reality.
Am I exhausted? Am I burning out? Is this bringing me any joy or does it feel like a slog? Can I take care of myself? Can I get enough rest? Is there space for this right now? How much? What’s realistic this week? Can I let go of fantasy timelines and just accept it’s going to take longer than I imagined?
Building anything real takes a long time. I recently adjusted my expectation that a goal might be achievable in two years. I admitted, at my current pace, it might take five. It could even take 10. But every week, I’m pushing it forward. And when I relaxed and took time off from it, lo and behold, new opportunities arose and I had space to make new connections who are now helping me speed things up. So maybe it’ll only take five years after all. And maybe it’ll happen ever faster.
Accepting the reality of where I was at — being honest with myself, and relaxing just a little — that’s what opened those doors.
What should our readers know about your business?
I’m a web designer and developer. I spent 25 years selling my time to great clients, and decided to finally use those skills to build something for myself. I’m most proud of having built a very welcoming, open, sharing, non-judgmental and inclusive community around hiking in The Catskills.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
It’s 100% going to involve hiking and food. The Catskills has some of the most beautiful and rugged trail in the country. And there are so many amazing restaurants and breweries here. I was never an outdoorsy type until I discovered The Catskills. Now I’m a total convert to hiking and anything hiking related. The Devil’s Path and the Blackhead Range are the two premier trailed ranges here. West Kill Brewing in Spruceton is an amazing spot for a post-hike debrief’n’brew.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
My wife works hard and is currently earning most of our income, but she’s also just very supportive, and a big believer in what I’m trying to do. And the community of people I’ve built around my project are just the most supportive people; every day I can feel how they want it to succeed.
Solo Portrait of me standing on a rock: instagram.com/emily_adventuring All other photos by me instagram.com/TotalCatskills