When Adele sings, the last thing you want her to do is stop--her gift helps us find parts of ourselves and feel understood. But even music divas have freedom of choice. The superstar announced to fans that she might never tour again as she wrapped up her sensational performance at Wembley Stadium in London, England Wednesday night. The news, as described by Buzzfeed's Kimberley Dadds, came within a handwritten note included in Adele's tour programs.
But why, Adele, why?!
In her note, Adele explained that her tour was for her fans more than for herself, and that touring doesn't really fit her:
"Touring is a peculiar thing, it doesn't suit me particularly well. I'm a real homebody and I get so much joy in the small things. Plus I'm dramatic and have a terrible history of touring. [...] I only ever did this tour for you and to hopefully have an impact on you the way that some of my favorite artists have had on me live."
The small things of course probably include sipping fabulous coffee once in a while, but they include a not-so-small thing, too--Adele's son, Angelo. There's been speculation for months that Adele wanted to cool her travels to spend more time with him. And Angelo's father, Simon Konecki, whom Adele confirmed she'd married in March 2017, likely inspires her to come home with equal intensity.
In or out of the office, effort is effort
In essence, Adele's decision comes from something millions of people around the world struggle to find--work-life balance. Like many leaders, she followed her passion for years, traveling and making personal sacrifices to share with others. But after well over a hundred shows, Adele is giving herself permission to push down the other side of the scale, to explore and embrace the identity and passion she has outside of "singer" or "entertainer". That's important, because it is in traveling roads we're not familiar with that we understand the bigger landscape of our purpose, abilities and potential.
But did you catch it? She's pushing on scale. She's not passive. She's giving effort. And that, perhaps, is what really challenges so many of us and keeps us at the office. We don't always see effort where it's still present. We are OK with it if we want to change jobs, careers, start a new business. With those things, pay quantifies the value of what we're doing. But if we want to work, like Adele now does, as a mother or father, just be a friend, suddenly, because the effort doesn't get a dollar value, we say there must not be effort at all. And so the ugly labels come out. Lazy. Irresponsible. Selfish. We put in overtime so those labels don't get stuck to us, so we can feel like we matter. And as we do, the denial of other, deep parts of ourselves makes us miserable. And that's before you count the sleep deprivation.
So here's what you need to remember: Just because you're not on the clock doesn't mean you're not working. You're not doing less. You're just doing different. Different has value. It's not quitting. It's asserting yourself, revealing more of who you are and can be, so that you, others and the world all can be better. Clock out. Take the vacation. Don't be uni-dimensional. You're more than that. Adele can prove it to you.