Play. Take a break. Relax. Sleep.
Everything in moderation.
This has been the topic of conversations I've had this past week, especially in the last 24 hours, because I haven't been taking a break. I know I touched up on this in my post last week, but I really want to explore the reasons why I do this in greater depth, and maybe some of the points I bring up will resonate with you. This isn't just the case with entrepreneurs, I know people who don't run their own business who do this. However, I think that it's exponentially far more common with entrepreneurs. Artrepreneurs. Momtrepreneurs. All the "-preneurs" out there, really.
This is not going to be something you'll notice, not directly anyway; it's completely behind the scenes. Everything that I've been doing on schedule will continue. The workshops are still going on, I'm still filming my next paid tutorial, the daily content is still going up. Behind the scenes, I need to be more efficient about my time. And, the hope that, as I learn to schedule in time for rest, my content will only improve in quality as well as creativity.
I'm back to using my bullet journal - I started with the 1st of the month, and it's been a huge help. Though, with the more efficient use of my time, I'm also getting into the habit of scheduling more into my day than I did before, so that needs to stop. Currently, my to-do list for each day is nearly half a page long.
I've forgotten how to play, which is sadly ironic since I live with two experts on the subject. I've forgotten how to let go, even though that's the central theme of my art. So maybe "play" and "letting go" aren't the right words, or maybe it's because the only place where I still know how to play and let go is in my art, but not in life. I've been accused of being too serious or no fun, and maybe it's true. I guess I've gone and done the dreaded thing called "growing up." Even in my recent family photo, nobody pointed this out but I've noticed. I've aged. I definitely look my age now. For the longest time I didn't... I was still being carded in my late 20's.
Oddly enough, that's maybe one of the reasons why I love art and craft and DIY so much, because it's the last bit of playing that I have left in me. Maybe that's why I lean towards whimsy so much, because it's a reminder of when I was a kid and loved these things full of glitter and bright colors and Lisa Frank, but I couldn't afford it at the time. Funny how, as kids, we make all these promises to ourselves that "when I grow up I'm going to do all these things I can't right now because I don't have money." I also think that's why I'm having a hard time balancing work and life, because to me this IS taking a break. It's taking a break from adulting and real life responsibilities and having to work a 9-5 for so many years. However, I know that not all aspects of this is playing, and I think this is where it becomes a problem with artrepreneurs. You have to do the marketing and the business part of the work as well as the fun creative stuff. In order to be successful, you have to do both. If you're not careful, the business side of it will take off with you and run like hell, and after a while you'll forget why you did it in the first place. I don't want that. I think Rachel from Hands Free Mama says it best, when she writes
"I want to make memories, not to do lists. I want to feel the squeeze of my child's arms, not the pressure of over-commitment. I want to get lost in conversation with the people I love, not consumed by a sea of unimportant emails. I want to be overwhelmed by sunsets that give me hope, not by overloaded agendas that steal my joy. I want the noise of my life to be a mixture of laughter and gratitude, not the intrusive buzz of cell phones and text messages. I am letting go of distraction & perfection to live a life that simply consists of what really matters."
But there's one other thing I noticed while thinking about this, and that is fear. Fear that if I take a break, I'll lose my momentum. If I start a new video game (one of my favorite ways to unwind in addition to art), I'll slack off and won't be able to pick back up. However, one person pointed out to me that it's much better to top off here and there rather than burn out and spend several months not functioning. Again, everything in moderation, that includes play as well as work. Personally, I'm not very good at moderation so while everything I do I give 100%, I also tend to avoid things that I know are a problem for me. I'm sure moderation is something else that I really need to work on.
I wanted to get this out, to really emphasize it, because as things are growing quickly for me (for example, it took about 9 months to reach 100 likes on my page, and I'm already quickly approaching 200 in less than 2 months time) I really need to remember to schedule in some self-care, to spend a little more time creating and having fun and tea breaks and nap times and walks in the park in between all the hustle, before it's too late and I forget how to do that too.
So, you can expect to have more art in your news feed. Expect more pictures from nature walks as I try to get some sunlight in during the darker months. Expect little anecdotes and ideas maybe more kid projects in there too. I'll take my breaks, and the only difference you'll notice is that I'll document that as well and share it with you, in addition to what you're already getting. I'll let you hold me accountable for my self-care. Remind me if you think that I'm not following through.
I know that right now is when the holiday craze starts picking up. Enormous to-do lists, planning huge meals and get-togethers, gifts to purchase and wrap (and the budgeting that goes to fit all that in), cleaning and organizing and everything in between. I am asking you to join me in remembering to take a break and the reasons why we all do this in the first place.