If I learned one thing this holiday season, it’s that allowing myself time to rest is no longer optional, it’s mandatory.
For the past six months I’ve been getting up at 4am every day so I have time to make new artwork, run my various websites, and connect with fellow art and animal lovers on social media. Then I go to work for 8 hours, come home to do more work, eat dinner and spend an hour with my husband before falling asleep on the couch by 8:30.
This is not the life I’d imagined for myself, ever. I vented to my husband recently that it feels like I’m working so much that there’s never time to actually enjoy my life. We’re paying all this money for our home, cars, and everything in between, but there’s never time to actually enjoy these things because we’re always working to support this life.
After a busy holiday season making over 150 mugs in my studio, I burned straight out. As soon as the last mugs were shipped out on December 21st I sat down on the couch and hardly moved for several days. My usual boundless energy was gone, completely and totally gone.
I decided then and there that it was time to actually take a break, something I haven’t done in years. To actually stop work, totally and completely, and just to what I want to do, do what feeds my soul instead of what I’m obligated to do.
I’m very lucky to have several weeks off work during the holidays and have been using this time to rest, rejuvenate, and re-evaluate what really matters to me.
The conclusion I came to is that I can’t keep living this way forever. There’s no joy in working every hour of every day and never taking time to enjoy your life. All this hustle isn’t worth the lost time with my family, lost sleep, and lost enjoyment of this one life I get.
I spent the past week cutting down on everything. Commitments, expenses, possessions, obligations, and most of all, expectations of myself.
In order for me to actually have time to rest, and energy to enjoy my life, I have to cut back on the amount I’m spending, both time and money, on this life.
After almost a full week of stepping back from all these ‘musts’ in my life, I’m finally feeling more like myself again. I’m ready to get back to making new artwork and engaging in the outside world again. But this time, it’s going to be different.
I’m using this new year’s eve to set an intention to slow way down and stop rushing toward some imagined future. It’s time to actually stop and enjoy right now.