When you’re an entrepreneur, it is easy to be sucked in 24/7. And honestly, that’s much as it should be.
Why? Because being in business for yourself is a responsibility that requires your heart and soul in order to run and to succeed. Your business succeeds as you will it to. And business is work. You will find a lot of satisfaction in working for yourself, but the catch is, there’s no clock to punch out and there’s no guarantee of income and success.
But you can’t work all the time. You have to break sometime. You have to switch gears sometime. You have to rest sometime.
I tend to have my fingers in several projects at a time and work way too many hours for the pay I make. Part of it’s because I work for myself, and that’s often part of that life. Part of it is because I’m catching up from losing 2.5 months and missing all my fall shows to a broken ankle. So not only did I miss out on pay because of that, but I have medical bills to pay off too. Yippee Ki Yay. And while it feels really good to be getting back to normal (well close), I’m pretty exhausted too. Besides being a designer, I also do social media consulting for a couple of small business clients. So my brain is constantly going back and forth from creative to computer, as much as I can stand. Plus there’s the fundraising for Spain and well, everything left on my mom plate at the end of the day. Someone please do some laundry for me?
However, this is Thanksgiving week. I don’t like falling into the holidays at all, much less Thanksgiving. It’s important to me at this time of year to take time and experience this week with awareness. And to meditate on the things that matter most in life.
So today, I got ready for Thanksgiving week by spending my time baking. And with clean up. It’s still maintenance and creativity, but of an entirely different sort than my business.
We have a tradition at our charter school of making pies for the teachers. This year (after all, it’s our 11th year there) I did not sign up for the usual volunteer sheet that blankets the whole school. This year the kids took polls from their teachers and decided what they wanted to make for them and we shared the work individually. It’s our way of showing our gratitude to our teachers for what they do for us. And there are a couple of them who may get bonus food. I’m very thankful for the experts who are helping to shape my children’s experiences and are helping to prepare them for life.
So I go to bed tonight in a house that smells of peach pies and banana breads. And I make some really amazing banana bread, let me tell ya. My daughter’s peach pie rocks too. (Our secrets? Over ripe bananas and unsweetened peaches.) Tomorrow I have chocolate truffle pies to make and more banana bread I want to give to our neighbors.
I did have to stop in the middle and go buy a new mixer, but in the end it was a nice break from the usual work at hand. The baking that is, not the going to the store on a Sunday night bit. I actually kinda hate shopping. Except for yarn. And maybe motorcycles and drums.
Just as it’s important for parents to make time to still have dates even after having kids, it’s also important for business owners to still in a sense court themselves and do something else completely different than baby their business. And you may find if your ideas are getting stuck and stagnant and you’re worrying about burning out, that this is especially important to do. You don’t have to take a vacation or do anything expensive. You just have to switch gears and do something different from what you normally do to survive. It’s OK if it’s still “work,” but it has to be different than what you’ve been doing.
So unless you have a show this week, this is a good time in the U.S. to take a bit of a breather and allow yourself to do something different, that you haven’t done in a long time. And if you’re not in the U.S., then it may be a good week to make a date for a break anyway, what with other holidays looming on the horizon.
Take a break, get some rest, let down your hair and entertain yourself in some different way.
What will you pick?
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