For years, I worked in a traditional office setting. Office hours 9am-5pm (usually earlier and later), always dressed up, always on (smiling, polite, efficient), 2 week vacations I could only take at holidays or during peak summer. Not because it was forced, but because that’s when everyone else was taking their vacations, so I knew the “inbox” wouldn’t be quite so stuffed as it might have been another time of year.
So, I dreamed. I dreamed of one day working for myself, of opening my own business, of becoming…a writer. Not the starving artist kind living on Ramen noodles, tea, and sleeping on the floor of a friend’s house – though I have done that at various times in my life. If nothing else, experiences like that give artists, writes, musicians fodder for creativity.
But, something happened when I finally made the move. I took all the corporate employee stuff with me. The difference? I was my own employee, my own boss, what I did, when I did it, how I did it, was up to me. I hadn’t even really realized it until I read an article the other day talking about another person who’d fallen into the same trap. I wasn’t alone in my process, Before that article, I’d read another about how creatives are overworked. There are levels of being overworked and of bringing an in house office mentality to your home office – some good, some bad. Just like, well, everything. BUT and it’s a big BUT – there is one thing, I didn’t think about, didn’t remember, or just got too entrenched in my work.
IT IS OKAY TO TAKE A DAY OFF. TREAT YOURSELF TO A DAY OF REST.
Yesterday, I could barely move. I didn’t want to get out of bed. I didn’t want to get dressed. I didn’t want to watch TV, look at my phone or computer. All I wanted to do was read. My mind needed desperately to switch gears and my body had called a halt to traipsing any further than the front yard to accommodate the dog, Miss Della. You may have seen a photo of her as she helped me grapple with a blank computer page.
I needed to “turn off”, to “wind down”, to “shut down”, to “recharge”, in other words, I needed a hearty dose of ME time. Sometimes, I forget to give myself permission to take the day off – Saturday and Sunday? Not really. A few hours here, a few hours there, but always something coming down the pike the next week to be concepted, crafted, proofed, edited, and so it goes. And so, as the weekend approaches, if you’ve forgotten to give yourself day off, take it now. It’s okay, I promise.
And if your brain just won’t shut down, check out this tune by Chapman Stick artist, Matt Rogers and his original composition, Days Gone By.
Photo Taken: December 30, 2017 Thayer Inn, Littleton, NH