On Starting Over (Again)

09/27/13

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I’ve written here before about the exciting but also boring story of my life: I love my work, but I have taken on too many commitments in the last few years. My days are ruled by lists and attempting to check as many things off the lists as possible to meet deadlines. I am often stressed and feel rushed. My days aren’t long enough. I’m tired.

It is the curse of entrepreneurship: many of us don’t know when our days begin or end, how much work is enough (maybe we can just take on one more project), when to say no, or how to apply boundaries to what we do. And in trying to figure that out (and by “that” I mean the perfect balance of work and living), we don’t always get it right.  I find myself (as much as I love my work) not really living. I am breathing, yes, and even experiencing joy. But in the back of my mind are those overwhelming and long lists of things I have to accomplish.

You may remember this post I wrote back in April about starting over in my attempt to have some balance in my life. I’ve been struggling with work/life balance since 2011 when my illustration career began to take off. After years as a fledgling artist, I am so grateful that I have so much opportunity now. But, for me, opportunity came with long hours and, ultimately, burnout. The past three years have taught me that I can’t do it all, not even close. And so for the past nine months, I have been working diligently on creating more balance.  Sometimes that means saying no to projects with really awesome clients that I really want to say yes to. Some days that means something as simple as just going to yoga class at the end of a long day. Some weeks I’ve been quite good at balance. Other weeks I’ve failed miserably.

I always love a new year, and a new year is approaching. It’s an opportunity to make new habits. I am excited about 2014, because I really do want to do things differently this time. I want to work, of course, but maybe not as much. I also want to live. The new year holds so much promise for me. It is a clean slate. I get to start over.

Those of you who know me know I love a personal challenge.  I am scheming up a personal challenge for 2014 that is about living. I’m not sure exactly what it will look like yet, but stay tuned for more.

Happy Friday.

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