It felt rather odd not writing yesterday, but this was quite an unusual weekend for me. Those of you who read regularly know how uncharacteristic it is of me to miss a day of writing, as I usually am doing things that pertain to my work here and I like to share the many ways I find to be creative.
However, for the first time in a long time, I spent the entire weekend doing things just for myself. After the whirlwind of work and organizational activity, I needed some time to just relax and enjoy the day (or two!) I did fill orders and tried to stay on top of my emails, but I kept them all to a minimum and had a rare day of leisure, where nothing I did had any purpose except to entertain myself. I think it was just what I needed.
I spent most of the time poking around on the computer. I found some fun puzzle games and enjoyed them while watching one of my favorite Christmas movies (Little Women – with Susan Serandon) to get me in the holiday spirit. With the house clean and the tree all decorated, it was the perfect way to spend a Sunday afternoon. There was seldom a moment when I didn’t have any one of the three cats on my lap, as they seemed to take shifts at trying to keep me in my place. Even Keith cheered me on when I expressed my (slight) guilt of whiling away the day not doing anything ‘productive’ and he encouraged me to continue. So who was I to argue?
The odd thing about it is how ‘productive’ being unproductive was for me. While I was enjoying my leisure time, in a small corner in the back of my mind I was planning some new things to design and create. It was as if I needed to consciously rest so that subconsciously I could plan and organize the different directions that I want to head with my work. I think it was very healthy for me and I am looking forward to seeing these ideas materialize.
I know I have taken occasional days off before, but they always seemed to be packed with doing other things that had been piling up while I was working. The time away from what would be thought of as ‘work’ only shifted to either being gone from the house here or doing other tasks like paperwork and organization. I can’t honestly remember the last time I sat here guilt-free and did ‘nothing.’
While it is not a habit I intend to develop, I think once in a while it can be a very good thing. Being busy all the time is good for us in general, but overdoing any part of our lives isn’t always the best way to go. I believe that is how many self-employed people find themselves being burned out and frustrated.
Taking time off shouldn’t be thought of as a negative. I found myself thinking that any time that I spent away from work-related skills would indicate that I was not fully dedicated to my business and if things weren’t going so well, it would be my own fault for not trying hard enough. Funny how we can convince ourselves of things such as that, as I know in my heart that couldn’t be further from the truth.
If I have learned anything these past couple of days, I learned that we need to balance things in our lives to be completely happy. There is no one thing that we do that can make us whole. We are complex and multi-faceted beings that require fulfillment on many different levels. Focusing on only one thing, while seemingly satisfying at first, will eventually wear us out and we will find ourselves searching to fill the unexplained emptiness in our souls.
I learned a lot these past two days by doing seemingly ‘nothing.’
I woke up this morning, feeling good and ready to take on a busy week. My heart is happy and I am rested and eager to see what wonderful things this week will bring. and what new adventures await.
I plan to try (once again) to dedicate at least one day a week to my own leisure. Whether it means doing puzzles or watching a favorite movie, or even doing something creative that has nothing to do with ‘work’, I will look forward to some time where I can do as I wish – guilt free. I think it will do wonders for me in the long run.
Have a wonderful Monday!
”A balanced and skillful approach to life, taking care to avoid extremes, becomes a very important factor in conducting one’s everyday existence. It is important in all aspects of life. For instance, in planting a sapling of a plant or a tree, at its very early stage you have to be very skillful and gentle. Too much moisture will destroy it, too much sunlight will destroy it. Too little will also destroy it. So what you need is a very balanced environment where the sapling can have a healthy growth. Or, for a person’s physical health, too much or too little of any one thing can have destructive effects. This gentle and skillful approach, taking care to avoid extremes, applies to healthy mental and emotional growth as well.” – Dalai Lama
-- Contributing Editor, Creative Woodworks and Crafts, Sheila Landry Designs http://www.sheilalandrydesigns.com "Knowledge is Power"