Many of you may have noticed that I haven't been posting as regularly these past couple of weeks. It isn't that I haven't been doing things, but I have been doing things that I really don't want to share in public at this point.
Over the past six years of almost daily blogging, I have met many online friends from all over the world. I have also reconnected with friends and family from different times in my life, and I have enjoyed getting to know them again – some whom I haven't spoken to since we were children – and seeing their own children and families and learning about their lives. I really enjoy this and think it is one of the benefits I have reaped by writing here every day.
Lately though, things have been somewhat overwhelming and busy for me. I have been trying to do some little things to surprise some people, and it is difficult to do when I document my daily routine here online. I am still being creative, but I don't feel that I want to share things that are destine to be gifts for others that may stop by and read. It is as simple as that.
I have kind of wanted December to be a month that would be 'low-key' for me. While it may not be the smartest business move that I could make, I kind of wanted a vacation from thinking that I always 'have' to be doing something to help my business grow. We get caught up in that, you know. After years of working so hard to make our little businesses work, it soon becomes a lifestyle and we just don't know how to do things any other way. The term 'relax' somehow gets lost from our vocabulary and we are unable to unplug ourselves from things without feeling guilty. At least that is how I feel.
But life is short. And even though that phrase may be somewhat of a cliche, it is very true. Over the past few years I have seen many people that I know and love succumb to illness and disease. It is natural as we get older to experience this more often, as we are not as 'invincible' as we thought we were in our youth. It makes you stop and think.
I don't want to go through the remainder of my life in fast forward. Things happen quickly enough as it is. I want to take some time to enjoy some moments and just 'be'. Maybe it means sitting here with a cat on my lap sipping tea. Perhaps listening to music, browsing through a book, or watching something on TV without doing anything else. Maybe writing or painting or drawing with my new pencils without thinking how the resulting drawings or paintings can benefit my business. And letting go. (That is the hardest part)
We program ourselves at a young age to achieve. I think that is a good thing, as accomplishments are something that give our lives purpose. But somehow in that process, we sometimes edge out the 'down time' that we need to rest, relax and replenish our souls. We forget to take time for ourselves, thinking it is either selfish or detrimental to our business. Usually it is just the opposite.
As I read about others' days this busy time of year, I can't help but feel compassion for them. Many of my creative friends are frazzled. They work so hard at making nice things for others, that they forget to take time for themselves and enjoy the season. Knowing these people and looking in from the outside, I realize how sad this can be. I know they work hard all year. I wish for them that they could just turn off the switch and allow themselves the time to relax, enjoy and maybe do nothing at all. They earned it. Yet I find it hard to justify the same for myself. Funny how we think that way, isn't it?
I spoke to my dear friend Ellen the other day. She is my 'Canadian mother' and we spend most holidays with her. She is planning our Christmas dinner, and already she is beating herself up about things. Her house won't be clean enough (It is VERY clean – always), her meal won't be good (EVERY meal we have there is outstanding), she is not going to be able to have all her decorations up in time (It is ALWAYS like a Winter Wonderland at her house). It struck me as sad. There will only be six of us, and we are all close and easy-going. Then why kill ones' self for no reason? It made me wonder.
I think it was then that I decided that it is time for me to take a break. While writing here every morning is not a hardship, it is one of the things that I feel I need a rest from. After six pretty solid years of writing here in my blog, I think that a couple of weeks off will do me good. It will help me relax and enjoy my holidays.
I am not going away permanently. I may even stop in at any given time and post. I just want to not have to do it if I don't want to. The pressure to present a blog every day will be gone. It will feel great, I believe.
I am sure that when I return I will be full of ideas and excited to share them. I have lots of ideas now for the upcoming year and I know it will be our best year ever. I am pretty sure as well that I will be excited about writing again when I return, as I will miss corresponding with you all about your own creative paths. After all, we feed off each other, don't we?
Thank you for understanding this. I hope when I return that you will return as well. I hope you also follow my example and give yourselves a break this Christmas and holiday season. You deserve to enjoy the time to the fullest. You earned it.
I wish you all a wonderful day and week ahead. Enjoy these moments that life has to offer, for if you blink your eyes, they will be only memories.
-- Designer/Artist/Teacher. Owner of Sheila Landry Designs (http://www.sheilalandrydesigns.com) Scroll saw, wood working and painting patterns and surfaces. "Knowledge is Power"