Friends, did I have a day yesterday. Not a bright, sunshine-y, everything-feels-great-and-is-going-so-well kind of day, which is the kind of day I wanted to have. More of a technology-is-conspiring-against-me-and-causing-a-massive-headache-rendering-me-incapable-of-comprehending-anything-and-oh-God-is-the-Matrix-real?? kind of day. One of those frustration compounding frustration kind of days.
Once my migraine dissipated, I realized it was all stemming from exhaustion. I was tired and I needed a break, so I took one and detoured out of Frustrationlandia for a while.
And it got me thinking: how often do we as creative entrepreneurs push and push? I’m willing to bet that while the majority of us running shops and small businesses get help from friends and family on occasion, the bulk of the work falls on us. We are the engine driving everything – sales, views, marketing, and that piece of the puzzle called a personal life. When the engine slows, the momentum slows.
Or, at least it feels like it to me because I’m used to having my hands in everything. I’m the CEO, CFO, COO, the customer service rep, and the tech department. You are, too, I bet.
When the engine slows, when I slow, it’s so easy to get caught up in what didn’t get done. I didn’t get the final copy rewritten for my color theory book sales page. I didn’t get to write the newsletter I wanted to write. I couldn’t figure out how to work E-Junkie’s shipping settings. I didn’t get a new external hard drive, and I didn’t back up my files like I wanted to do. I haven’t figured out the details for the next color challenge I want to announce. I didn’t get a blog post done, or check in with my Facebook page. The laundry needs doing, and the dust is gathering forces on my bookshelves.
Frustrationlandia has nothing on Disappointment-ville.
Here’s the thing I sometimes have to remember: the engine needs refueling from time to time. A quick pit stop for food or sleep is good and necessary so we can physically keep going. But it’s also important to mentally refuel, too, to turn the engine off for a while and take a walk instead. To clear our heads. To flop on the couch for a few hours and watch a baseball game. To give into the senioritis we feel now that summer is around the corner, despite not having been in school for a decade (or is that one just me?).
Call it a mental health day, call it soul refueling, whatever floats your boat. Because when you do that, when you take care of yourself, clarity comes. It took me until late last night to find said clarity, but I was able to come back and reassess the technical glitches I was facing and end the day feeling loads better than when I started (and I didn’t even throw a computer against the wall or anything).
I couldn’t help but marvel at the simplicity of it. Could it really be that easy?
So, here’s the challenge I’m taking on this weekend – I’m mentally refueling, and I think you should, too. You up for it?
P.S. That photo? Taken with my iPhone and edited using two apps I flat out love – PicTapGo! from the makers of Totally Rad Actions, and Mextures, a brand new app from Merek Davis, a photographer I follow on Instagram (he’s also got free textures here if that’s more your thing).
P.P.S. If you’re on my mailing list, a newsletter went out this morning. Double check your spam folders if you don’t see it!