Sunday, January 26, 2014
The Great Work/Home Balance Question...Thingy...
Keith and I sat on the couch this past Saturday, both of us with a cup of coffee held firmly in our hands. He casually looked over and asked, "Are you working today?"
"No," I said. "I don't think I am."
Truth is, I have been considering what a healthier work/home balance is for me. One would assume that being a self-employed illustrator working from home would be for the most part never "work", but that is not true or possible. I love my art, and it is my passion. However, to maintain that passion and love, I do need to step away once in a while. When I was a freelancer earlier in my life, weekdays and weekends blurred together, and there was never any sense of being "off". Those who are self-employed know that you are never truly "turned off". There is always a client buzzing around in the back of your brain, or great ideas pop up when you're just trying to chill in front of the T.V. after dinner (in my case, usually watching House Hunters or some other "House Show" as Keith calls them). It can be exhausting when this so-called blurring happens. Physically, emotionally, and creatively exhausting.
What I can do is give myself permission to quiet those thoughts during the weekend. This isn't just about taking a break. There is laundry, dog walking, those positive things in your life called "friends", grocery shopping, house cleaning, and other responsibilities. This weekend I did dip a little into work mode- I played around with a new website, answered some emails, and caught up on some art/design blogs I have been ignoring. I also reconnected with some old friends, went on a long past-due date with Keith, and tried out a new recipe for dinner. As much as this new chapter in my life is about pursuing my art and new opportunities, it's also about appreciating the kind of life I'm trying to allow myself. That life is full of family, friends, discovery... but more importantly the chance to actually enjoy these things. So even though I did not go into my studio this weekend, I did rediscover things that I love, and that in return makes me excited to pop out of bed tomorrow and work on my latest creation.