What I Learned During my Hiatus
1. The value of creating to create
Not to share. Not to sell. Not to market. Simply to create something for the joy of making it.
I’m remembering how it felt to make something as a child. For the fun of it. 🙂
2. How to relax
I’m not the best at relaxing. I get so excited about working on a project that I forget to take breaks. And when I do my mind is still obsessing over plans and checklists. Taking time over the holidays to unplug completely has given me a whitespace I haven’t had in years.
I’ve been learning how to really relax (leisurely reading my book, going for a walk, taking a long bubble bath) without feeling the need to rush through it and get back to work.
This is a lesson I’m going to try and hold on to through the new year.
3. Prioritizing family time
To be completely honest, I was so consumed by Project STIR last year that I really didn’t have much energy left for my friends and family. Being able to really connect to them and spend time that I didn’t feel was “wasted” reminded me how valuable that is. I hadn’t realized how un-present I was in 2015 until I had the bandwidth to really spend some quality time with my loved ones.
Overextending myself is something I really struggle with and I’m going to try my best to keep my commitments to a minimum and cherish that downtime in 2016.
4. The power of an afternoon nap
I’m not a napper. I never have been. But this year I got sick the week before hosting Christmas and was feeling totally wiped out. Instead of pushing through at 90 mph the way I would have before my hiatus I tried to pace myself and even took a few afternoon naps that week when I felt absolutely knackered (as the Brits would say.) I felt like a new person when I woke up from my two hour nap on Christmas Eve, and even managed to shake my cold before the holiday festivities.
It was magical.
Overall I learned that I need to prioritize self care in 2016. By the end of last year I had fallen into old traps of perfectionism, workaholism, and over committing.
I realized that taking the time for micro-adventures was actually a form of self care. That when I stopped refilling my creative tank my creative tank started to run dry. Only by taking a hiatus did I remember how restorative it is to spend the afternoon painting or reading or playing board games.
So I’m recommitting to my pursuit of micro-adventures and reminding myself that when in the midst of a grand adventure those little restful detours are more important than ever.
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