Having arrived back from a much-needed vacation, I chuckle as I remember a few years back when my favorite assistant and friend, Adrienne, used to patiently listen as I unleashed the whirlwind of thoughts and ideas after the few times I took a “break” from the daily design workload.
I don’t know if the quiet time allowed me to pull forth processes that had no previous time to come to fruition or if it was just an overload of activity from the pre-recession days.
I say the word “break” with the acknowledgement I didn’t really allow myself the state of just “being”. I took a lot of mental stuff with me, as if neatly packing it away in my luggage would allow me to stay on top of both work and play. Certainly I did enjoy being in a different physical location, but I tended to check in at the office to make sure everything was going smoothly and to know I hadn’t left one project detail neglected. I think a little guilt ended up in with the rest of the baggage.
(Mount Jefferson ahead.)
I’m very proud to say, this recent vacation was really different. Oh sure, I did succumb to a little check-in with the advent of owning a smart phone, but I made sure everyone knew this was v-a-c-a-t-i-o-n and to expect communications to resume after my return. Thankfully, my less than stellar reception was probably a divine intervention telling me to step away and step away I did.
(One of my favorite images. I took it through a plastic flap on a cruise boat in Newport, RI. I think this could be a painting!)
(The falls at BD Jeffress Park – North Carolina. Isn’t nature astounding?)
(Wish I had owned a better camera when I traveled the ruins in Mexico. Come to think of it, I used to travel a lot more before owning my own business. Public image from Flickr of Chichen Itza.)
This post is a perfect segue as to what came to mind as time finally allowed . . .
- Design a better life to include finding a balance for me, my family, friends, work, and causes. Not just “sayin’ it” – meaning it!
- Scheduling time for better health – eating and exercise. Less time at the desk for non-essential activities. Essential activities for the summer? Gardening, cooking, and giving the Horton house a little hands-on TLC. More vacations and real life experiences = more Fridays out of the office. Guilt free!
- Social media is important to my business but not at the expense of the above. I can’t be everywhere and my best to everyone so I’m going to begin deleting profiles at places where I’m not able to give them my full time and attention. I subscribe to the concept of no advertising being worse than bad advertising and an old profile without updates doesn’t feature me in the best light.
- At present, those who are interested in following my activities can find me on my blogs, on Pinterest, Facebook, and more randomly on Twitter. I mean, that’s enough isn’t it?
- I’m evaluating my newsletter and other activities to create a richer experience for those who are already clients. They deserve my appreciation and TLC.
- I’ll continue to tweak my business model for profitability while making sure projects are accepted based on a good
fitmarriage between all parties. No speed dates or drawn-out engagements. A detailed questionnaire and a “prenupt” keeps everyone happy and on track for a happy future!
- I’ll collaborate and mentor when and as time permits. It’s important to be a part of a bigger picture while not neglecting my own purpose and mission for my community and paying it forward.
- I’ll be aware of what’s trending in the world while holding back from diving in head first. Remember when our parents asked us the question, “If so-and-so dove off a cliff, would you go after them?'” (Yes, Mom and Dad, I did listen!)
- I’ll continue to work on a little side venture which includes spending more time with my husband in a shared passion. Who knows, it could become his long-term “retirement” activity.
- And . . . I’ll just take time to figure out the third act of life – doing things I love and with purpose while there is still the time and the ability to do them. I’ve watched, over the last year, while family and friends have faced struggles which took away this capacity and it’s really resonated within. (Fade in the Bon Jovi Anthem .)
Okay, Adrienne, I can hear you - “There you go thinking, again.” :)