My productivity relies on my creativity. That’s my life, creating things. And, y’all, sometimes it’s exhausting. I put so much of myself into my work and I spend so many days on the road, it can drag me down if I’m not careful. And, if you don’t work in a creative field or you’re not a creative person, you need to know this: creativity does not happen on a schedule. I can’t say: Well, between 8:30 this morning and 1:30 this afternoon, I will create!
Nope. Doesn’t work that way. It has to hit me. And, lots of times it hits me at 2:00 in the morning, or driving in rush hour traffic, or zipping through an airport trying to catch a plane. Crazy! That’s why I always have something to take notes on so I can remember my wild ideas that pop into my head at the most inopportune times. But I’ve said all that to say this: my mind never stops. Sometimes I have to force myself to shut down, turn away from my passion of creating, and just breathe.
Often, on a weekend, all I want to do is retreat and not think of work. Yes, I’ve been called a workaholic, so some may be surprised by my “retreat” mentality. I wasn’t born a workaholic; I was born a hard worker with a vision, creativity and drive. I was raised to take pride in everything I did, no matter how big or small. I was raised to know that my work was a reflection of me. I also knew that the only way my visions would come to fruition would be for me to make them happen. Although I had many supporters and helpers along the way, I knew that, ultimately, I was in charge of my vessel.
There’s a Steve Earle song I love: “It’s All Up To You.” In the song he sings: It’s all up to you, no one else can get you through, right or wrong, win or lose, it’s all up to you.
We all, at different times in our respective lives, have this realization. Maybe you were 15, maybe 45. But when that reality hits you that “It’s All Up To You,” it’s a moment of such clarity. If I want to succeed, to realize my dreams, the only person who’s going to make that happen is me.
I’ve got to steer this ship to make it happen! But, that doesn’t mean I don’t need down time, that I don’t need time to dream, that I don’t need to time to just be creative without a purpose, just for a high. Taking a break from the real world and just living in my world—appreciating the blessings in my life. I have found that my work is better, my creativity more intense and my anxieties—shocker, I got ’em, too, girlies—are kept at bay when I do this.
Why do I feel guilty when I take the time for myself? I don’t know, but I work on feeling okay with recharging my batteries and letting go of worries. I strive to just be happy being.
Yes, every morning, pretty much seven days a week, holidays and vacations included, I get up and check my emails. That’s my way of giving myself permission to enjoy the days I decide to recharge my batteries. I’ve made sure all is right in my work world and it brings me peace of mind, so to speak. That’s never going to change, and I’m okay with that. But, I’m also working on giving myself permission to let go and enjoy! We all insist of being the captain of our ship, to be the one in charge of driving that dream. But sometimes, I’ve learned as life happens, we just gotta let go of the wheel and enjoy the days we have in this crazy journey we call life.
Sometimes I just have to get out of my zip code, drive down some back roads, jam to my favorite music while singing at the top of my lungs. All that letting go brings my life into focus. I don’t have to be at the beach to allow myself to have fun—although that’s still my favorite place! I have lots of other favorite places and things to do that bring me tranquility.
Immerse yourself in following a dream, but keep in mind that to achieve that dream, you sometimes need to retreat and refresh and take the time to recognize what an amazing journey life is!