Photo Credit: Big Stock Photo
My husband and I are in the process of renovating our downstairs family room.
For anyone who has walked this same path in their own home, you know all too well that this means many decisions about everything from flooring to paint colors, furniture options, measurements, layouts, decor, and more.
This past weekend, we stopped at a couple of furniture stores to look at modular couches and coffee tables. It meant lots of meandering around two very large stores, discussing furniture options while also embracing our own design aesthetic from a very broad offering of design options (thankfully, we’re united across the board when it comes to both loving the same design styles).
We’re continually working on the timing of every step throughout this project and how one piece of the proverbial puzzle fits into the next.
So as I sat down to write this blog post, I thought about how even just a few short months ago, I would have felt guilty for taking time to go out and enjoy myself. To NOT work. To NOT push myself to get something else started, further completed, or ticked off my TO DO list altogether.
To just BE and enjoy my downtime.
I really saw how I don’t give myself enough grace through the gift of taking time away from my business. I thought about how I continually urge others to have clearly defined boundaries in their professional life so that they can enjoy and savor their personal life.
And yet, I wasn’t doing the same for myself.
I really saw how MY professional boundaries were carved out by chalk lines rather than steel.
As I began this week, I noticed that I started my Monday morning full of ideas and felt more refreshed. I reflected on a number of key insights that I've become aware of the more I've claimed time off for myself:
-How much easier it’s gotten for me to truly be in the moment and not think about the next task that needs to get done.
-That I can relax and have fun without feeling the urge to get something else checked off my list.
-To feel reassured that I NEED this time away from my business and the professional side of my life so that I can be an even better version of myself to my incredible clients and to my business as a whole.
-By tapping into the creative side of my brain around the planning of this important space in our home, I know that the creativity I’m embracing here will naturally feed into the creative side of my business.
-That during my time off, it’s perfectly OK to pull my phone out and jot down some notes or ideas that mentally spring up as I’m out and about. Even though this is technically working, I’m doing so for only a few minutes at a time. And, I’m capturing those fleeting thoughts that operate on their own timetable and can be incredibly difficult and frustrating to recapture at a later time. Not wasting energy later on trying to remember that fleeting thought = WIN.
By carving out this time for myself - and NOT thinking about my business - I saw how badly I needed this for myself. And it’s having me proactively claim this time on my calendar going forward. Whether I’m picking from 18 shades of beige paint wall colors or simply sitting on a park bench, I’m embracing relaxation and my downtime.
Do you ever feel guilty about taking time off and enjoying yourself? Or do you fully embrace your downtime and honor all sides of yourself?
Regardless of whether you’re employed at a company or own your own business, we’re required to take time away from our professional life so that we can come back feeling recharged, re-vamped, and ready to take on what’s next.