More Than Your Leftovers
It's not so uncommon in our busy world to feel stretched thin. We lean into the good—time with our families, an interesting hobby, a peaceful walk—and we lean into the taxing too—the busy, the obligation, the favor. As a work-from-home parent I'm constantly inhabiting multiple roles (and aren't we all?), and as my son just recently turned two, I found myself trying to recall who I was when I wasn't tending to my family and my business.
My aunt, a mother of two grown children and lifelong entrepreneur with multiple thriving businesses, recently sent me a note to say she remembered this season of life well. She talked of giving so much to her family, and to her business growth. She said if she had to do it over again, she would take more time for herself, and not just leave herself with the leftovers.
I am fortunate to have found a career path that feeds my natural desire for creativity regularly, with lots of variation and interaction with others. Having studied both creative writing and fine art, I've been taught that consistency and regular practice is instrumental to one's creative growth. Since becoming a parent and splitting my time between my family and my business, I wouldn't say my personal practice has flourished, but I would say that I've been actively creative in some capacity on a regular basis. For the past season, that has been enough and I didn't give in to guilt or dissatisfaction that I could be doing something else. But lately I have found myself missing my own personal projects, and with my aunt's wisdom often in my mind, I've been taking steps to change that.
This weekend, I took a workshop with Worthwhile Paper, and while it will benefit my client work, it's already nourishing my own creative interests in wonderful ways. I've also started journaling on gratitude (sometimes just a sentence here or there), which helps me reflect on the day, appreciate what I have, and be mindful of what needs to change. While my project load is slightly lighter, I'm starting my work time with personal exploration before diving into client work. I find not only does it feel good for my own practice, but it ends up benefiting those I work with too. In addition to this, I am continuing to make time to meet with the communities that sustain and encourage me (my business mom's group and my masterminds group especially), so that I get some added perspective and human interaction, and I can share in others' journeys too.
If you're like me, trying to do all the things, and finding yourself too often left only with your leftovers, don't give in to overwhelm or accept that this is the way things have to be. Instead, think of just a couple small changes you can make that can be easily achieved to begin refilling your well. What starts small can easily grow, and the benefits are worth it.
Are you making small pockets of room in your life for yourself? What are you doing? How do you work it in? Tell me in the comments below!