This last week I made a “summer resolution”. We live in a touristic place, the Outer Banks of North Carolina, a beautiful peninsula and islands filled with beaches, dunes and lighthouses. I love it. You can imagine the amount of visitors we get every high season and the amount of work there is here during the summer. We work like crazy, most of us 7 days a week.
Most people still find time to play, go to the beach, surf when there’s a tiny bit of waves (pretty scarce during this time of the year, thankfully! otherwise work wouldn’t get done!) but my husband and I realized that we were not really finding that much time for just “hanging out”, specially just the two of us. I came to the realization that even though he works his “derriere” off, I was the one so immerse in my art, that I wouldn’t want to stop what I was doing until it was time for bed, often times, until it was past bed time. Here’s the thing, I LOVE what I do and this year specially, I have been learning some new things, taking a lot of online classes and building up my art skills “repertoire”; it’s really hard to try to measure out how much “work” I do in a day, I really just want to keep going and going.
As much as I love what I do, there’s definitely something I love more, yes, my husband. I don’t think I could be doing what I’m doing, with the intensity that I’m doing it, without his support.
So, this summer’s resolution is: making time to “hang out”. There will be days before a show when I will probably be working right up until bed time, but I have decided that on “regular” days, I will stop what I’m doing at a certain time and in a “guilt free” mode, enjoy the late afternoon/evening just winding down and hanging out with my husband or friends. So far it’s been pretty good. If I tell myself at the beginning of the day that I’m finishing at a certain time, it’s like I’m programming my brain to find a “conclusion” to whatever task I’m doing at around that time (meaning: I might not be done with the painting, or the pattern, or the online class exercise, but I’m done for that day, I can always continue where I left it the following day) and I don’t feel like I’m stopping “in the middle of”. I usually take several days to complete a painting, so, even if I am in a “don’t-stop-til-you’re-falling-a-sleep” mode, I will often go to bed without finishing a piece, so, it is not that tragic if I stop before I “can’t keep going”, I’ve actually found that it is rather relaxing.
I forgot to mention: we work like crazy during the summer (spring and fall as well, pretty much), we travel in the winter. The tourists are gone, the town “dies”, half the place closes down and a large percentage of the people goes traveling to warmer places and/ or places with waves. But even if we are lucky to be able to take that time off, the intensity of work right now can be quite overwhelming. It can’t be all about work; some “us” time is always “oh” so needed and “oh” so necessary.
For those of you that work at home: do you find it hard to “clock out”? I would love to hear!