Now that I have made the decision to start my own business as an author/speaker and consultant, the internal machinery has kicked in to support this. But I have suddenly gone from enjoying a sabbatical where I read and relaxed and spent a fair bit of time thinking, to having lists and making appointments and keeping my fingernails short because of all the computer work. I feel the pressure to produce, to justify the time off I know I desperately needed, and to position myself as competitive in this endeavor. There are a million things to learn, such as how to position myself, and to do, such as develop a marketing strategy, among the obvious tasks, such as making a list of potential clients and working to refine my speech scripts. My inner businesswoman is kicking and yelling at me to slow down.
Why can’t I just stay in the easy flow of forwarding progress, instead of trying to force a rapid outcome? I think this is one of my challenges, to keep me from burnout (again?). If I have to have a schedule, and apparently I do, then I must schedule time for myself. Time to read and think and drink tea, instead of skimming headlines and gulping my coffee. Time to express me creatively in doodling, to enjoy whatever I’m doing. To be for the sake of being, instead of doing for the sake of doing.
Even an upcoming short trip to visit my kids and grandkids is becoming a production of laundry, lists for the house/dog sitter about mail and meds and plants, making sure bills are paid ahead of time and that trash gets out and my hair gets cut and the milk is used up so it won’t spoil and smell up the refrigerator. I have gone from zero to sixty things to do in a single morning.
The good news is that my awareness of how I am responding to this pressure has become recognizable sooner. I’m grateful for that positive change in me. Rather than flopping onto the bed exhausted tonight, I am already consciously making myself slow down so I can anticipate the trip and get some quality time with Buddy and Bo. I’m even marking up my calendar for when I get back home so that I have catch-up time before I dive into the To-Do lists again. ( I think a massage is definitely going to be in order then!)
That is one of my keys to getting more enjoyment out of life…being aware of what’s happening when it’s happening and then choosing a preferred response instead of running around in confusion and settling for a default lifestyle. I used to have Kevin to take care of the details of the home and dog care when I was traveling. As I accept that it’s now all on me, I have to approach my planning differently. In that sense, my sabbatical has been successful. I know more about what I want when I want it. And right now, I just want to be one of those people who seems to float through her days, calm and not so much in control as accepting of what unfolds, aware it will all turn out fine. It always does, even though it’s just me now.