It’s just beginning to turn to Spring here in the heart of North Carolina, but I already feel my body dragging like its late Autumn. I inwardly cringe and sigh, as I realized I’ve made a mistake. Already. Just over four months into the year and I see a glaring, red stop sign flashing neon lights as me, as to be sure I don’t miss it.
I’ve felt the pull for at least two weeks now. Probably more like a month if I’m being honest. The sleeplessness at night. The sleepiness at day. The inability to hang on to my thoughts as they sprint through my head, racing a million miles per hour. I feel weightless, drifting on the wind, yet driven by a force I struggle with. Money.
When I first started my creative businesses (Bella deLuna Designs, McCormick & Moore Photography, and most recently, Liber deStella) I wasn’t relying on them to make money. They all started out as hobbies and grew into small businesses of their own. But in the last six months, things have dramatically changed. First one car needed to be replaced. Then another. Then some electrical in the house needed fixing. Then the mortgage payment went up. And now I’m relying on income from my businesses to help pay the bills. To put food on the table.
And it’s hard. I used to spend my days in relatively relaxed freedom, letting inspiration come and go as it willed. Now I’m trying to force it, trying to find the next ‘money maker’ hiding in my head. Because of this urgency, this drive, this need to create and produce, to sell and make a living, my mind is spinning and I just can’t keep up. I can’t keep a thought straight in my head, much less form a coherent sentence. If I’m not actively making something, I feel like a failure, which just causes my thoughts to dance even further out of my grasp.
It’s frustrating. And what’s not at all surprising? I was making more money before when I wasn’t trying to rush ideas. And now I’ve started to run my body into the ground in my attempt to take all my year-long creativity and shove it out in just a month. Instead of taking the time to notice the greenery popping up in my yard, I’m starring at my desk, scattered with tools, gemstones and metals, wondering what I’ll be making next. Instead of letting the inspiration appear naturally, working longer and harder as the days lengthen into Summer, I’m answering emails and (frantically) researching new designs while simultaneously scarfing down last night’s leftovers for lunch.
This has got to stop. I’m torturing myself over something I cannot control. And more than likely you are as well. So I say that we end it. Today.
I’m no longer going to guilt myself into thinking that if I don’t sell x amount, or make y amount, or come up with z number of brilliant new ideas in a week, that I’m going to fail. That I won’t be able to put food on the table. I’m going to know that it will be fine. I will be fine. My family will be fine. That this is temporary. And that the Universe holds me and supports me (and you, too). I’m going to trust that if I show up every day and put in the hard work, the Universe has my back. That doesn’t mean I have to work 12 hours a day. That doesn’t mean I have to work the weekends. It just means I have to show up.
Working for yourself is tough. Having a non-traditional job is tough. Working at home is tough. We hold ourselves to a higher standard. Demand more of ourselves. Think the world rests on our shoulders (or we like to think it does). We forego sleep, food and sometimes even time with our families to meet those impossible tasks we’ve set for ourselves.
If any of this is resonating with you, take a moment to think about it. Reevaluate. Examine. Step back and take another look.
Perhaps you’re like me, and you need to set new limits for yourself, retrain your body and mind that work happens between 9am and 5pm. And not on the weekends. And that by doing the work, and trusting, all will be well.
Perhaps you need to write everything down. All the rambling thoughts and ideas. Get them out of your head and onto paper. Cross out what doesn’t serve you and leave the rest to visit with later.
Perhaps you need a break. A day, a few days, a week, heck maybe you need a month. Just relax and recharge. Realign.
I’m going to be trying and testing some things out to set firming business/life boundaries for myself, and I’ll be sharing what I discover here over the next few weeks.
In the meantime, press pause. Even for a little while. Just a couple of hours, at least. Go outside and let everything go. And trust the Universe.