When you're starting a new adventure the last thing you want to do is stop and go slow. At least for me. I love the rush of it all, sometimes a bit too much, and when I'm really passionate about something I dive head first into the great big vastness of wanting to succeed and achieve! And sometimes that adventure is temporary and there is an end in sight, and other times there isn't an end, not quit outlined. When the end isn't in sight and this adventure seems to be taking hold of more than just a Sunday afternoon or saying no to a friend because you can't have brunch every weekend, it becomes part of your life. Like a job. Or taking a shower. It must be done and usually is done everyday for the far foreseeable future.
So what happens when your adventure is now your project and this project takes up a lot of your time?
What happens when you find yourself forgetting your other hobbies and other creative outlets and surprisingly this project has become a chore, sometimes?
What do you do then?!?
For me, I read. I used to devour books one by one in a day or two. And I haven't done that in a very very long time. I don't even remember when the last time I thoroughly enjoyed reading a book so much that I had to stop doing everything I planned and just sit and not be bothered. To feel so incredibly engulfed in a piece of fiction or non-fiction is a wonderful feeling. It takes you away from the anxiety and stress of your 'real life' and takes you to a place of your choosing.
I recently started reading Tina Fey's BossyPants, The Girl on the Train, and Dumplin'. All pretty amazing reads! Needless to say, I've read all of those in just a few days and feel that this mini-vacation from my work-life, professional life, and honestly, from any and all projects I'm currently invested in.
It took me a bit to realize how much of myself I have lost since starting The Bake Lab. I have gained a tremendous amount of knowledge and have achieved a brilliant amount of work. But at the end of the day I wasn't taking care of myself. I wasn't allowing myself to breathe the way I needed to. I didn't make time for myself and I felt obligated to do so much, none of which was benefiting me personally. I was neglecting myself and if I was going to stop stunting my own creative process and stop holding myself back I also needed to revisit my other tiny micro-passions.
Reading has brought me back to life and put a lot of things into perspective. I've realized my level of anxiety is out of control and I've become immersed in the small mundane things that rule my life rather than focusing on the big picture.
This week I've had ZERO sales and although I feel disappointed in myself for this fact I know it's not entirely my fault I didn't have a single order come in. The pressure to constantly perform is always in the back of my head and shushing that voice can be hard. But Fiction usually helps.
I've also started to go running every morning. And by running I mean a light jog and sometimes a fast walk. Let's be real here, how often do people really mean 'going for a run' as a literal phrase? Working out has helped me stay focused on my eating and my physical well-being, although I've been experiencing some intense ankle/foot pain lately. The reading has helped me stay sane and less anxious when I can't talk to anyone about my fears. And traveling has always helped me reflect, stay centered, and really admire where I am in my life.
Tomorrow I leave for Lake Tahoe for a long weekend. We splurged to stay at a nice resort up in the North West side of the lake surrounded by trees and free continental breakfast.
I'm hoping for some clarity. Possibly an incredibly expensive massage? But more importantly I'm hoping to use that dope sauna they keep advertising on their website.
Remember where you are in your life. Are you happy with how you've been living? Can you make simple and small changes to better center yourself and allow yourself to enjoy those micro-passions? Have you forgotten what joy felt like?
These may seem like LARGE questions, but we often are our biggest problem. Go to your library, learn a craft, read a book, learn a new recipe, and go for that long bike ride. Clear your head however you need to do it. But do it. It's important to be kind to yourself.
Be kind and stay lovely <3