Photo by Tim Goedhart on Unsplash

Or at least, this is what I tell myself when guilt creeps into the picture. Even when the words leave my mouth, the feelings of guilt increase even more. I wonder “Who am I to be speaking these words?” And so I try to quell those feelings and share my experience so that I hope to help another. Maybe even you?

We all have our challenges in our lives that we try to overcome through sheer brute force, or with a fake smile hoping that it would help us truly feel that way. For others, the challenge is what we need until it becomes too much and the fire that kept us going day to day begins to burn a little less bright. It is at this moment that we can choose to push through because “hard work equals good results.” Or we say “If I put in the hours now, I can rest when I retire.”

To that, I say “Ah-No!”

You see, I love hard work. I love doing something that I enjoy, but I can’t get on board with the logic that I must work myself to the bone and only take reward when I retire. Nor am I on board with the thought of forgoing everything to build something only to regret the missed moments.

It’s great to work hard but it’s not great if that comes at the cost of your health, your family and your passion for what you are doing. At least to me. You come home from a hard day’s work, mentally exhausted, broken, and stressed. Then you throw yourself into your side business, podcast, or other hobbies while trying to maintain your personal responsibilities, as well as relationships with family and friends.

As 2018 came to a close, I had many changes happening. A new position at work that is very challenging but rewarding. Multiple proposals for future endeavors, workshops, and other efforts. Holiday travel, friends, family, and so much more. I was in a fog of “hustle” that when I looked up, I saw so much being left behind. And so – I took a small break.

Photo by Steven Spassov on Unsplash

This time was spent with family, traveling, and just relaxing. I focused my mental energies in putting forth the best foot forward I could in my new day job position. I got back to writing songs and recorded a few rough draft demos. (These you will never hear, lol) I’ve written a few short stories and revisited some old stories. I’ve played around with some lettering and got caught up on some tv shows and movies I missed out on in 2018 as well as redecorated my home with some early spring cleaning and donations thrown in. (You’d be surprised how much can clutter when you neglect even the basic home care.)

It wasn’t all rest and relaxation. (Yes, home organization is relaxing for me.) I did begin to make small steps back into the world of ApexThis. I’ve resumed Project Dollar; I’ve co-launched a new Meetup group; I’ve begun planning and organizing for the remainder of the year. You can say that things have been running in low power mode.

Do I regret taking that time off? Not a chance! It was great to just detox and get my creative energies back and rediscover the love of what I am doing and you should too! Don’t burn yourself out before it’s your time to shine. Even if it’s just for a day or weekend – it’s ok to breathe.