April is just about over, and I have to say that I'm kind of thrilled. This was one tough month! But, as I always say, with the struggle comes learning. The negative is a positive. I am constantly learning, and I'll admit that it knocked me on my ass for a while. Just this past week, I was on the couch, sleeping an entire day away, with a migraine, because my mind was tapped out. While the migraine was out of my control, I know what I did wrong for my energy, and I can't dwell on it. I'm shaking off the crust, and reminding myself that it's okay to feel a little bit defeated. This is only month 2, and with it coming to a close, I can review what I need to change for month 3, so this doesn't happen again. While some things are out of my control, getting a hold on the things that are, will help me in the long run.
Self, self, self
This one still is my biggest challenge, when it comes to putting time into my days. I'm great at putting myself last, when it's totally unnecessary, and not helpful at all. I've gotten to getting up and moving around when I need it, as I spend a lot of time working, when I could really use a break. It helps to burn off the steam and get my body moving, because the mind can totally exhaust itself if you let it take over. When I catch myself over thinking, or even just mindlessly working on something that isn't coming together properly, I get up, step away, clear the brains, and run it off. The benefits that come with self maintenance are far too valuable to ignore. When your body is happy, your mind is happy. I'll admit, my mind was quite gloomy this month. I know what I need to fix, and there are no excuses. If it's important, you make the time. I am important.
While getting out of the house is very important for clearing my head, I have to cut back tremendously and set up a budget. I went way too far overboard this month, because I was nurturing my need to escape. If I'm going to leave the house, it can be for a cup of coffee/beer/tea whatever, but it cannot be a full out splurge of taking myself out on a date. Sure, once a month is a great reward, but I probably took advantage of the luxury of a workspace with service a little too much. Lunch dates are great for catching up with friends, but solo rolling just to get out of the house... no, I have to be mindful of the cost that comes with it. It's a bit of a lesson, when learning how to balance what I need with what seems like a simple fix to my frustrations. A much tinier budget for escapes will be enforced in May. There are other ways to escape the office. I may be making this into a personal challenge, for the sake of getting back in touch with myself, away from work, without having to always physically leave it for the relief. I'm a workaholic. It's time to face it and find balance.
I work way too well under pressure, but a little too much that I actually wait for that pressure to get myself moving. I don't think it's safe to live this way, when I'm currently my own provider. I have to be able to start saving and putting things aside, both for expenses that come with the job (supplies, tables/booths for events, shipping, travel) never mind any possible emergencies that might pop up along the way. The end of the month has always been a massive scramble to get things ready for my upcoming expenses, and though I'm able to catch myself up and keep on top of the demand.. it's not worth it to run so hard against the wind. I have to be mindful of what sort of pressure is helpful, and what is damaging. I don't think I'm doing it right quite yet. It is my goal to laugh at May in the face, when this time of month rolls around. There's a challenge to keep up with! Adding pressure to the pressure I already put on myself to succeed is just not a happy plan. Quit it.
With all of these notes I've taken, I've made myself a list to carry into next month, with the incentive that I don't repeat the same anchors that I don't need to have as extra weight in the challenge(s) of being a freelance artist. I have to be responsible, and part of that includes taking better care of myself and my living space... even if I may want to escape it so often as I do.
We are fortunate to have some lovely weather, so taking walks to play in the field, or meditate/read under a tree are definitely good things to have at my access. I'm also looking into creating different spaces within my living space, so I can remove myself from where I work, and find breathing room to get back in touch with myself; without taking the cut. It's like, I have been cutting myself down without realizing it, only to say hey, you're feeling pretty low. We are our own worst enemies in disguise. I really bashed myself good this month for a variety of reasons that were highly unnecessary. My new note to self reads: You won't fail, if you don't allow it.
Let's get April out the door and make way for May.