when i’m done.

by Liz on 07.05

I have this faulty mindset that busy-ness is short-lived. That tomorrow I’ll wake up and everything on my to-do list will be finished and I’ll have nothing to do but take a bubble bath and eat something decadent.

Because of that, I have a nasty habit of leaving things for, “When I’m done.” When I’m done catching up on painting, THEN I’ll pour myself some coffee. When I finish clearing my inbox, I’ll take that shower. When we get these projects off our plate, we’ll take a day off to relax. But it never happens, because I always find one more thing to do and then suddenly it’s 1am and time to go to bed and, ugh, at this point I don’t even WANT to shower because I’m so exhausted.

It’s a good and bad thing, at this moment when being busy signals working which means bill paying. Busy is good.

Also, busy is necessary to get these things off the ground. Starting a business takes work. You can’t make a logo, throw up a website and then sit around waiting for things to go somewhere. So, we’re busy.

I had a recent epiphany that maybe, just maybe, “When I’m done,” isn’t a time in the foreseeable future. That maybe there will always be a to-do list, (hopefully) always a new project, and always one more email to send.

So. Time to relax is now, right?

We’ve spent the last few weekends weekending. Which is amazing. I highly recommend using a weekend as it’s intended. We don’t forbid working on weekends (as I know some freelancers do), but instead organize the week so that we have the weekends off, if we want them. If we feel like sketching and coding, so be it. But if not, we’re free to enjoy waking up late and wandering to get coffee and splashing in a kiddie pool.

I haven’t stricken, “When I’m done,” from my vocabulary, but I’m trying to use it differently. It’s admittedly hard when you’re facing financial struggles. Working makes money, and money is what we need. Taking a break has an added strain of guilt because maybe if we just worked more we’d be able to afford rent and groceries and car insurance. But that gets to a point of absurdity. If I take five minutes to have a hot shower, or hop up for the brief time it takes to pour some coffee, will that really make a difference? Probably not. I’m trying to find that balance of being driven and allowing myself to, you know, be human.

Any ideas how a person does that?

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