I think at some point, everyone seems to fall off the face of the earth for a bit. I mean, not in their minds hopefully, but rather in the minds of their friends, colleagues, or followers. I just gave birth to a little boy about a month ago and have since enjoyed a lazy holiday season with my family and close friends so I’ve been expectedly a little off-the-grid despite feeling an unanswerable call toward the blog. And though the hiatus has been short, it did get me thinking about the importance of why, when it comes to the optional parts of life, we should unapologetically allow ourselves breaks.
Photos by Nicole Romanoff Photography
The number one reason not to feel guilty periodically stepping back is that we overrate other people’s expectations of us. I’m fortunate to have a solid readership but honestly, I’m not sure anyone even noticed my absence for the last few weeks. People just don’t think about me as much as I do of myself—true about you, too—and when it comes to bowing out of a regular contribution or two, that’s good news. Let’s say you often make labor-intensive appies for parties and always gift handmade cards. You might feel like you’ve set the bar high and you’ve gotta keep jumping every time—I mean, those are thoughtful bits of life you’re throwing down and the blown-away thanks you get is genuine! But, pour chips into a bowl and write a short heartfelt note in a store-bought card and I’m telling you, your friends will still be grateful. They’re in it for you, not how much you have to offer.
Second, one can’t pour from an empty cup. Taking care of yourself trumps your regular volunteerism, dates with friends, and quick call-backs. Yes, being social and contributing your time to worthy causes is important to your community and overall happiness but it’s an unreasonable amount of pressure to be on 365 days a year. Letting yourself just be, finding calm long enough to re-centre, whether you’re most able to do that with family, your closest friends, or all by yourself helps you to come back to your schedule re-energized and ready to give again. There are enough obligations in life and you deserve to keep your spare time to choice. (See you in a few months, Brownies!)
And finally, and this is for those of you who are able to make your own hours in your professional life and end up overscheduling, I know it’s hard to say no, especially when you’re new or building your business. However, blocking out time for yourself is good for everyone in the long run. If you feel resentful and burned out, how are you able to offer a genuinely positive experience to others? Setting boundaries with clients and workmates is easiest when done early on, but at any point you can limit your available time when you’re booking future engagements or, if you work alongside others, have a conversation with your co-workers about your need to do things a little differently to stay happy and productive at work. You deserve that.
Back to Me and the blog! As it turns out, I’m okay with pauses between thoughts which is fortunate since Sneakers & Lipstick is written in the snippets of time when my kiddos are asleep and I’ll probably have a few pauses until I get the naptime spinning-plate-trick down. Luckily, since I know I care more about my blog than you do, that’s nothing I need to apologize for.