I have lived 2017 in a self-induced bubble. I make no apologies. I found out I was pregnant on January 8th and gave birth on September 26th. I spent that entire time focused on taking care of myself, my family and my home and enjoying being pregnant. I had what I consider an A+ pregnancy and birth (even at 39 years young!) and I credit my slow pace and lack of stress. I also set it up to STAY in a bubble post partum and just clocked two weeks. I think I’ve gotten fully dressed maybe three times in the last month!
I decided to stop hustling
Yes, I have “worked” some this year. My time was split between maintaining my business (mostly assigning Signature Colors and speaking gigs + updating the blog and social media), helping my husband with his new real estate venture (he quit his job and started full time real estate in October 2016) and volunteering. If you’re curious as to where I spend my time, visit my resume and projects page here.
I hardly attended any conferences, sponsored any events or even did much official networking. I didn’t attend any big trainings or retreats. If you know me, you know that’s not my usual M.O. for living an “out there” life!
In fact, my side of the bed should be dented in from the extra time I spent there, updating my pregnancy and prayer journals, posting and checking social media (I loved sharing about my pregnancy journey!), eating snacks and meals and feeling Kate move. I’m normally not an “in bed” person. To me, being in bed means you’re sick and I HATE being sick. More accurately, I hate being unproductive. But for this year, I gave myself permission to rest and with a housemate for the first six months of the year (heeeelllooo, food smells at 9pm in the first trimester–bleck!) and two sons who spend most of their time in the family room, my bed became my favorite spot. I had to remind myself, “You’re growing a human. THIS is your job right now. It’s OK to chill.”
One on one appointments were put on hold. Extra projects and editing gigs were turned down. I told our church and the Gilbert Historical Museum I was cutting back. I updated my “work with me” page to say my in-person services were temporarily suspended. It felt good.
Is it time to hustle again?
I have some ideas for expanding my Signature Color option. I could start booking speaking and teaching gigs for spring of 2018. There are books to write and people to meet and events to attend. Buuuuttttt…
I’m feeling a shift now as the fog clears, toward helping my husband, fully launching our non-profit and focusing more on whole-istic living to include fertility and pregnancy along with “beautiful life” tips and inspiration. I want to strategically help the women in my life in practical ways.
I have fought for this beautiful life I have and I’d love to assist women on their journey, beyond their wardrobe and colors AND more hands-on than the occasional how-to blog post. I’m pondering what that looks like.
The pregnancy–and now Kate’s presence–necessarily meant cutting back and then adding back strategically. I’m essentially a stay-at-home mom again! God comes first, then Kate and helping my husband and family. THEN my projects and goals. Of course my focus will be integrating those areas so I can do the same for my ladies!
Listen, y’all. I stopped hustling before it was a trendy term.
Over eight years ago, hustle bought me little more than stress, overwhelm and anxiety. My perfectionistic, people-pleasing side rears its ugly head when I hustle. I worry. I don’t sleep. I say “yes” too much. I put off self care. I get snippy and easily unnerved.
I have since chosen to reject busyness in order to maintain a life of peace.
No one wins when Mom is hustling. I decided to stop hustling and I will never go back.
So bear with me as I continue pondering. I have the same 24 hours in a day as everyone else. I owe it to myself, to my Creator, to my family and to my circle of influence to use that time well.
****Edited 10-13-17 to answer this great question from my friend Lindsey!****
How do you find the balance between “hustle” and “bored?” I know we are in different life situations (no kids here yet, husband who can mostly take care of himself ) but when I tried to cut stress out of my life by pulling back from most responsibilities, I found myself bored and kind of lifeless. What are your thoughts?
Ah, yes, the sweet spot of purpose without busyness!
So many responsibilities I’ve had over the years left me drained and resentful. Life is too short for that!
The answer is simple but not easy and that is, to find your place of influence or service that is energizing, NOT draining, and that fuels the other areas of your life, too. I volunteer for my local historical society by serving on the board of directors, running the museum front desk and sitting on the marketing committee. These positions are natural fits for me, but challenging enough to keep me motivated. The people are “my people” and have become my friends and cohorts. Plus when I run the front desk, it gives me a chance to get out, have some peace and quiet and also meet new people. If there’s downtime, I can read or write in my journal and that’s life-giving to this busy mama!
I also have a few volunteer editing gigs that I can do one my own time. Again, I love doing it but it works for my life and my schedule. I turn down A LOT of opportunities because they involve too much pressure, too many meetings, too much time away from home or simply don’t bring me joy.
Speaking of JOY, part 2 of my answer is to simplify the areas of your life that don’t bring you as much joy (or what sucks the life out of you). For me, that’s cooking and cleaning. I make simple meals and buy a lot of “convenience foods.” The kids are helping more and more with the household tasks and I’ve figured out how to manage what’s left (like keeping the boys’ dresser in my laundry room so all I have to do is wash, dry and put away within five feet) AND asking my mom to double her recipes so we can have what she’s having for dinner! I also spent all of 2015 decluttering our home and that made a world of difference!
For me, simplifying gives me more freedom to pursue the things that DO energize and delight me. Speaking of that….
Last one…always have something delightful to look forward to. Even when I’m super busy OR enjoying a slower pace like I am now, I’m always planning an event. If I don’t have a shower, birthday or holiday to look forward to, I get antsy. Maybe you need a project, something crafty to do, a home DIY…whatever will give you that excited feeling and keep your creative juices flowing.
I hope that helps and let me know if you have a follow-up question!