Sometimes your system just starts slowing down. You may not notice it at first, but then one day it occurs to you that that circle, which is supposed to be a cursor, suspiciously spins a lot longer than it used to. You realize you can't remember the last time you completely shut down and restarted. And you have over 40 tabs open in your browser. And way too many programs/apps going at the same time. And there's stuff working in the background you didn’t even know existed. You're constantly looking for an outlet to plug in and recharge the battery, which doesn't seem to last nearly as long as it used to.
That's when it's time to reset. I'm not talking about a quick CTRL+ALT+DELETE. I'm also not talking about your laptop, tablet or phone.
For months, my body, brain, and entire LIFE have been crying out for a reset. I've been working way too much. That's the beauty and the challenge of being self-employed. You always welcome the work because the bills gotta get paid. But there are still only 24 hours in the day. And your day is not the standard 9am-5pm, Monday through Friday. Sometimes it's 9:00 am -1:00 pm while they're at school, then 2:30 - 4:00 pm while they're down for nap and quiet time, and then 9:00 pm - 3:00 am when everyone else is asleep. And forget about weekends.
I love my client and the work I get to do for them. That's why it was impossible for me to say no to the extra projects they asked me to do while they were short-staffed. But when my 20 hour/week gig turned into a 35-40+ hour/week gig, I started sacrificing my own sleep, exercise, and nutrition. I realized I had my laptop open and the TV on for the kids almost constantly. I noticed myself literally pushing my children away.
Mommy's working right now, honey.
Don't touch Mommy's laptop.
I'm almost done, then we can play.
Yes, the nanny is coming an extra day this week.
I've got to get these kids to bed so I can get back to work!
That's not the dialog I want. That's not the mom I want to be. I don't want to push my two-year-old away as he tries to close my laptop.
So today, I'm pushing the reset button instead. I told my (very patient and understanding) client that I'm taking six weeks off of work. SIX weeks. In. A. Row.
I gave them over three months' notice, so this has been in the works since March. I've been working my a** off to set them up as much as possible and hand off my projects. So aside from the occasional phone call or text with a question, I'm off until September 12th!
Quinn starts kindergarten on August 24th. Yes, kindergarten. That's how much time has passed since we last shared on this blog. So for the next four weeks, until he starts school (for real school, not drop him off 10 minutes late every day and no one cares because it's only three days a week preschool school), the boys and I will do All. The. Things!
We will go to the beach, zoo, aquarium, park. We will ride the rides and feed the fish and eat the ice cream. We will sleep in and get up early to start our adventures. We will eat healthier and have donuts for breakfast. We will put away our devices and take silly selfies. We will do all these things and nothing at all, depending on how we feel that day.
My mom and aunt are coming to visit for a week in August, too. We will see all the things, make the memories, laugh the laughs, drink the wine, and share the stories. My kids will entertain them and tire them out. Our bellies will hurt from laughter.
I will return to myself and the hobbies and projects I love and miss. I will post to this blog, paint that vase, finish my website, add to my Etsy shop, write that story. I will play with my kids and cherish my husband and call my parents and reconnect with my friends and love them all HARD.
After Quinn starts kindergarten, Reid and I will have a couple weeks of alone time like we've never had, until he starts preschool again after Labor Day. Poor second child. We have almost three years of bonding to catch up on.
And when these amazing six weeks of resetting are over and I return to work, there will be time for another kind of reset. One of expectations. I will only work on the work I am contracted to work on. (You don't walk into Starbucks and order a Slurpee, right?) And when that work exceeds 20 hours, I will speak up. I will say no. I will reset expectations over and over, as necessary.
Because I miss my kids. I miss my husband. I miss my family and friends. I miss sleep. I miss my blog and all of you! I miss breathing. I miss life. Because not writing a single blog post in eight months is not okay.
I am back.