I shot NO personal work in February. NONE.
...And I'm really happy I took a break from shooting.
Here's the thing... I LOVE my personal projects! It's a compulsion to create things I guess... but I love being busy and I typically always have dozen of ideas swimming around in my head looking for a chance to create them. But for the last 6 weeks, I purposely didn't schedule anything new. Yep, all of February and up to yesterday.
In January, I saw the calendar, knew I could fill it if I wanted, but chose not to. I wanted a break. Time to catch up on things, reflect on what I was doing, what I wanted to do, and give myself some breathing room. I've used the time in other ways and have greatly appreciated it. For someone that is used to a more go-go-go mentality, I'm learning to slow down, to find a pace that's more sustainable and rewarding.
My wife is a teacher, my kids are both in school. Our year is so heavily influenced by the school calendar that our year is more chapters and blocks of months.
Christmas Break to March Break
March Break to Summer
Labour Day to Christmas
So after March Break is over, the next chapter of our year begins and it's like a clean slate, a chance to switch things up. Some people make New Years resolutions and vow to change this or that... I look at all these breaks or cycles of our year as an opportunity to reset things. The last few weeks were an opportunity for me to think about my future as an artist. I'm going to be doing a shift in some of my personal projects. I think I'll be happier and more satisfied because of it. I realized what work I'd like to invest more time and energy pursuing and what work I think I can step back from.
Taking a break, I can honestly say that in the last 6 weeks I've learned more about what really matters most to me by NOT DOING than had I KEPT DOING.
So take a break if you need. Give yourself breathing room. Don't be discouraged if you're not being as productive as you would normally be for a short period of time. When you come back to the work you love, you'll come back with a fresh soul, recharged to take on the things that matter.
If you enjoyed this entry, if it resonated with you or have a thought on this topic to share, I'd love to hear from you. There is a comments section below and a Like button to the right. Have a wonderful week!