By the time I leave for a two-week camping trip with my family in a couple of weeks, I will have come to the end of the busiest month I've had since I finished writing Make It Mighty Ugly two years ago.
So I've been thinking a lot about busy. Busy isn't usually something I have trouble with. I rarely check my email after 6pm, I try very hard not to work on weekends or holidays, and over the years I've learned how to turn down work that doesn't excite me.
This month of working many evenings and some weekends has given me a great opportunity to examine my relationship with being busy, and with time off.
During this busy time, I've barely made anything. Crochet projects and my art journal have languished untouched in a corner. I've barely been able to muster to energy to make dinner.
And I love the work I've been doing. I'm working on a big editing project with a client, and I just love everything about it. There are many factors that have led to my needing to work the nights and weekends, but none were due to unrealistic expectations, unfairness, or negligence. So though I usually avoid off-hours work, I didn't mind it for this. And I knew it would be a short-lived thing. And also, it wasn't stressful. I wasn't working with a block of concrete in my gut, or a sense of panic crawling under my skin. I simply had a lot to get done, and not enough workday hours to do it in.
At the same time, circumstances unrelated to work piled on. So in addition to working my ass off for work, I also had meetings and work to do for a private-life thing.
And it was all good. Not sustainable as a lifestyle beyond this one month, but all good for a short time.
It's made me appreciate the boundaries I set under normal circumstances. Busting those boundaries made me very clearly aware of how valuable they are to my general mental health, and to my enjoyment both of my work and of my personal time.
Anyway, this post on Design*Sponge is worth the read.