I know this post is a bit late, but I can’t believe it is 2013 already!! Where did the time go? It feels like only yesterday that we were breaking up for Christmas and now we’re already back at work. I hope you all had a fantastically festive few weeks with friends and family and fancy food. For those of you that follow me on Twitter, Facebook or Instagram you will know that I spent this Christmas in snowy Poland. My husband hadn’t been home for Christmas in about eight years and I had never spent Christmas in Poland so we decided that it was well overdue. For years I have dreamt of a white Christmas and I wasn’t disappointed. We arrived to temperatures of -17c and snow up to our knees (up to our necks in places), and it really was beautiful.
Whilst I was in Poland I didn’t have an internet connection so I was offline for most of the holidays, something which I normally try to avoid as any self-confessed internet junkie would. (This explains the lack of blog posts here). Once I got over the initial shock however, I realised just how relaxing it actually was not to be constantly connected. But during this much-needed downtime I also realised just how exhausted I am. 2012 was a pretty busy year for me and I hadn’t really realised just how much I had been doing until I stopped doing it. Whilst in Poland I discovered an uncomfortable truth…I am a workaholic! And when I am not working I spend every free minute thinking about work or feeling guilty that I’m not working. I don’t know when to stop, when to log off, when to disconnect. And it was only an enforced break that made me realise just how far and how hard I have been pushing myself and how exhausting this is.
Now I’m not really one for making New Year’s resolutions, but over Christmas I decided that in 2013 I need to make some very important changes. The first of which is to try to achieve a better work-life balance. I need to give myself a break, to cut myself some slack, so I can switch off and recharge my batteries every now and again…guilt free. The difficulty comes though because I love what I do. I really and truly love writing and blogging about design. It’s more than a job or a hobby, it’s also my passion and it’s hard to make yourself stop doing something you love. But I’ve realised that if you’re not careful, you risk losing that passion as the very thing you love becomes something you start to resent. And that is not what I want.
I recently read an article over on Erin Loechner’s blog Design for Mankind about the rebirth of slow blogging, (it’s a great read so I suggest you pop on over there and check it out) which really inspired me. So I’ve decided that in 2013 I also need to slow down and work smarter rather than harder. I need to learn to say no and to recognize when things are getting too much. I need to take time out, away from the computer, to enjoy all the things I never seem to have time to do and believe me there are plenty of them!!
The problem is that life online is so fast and its easy to fall victim to the pressure to keep up, to post often, to tweet constantly, to take a snap of everything you do. But in doing all this it’s easy to lose sight of what is really important in your life. For me, in 2013, this is slowing down so that I can have a life outside of writing and blogging. I want to spend more quality time with my husband, I want to do craft projects with my mum, I want to read more, to learn to crochet, to improve my Polish, I want to take more strolls on the beach, learn to take better photographs, meet up with friends more…oh the list is endless. And I’ve come to the conclusion that the only way I can achieve this work-life balance is to slow down, work out what’s most important, pace myself, learn to say no and log off occasionally, without feeling guilty. After all the internet will still be there if I take a day off right? If I can manage to do this, I reckon 2013 might turn out to be a pretty good year.
What about you guys? Do you ever feel this way? Like life is passing by so fast you can barely keep up let alone take a breather? And if so what are your ways of ensuring you maintain a healthy balance? How do you step away from the work when it is one of the things you most enjoy doing? Answers on a post card please? Or you could just leave me a comment below. I’d really love to know your thoughts!