For years, my husband and I have taken what I call a “Summer Adventure.” Basically, that entails packing up the car and the dog (or dogs) and driving from Arizona to Wisconsin and back (along with some “side” trips) to see family.
Since Mr. PW and I both grew up in Wisconsin (albeit different areas), this summer trip makes it possible to spend time with both of our families and friends.
However, as you can imagine, it’s not precisely a vacation, which is why I call it a “Summer Adventure.”
One of the challenges of my Summer Adventure has always been the writing piece. I don’t love writing on the road. I prefer to be home, where I not only have my environment set up exactly as I want it, but I can also follow a regular routine that allows me to reach my daily writing goals.
But, deadlines are deadlines, and they’re rarely kind or understanding. And sometimes that means I need to work on the road.
In years past, this has made my Summer Adventure even more stressful than it already is. (I’m an introvert and it’s exhausting spending that much time in other people’s home and other people’s energies). I would use every bit of willpower to force myself to work whether I liked it or not, or whether it was convenient or not.
On one hand, I was able to stay caught up. On the other hand, I would emerge from my Summer Adventure frazzled, exhausted, and in need of more time off to get myself back to centered.
But over the past couple years, I started doing things differently. First, I gave myself space. I made a point of taking my Summer Adventure into account when I made deadlines for myself. I let my clients know I would be taking this time off (in years past, I would typically say I was going to be off, but I was still planning to work. Now, I just say I’m off.) I gave myself a more relaxed blog-posting schedule.
Second, I gave myself a break. Rather than going into this with the idea that NOTHING was going to change … (I’m a mobile entrepreneur, after all! I could work anywhere in the world with my laptop and my phone! Isn’t that the dream?) … I simply made the decision that my schedule WAS going to be impacted.
Since I was NOT going to pack every single waking moment with some sort of “to-do” that kept me constantly “on the go”—like working any time I wasn’t spending time with friends and family—I couldn’t expect to follow the same type of schedule I would if I were home. I basically gave myself permission to take a real break—to enjoy the time I had with my loved ones. And if there was space and energy to get a few things done, then that would be considered a bonus. I was no longer going to force it.
So, what happened? Well, my Summer Adventure got a lot more peaceful and restful. I was able to be fully present. AND I also found myself pleasantly surprised at how much work I was able to get done.
(And yes, I’m still on track to launch my new Secrets of Redemption book series in the fall!)