I've decided to take the summer off from design work and I'm freaking out a little. I've never taken a summer off since I started working, much less since I've had kids (except for maternity leave, and let's be real....that's not the same) and definitely not since I've owned my own business.
Professionally, it is scary to take a break from income and steady clients. Will people be around when I come back? Will my business lose momentum?
And personally, it's scary because the stay-at-home-mom life is not my forté. I really enjoy working and being a mom; I love the balance and the different ways I get to use my brain in different contexts. So having my sole responsibility being to care for and entertain my kiddos sounds a little....intimidating.
BUT, stronger than those feelings is my conviction that we all get to design our life the way we want. We get to choose how our life looks through decisions, big and small, day in and day out. Sometimes it is small decisions like - we're not going to eat out as much so we can save towards that vacation, and sometimes it is big decisions - like starting a new business, buying an investment property, or taking a summer off when it doesn't totally make sense business-wise.
I previously wrote about how a huge impetus to starting this business was the desire to live the life I wanted vs letting my life be lived for me, in default-mode. I wanted flexibility and the chance to be with my kids more. But I realized recently, that I had slipped back into default mode - the default being that I have to work over the summer and find childcare for my kids while I did so.
This summer, it feels really right to take some time off and just BE with my kids. I'm feeling worn out after 5 years of starting/growing/maintaining this business and my kids are growing so fast, like everyones'. I won't hit the income goals I set for myself for the summer, and that's ok. Some sacrifices may need to be made, but I'm convinced my time with my kids and the chance to rest mentally and emotionally in some ways will be richer than any design fees I'll miss out on.
And let me just say that you can live in the both/and. I can be scared AND it can feel right. I can know that this is the right next step AND not know how it is going to play out on the other side. In that blog I mentioned above, I wrote "Will we change the way this all looks someday? Maybe. We have permission to do so. Again, we can change, pivot, and grow while still being true to ourselves." We get to decide, people. We get to change. We get to adapt for each season in our lives and choose what works best for us.
And here's something else that's fun: I've discovered that when I take intentional steps that align with my integrity, it ignites the dreamer in me and there is nothing more fun than tapping into that. I had this vision the other day of becoming a company that actually works around the schedule of school-age kids. Shorter work days, time off for the summer and regularly scheduled holiday breaks, while still making great money...wouldn't that be amazing?!
Heather will still be taking clients over the summer for Furnishings, Layouts, and Decor. Be sure to contact us to get on her books. She's so talented - you don't want to miss out!
Interestingly, literally as I am writing this blog, my co-worker Heather sent me this post by Brené Brown. My girl crush and unofficial mentor and life coach (I just adore her) is also taking time off this Summer. If taking time off is good enough for Brené, it's good enough for me! ;)