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Wednesday, May 27, 2015

In twenty fifteen, I'm striving to be personal. While the word can be interpreted in many ways, this is my attempt to interpret it for myself. I have identified five areas of my life to work on in this pursuit - my work, my self talk, my off time, my relationships and my health. Every few months I'll be setting area-specific goals & sharing about my experiences here. For March through May, my personal area of focus is My Off Time.

Me, hanging out in a treehouse
Me, hanging in a treehouse. Relaxing the day away.

Picking my "off time" as my area of focus over the past three months was either a stroke of genius or the act of a crazy person. (Both, perhaps?) Going into March, I knew I had a lot going on, but knowing wasn't enough. Knowing did not adequately prepare me for how much I had committed to.

In March, I experienced the consequences of saying "yes." And they were intense & real. There was no "using my off time well" because everything was overbooked. Hustle and working hard is admirable, but so is self-restraint and boundaries. I prioritized one over the other, to my detriment.

In early April, I had to admit defeat. I walked away from a project I loved deeply. I had to edit; something had to go. I failed. I failed myself, I failed a client. I wasn't able to follow through on a promise, and it tore me up. So I walked away ashamed and discouraged. And then....

Nothing bad happened. Nothing imploded. In fact, I began to thrive. I saw a gap in my schedule I saw opportunity to live. I wasn't feeling guilty when I was away from the computer. My productivity soared. Things fell into place.

Going into May, I honestly felt for the first time like I had the opportunity to focus on my off time. There was room for it, and that made me excited.

Grad school started May 11. Spring in Austin came into full bloom. And even though I was still working hard, still hustling, everything felt manageable.

Everything still isn't perfect. I'm still learning to say "no". But at least I'm open to the idea now.

Goals I set:

#1 - Read two textbooks in my possession.

Did not meet, but after three weeks in grad school, I'm glad I did not follow through on it. We're actually not reading any book cover to cover. I did start reading Michael Pollan's A Place of My Own and it's an inspiring escape from the web dev world.

#2 - Finish all current freelance projects.

DONE! I finished 6 freelance projects. Put 1 on hold. And dropped 1. But I have six more sites to add to the resume. I'm pretty proud of that.

#3 - Take some time to make memories with C.

DONE! We developed a weekly routine that's really helping me to keep my work in check. I'll blog about that soon.

2015 Personal Areas of Focus:

  1. My Work
  2. My Self Talk
  3. My Off Time
  4. My Relationships
  5. My Health

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