Monday Words: Work to Live

Work to live. Live to work. One phrase has fullness of meaning, filled with dreams, possibilities, and hope. The other is one that is full of dread, long hours, and lack. Over the past few weeks, I’ve been reflecting on my workload, sustainability, and building my business. It has come with many hours of thought and deliberation. What I’ve discovered along the way as a freelancer is that while you can work from anywhere, you simultaneously to your work with you everywhere you go… It can be liberating, full of freedom, or it can be crippling.

By nature I’m an achiever. I love to create, get things done, and mark items off my to-do list. I can get more done in a focused afternoon than most people can get done in a whole day. Because of this, I can have laser focus. I plow through work, often times forgetting to eat or sleep. Many have asked over the years if I know how to rest or how to embrace play. It’s something I love, but often gets put to the last item on the list every week. Maybe you can relate. The week is long and full, the things that once took priority, the ways you did self-care, have gotten pushed to the very last thing. How do we work to live? To have resource for what we value, but know when to stop? How do we no longer bow to financial incentives, but instead make the best choices?

This past weekend I decided to make a change. I took a weekend off. I found myself having time to enjoy the gym, having friends over for brunch, working in the garden, catching up on laundry, and as I write this post, I’m refreshed and excited to conquer the pile of work on my desk. It’s a rare feeling for me.

As a creative, it’s easy to press in and push through. There’s the deadlines for clients, the massive amounts to do. As you work from home, there’s blurred lines of where work starts and home begins. More than anything, I’ve found that when I have healthy rhythm, my inspiration floods forth and my creative blocks dissolve quickly.

As you face your day, how are you creating sustainably? Are you working at the sacrifice of self continually? What does it look like to have nice things but not fixate on them? What does it look like to work to live rather than live to work?

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