Refresh + Refocus

refresh and refocus

One night a few weeks ago Sean and I got home from work after a very long day, and without missing a beat I immediately started pulling things out of the fridge to start dinner.  I put the rice on the stove so that it could start boiling, flipped the chicken in the marinade that I had thrown together on my lunch break and started to preheat the oven.  While these things were getting started, I opened a box of 150 art prints that were sitting on my counter waiting to be packaged up, stamped and out the door that technically should have been done two days before that.  

As I was packaging these prints ... chip board on the back, two stamps for branding, into the cellophane sleeve and then peeling of the self adhesive backing that makes the most awful screeching sound over and over ... I noticed that the rice I had started 10 minutes earlier was starting to boil over.  I quickly covered it, and shut off the stove for it to finish cooking.  I continued through my same process of stamping, packaging and peeling when the oven beeped that it was fully heated and ready for me to start cooking the chicken.  I took the chicken out of the marinade, put it onto a cookie sheet and into the oven.  I set the timer. 

I went back to my packaging ... almost done!  That is, until I realized that I was out of chipboard.  I had 40 more prints to package and not a piece of chipboard to be found.  I jumped on my computer, ordered more and went back to making dinner.  The kitchen timer went off, the chicken was ready and I turned off the oven to finish the rice.  I pulled the pot off of the burner, removed the lid and realized that something was off.  In my attempt to juggle a million things at once, I had turned the oven completely off 40 minutes earlier so rather than simmering for that entire time on low heat, the rice had been sitting in cooling water.  Are you exhausted after reading this yet?  I know I was!

At that point, I just flat out had a mental break down to tears.  Sometimes, and with creatives especially, I think we work ourselves too hard.  There's only so many hours in a day, and balancing a day job, creative ventures and general daily life responsibilities (not to mention planning a wedding!) is just plain hard.  Sometimes it's necessary to take a step back, give yourself a little break to refresh and refocus when your mind is clear.  Even though my break wasn't intentional (my laptop charger decided to stop working so I didn't really have a choice), it helped me so much to spend one night doing nothing but catching up on my shows, laying with my pup and resting.  

Here's my advice for you today ... There is nothing wrong with taking a break.  Most of the time I forget that I'm actually working when it comes to things like my print shop, design work, editing photos and my blog because I love what I'm doing, but it's still mentally exhausting at the end of the day.  You're pouring so much of yourself into these passion projects whether it be your own blog, motherhood or whatever else you may be devoting your heart to ...   Everyone deserves a day of rest.  So, how do you refresh + refocus?  

Chelcey Tate is a photographer, blogger and graphic designer based in Louisville, KY.