No matter how well-planned a business is, there’s always that unexpected curve ball that comes at you and whacks you when you least expect it. In the back of my mind for the past four years, I’ve known that a curve ball could be lurking, waiting to be thrown, and since I’m a lousy catcher, that ball was going to hit me smack upside my head.
The ball seems to have hit me now in the form of Exhaustion and Illness. Right now I’m fighting both, and it’s not a lot of fun.
Part of me (the very, very tired part) wants to just throw up my hands and say, “take the year off”. But I had some incredible momentum in 2008, and I don’t want to lose it, so I’m going to have to adapt to this curve ball.
In a nutshell:
1) I’m cutting back on my craft shows. I did something like 20 last year, and most of those were 3-days long. That’s where the exhaustion comes from. This year, I’m planning on only about 10 shows, and being much more judicious about when they are, so I don’t book myself for two months solid.
2) I’m allowing myself to rest. That may sound elementary, a no-brainer when you’re tired or ill, but my personality type thrives on work. I dare say most artists are the same way, but sometimes, something has to give. Do whatever it takes to give your body and your mind a chance to repair and recharge. If you have to write on your calendar, “do nothing today”, well, make that appointment.
3) When I DO have the energy, I’m using it wisely. I make a list each morning, and focus just on that list before I allow myself to deviate. That’s tough for me, because I am the ultimate multi-tasker, but it’s become way too easy to do tons of work and get nothing done. (Know the feeling?)
None of these things is easy for me, but that curve ball, it hurt. No one expects to get sick or tired or have something happen within their family that makes you have to stop and totally re-plan. It’s good to have a fall-back plan, other options, other ways to get things done. So before a curve ball hits you, take some time to think about “what if” — and don’t feel horrible if you drop the ball.
Lori Anderson is currently taking it easy in her studio in Easton, MD. Her work can be seen at www.lorianderson.net, and her random musings can be read at www.lorianderson.blogspot.com.
(Photo via thecompletepitcher.com)