the goose and the golden egg

Yesterday I had every intention of having a full workday. Though my desire last week was to take two full days off after the workshop to relax and recover, there seemed to be too much to do with Jess LC to really let that happen.

So instead, I got up on Monday and tore myself out of bed and got to work.

But as the day went on, no matter how much caffeine I consumed, I could sense my body and mind were on a strike.

And after trying to battle through for five hours, I finally at 1:00 waved my white flag and surrendered to the couch. Though there was still plenty to get done, I knew that the time off wasn’t just a luxury I was giving myself, it was the permission to be human.

With more on my plate than ever before, I’ve powered through launching the workshops as a midnight hustler at times and also by working double time during my work hours. I’ve pushed myself to accomplish twice the amount of work over the past few months.

And once the workshop finally ended, I really did need a 48 hour break.

But I didn’t give myself that time off and my body and mind taught me how important it really was yesterday.

In fact, once I finally allowed myself to lay on the blessed couch for eight hours of sleeping and Tivo, I felt great about my decision.

In doing so, I accomplished two things: I honored my inner-goose and upheld the example I hope to “preach” here on MML.

You see, in a world where so many people (especially women entrepreneurs and bloggers) are working harder than ever and chasing ever more illusive feelings of meaning, beauty, perfection, and profit through work, we are blurring the lines of work/life balance more than ever before.

And though my life is decidedly meshed with my career in my choice to work from home, be my own boss, and collaborate with friends in business I truly want to be an example of someone who designs a life with intention that is not overrun with work.

I’m not quite looking to drop off the map four months at a time, but I’m also not looking to constantly be tied to work 24 hours a day either. Though I’ve just completed a season full of hustle, it was not a permanent lifestyle.

So while I continue to push myself to deliver more value and meaning in my career, I’m also “working” on not working overtime in equal proportion.

The truth is that if I did that for any extended period of time I’d have a mental breakdown, physical illness, or emotional meltdown. Which is decidedly not what I’d want to exemplify on MML or experience.

Because of all of these revelations, I am now preparing ahead of time to make Mondays after workshops a mandatory day off for myself. This will involve shuffling intern responsibilities, preparing an email away message, and the discipline to allow myself to relax after a hard weekend’s work.

As a business owner I write my policies. And I have just added a new one to the list.


This Post Has 11 Comments

  1. Flavia

    Excellent post, Jess! I constantly struggle with pushing myself to the limit as well and it always ends in a mini-meltdown and crabbiness. Since I am a “one woman show” both for my blog and at home (during the day), it’s hard for me to give myself permission to just relax for a few hours or even a day. Thanks for sharing your insight and encouragement. I always feel so inspired after reading your blog posts. 🙂

  2. Renee

    you deserve it! thanks again for such a great workshop on saturday 🙂

  3. Melissa

    I agree, you deserve it! Thanks for setting a good example. We don’t need to push ourselves to the brink… Crazy busy days or weeks will come up but otherwise, it’s just not worth it.

  4. Betsy

    You totally deserve it! I was wiped at the end of the workshop and was impressed you were still so together and “on” at dinner. No one expects to run a marathon and then go for a 10 mile run the next morning. Rest does a body good. Thanks again for all that went into Saturday. 🙂

  5. Good for you! I’m so glad the workshop went well and that you quickly learned your lesson of taking a day off. I’m counting down the days (there are still quite a few) to my whole week off this summer. I can already tell from my waning attention span that it is desperately needed!

  6. This sounds like a great idea. I had the opposite happening this week, where I only wanted to relax and had to get myself back into the groove of things.


  7. I am glad you made that decision.
    I made a decision to work 9-6pm this week, and enjoy the rest of the time with my parents. Today, I added a caveat…take aN hour break somewhere in there. I needed it at 2pm, because I was having a headache. It is important to know when to rest and when to charge forward.

    Kudos to you!

  8. Alyssa

    I felt like I needed a day off myself yesterday and I wasn’t even the one running the workshop! You absolutely deserve to give yourself a rest day after the workshops, if not two.

  9. Mr. Lively

    I’ve had my days where I think I just work through lunch because there is so much to do and it never works out well. I get just as much or less work done, and I’m miserable by the end of it. Great reference 🙂

  10. Lori

    How timely is this post? I just read that section in The 7 Habits last night (thanks by the way for recommending this book on your site – it’s really speaking to me!). I think we all have a tendency to think of what we need to ‘put in’ to maintain the PC, but it’s also just as important to balance this with what we need to ‘take away’. Thanks for this reminder!

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