My dad and I have this special lunch every Wednesday thing going on since we've been in Iowa. He picks me up at 11:30 sharp, we choose the place after we hug it out, and then we go and talk and talk until the lunch hour is usually well over. Intention: to not live around the corner and only see each other in passing and spend years that way (that happens, doesn't it?).
Anyway, this particular time I'm thinking of the talk turned to me and my business. I told him that I just wasn't feeling it anymore, that something kept tugging at me to go in another direction, and as I was making the baby steps to do so, it was really, really freaking me out. It was keeping me up at night because work was starting to look a lot like sitting very still and letting my brain run in a million directions and sketching things out that made no sense and sometimes even just reading a book. It wasn't work like the 12 hour sewing day that I've known for so long. Was this spring? Was this miscarriage? Was this pregnancy? What was this? I thought it might be my intuition, but I was second guessing myself.
And after I put words to all that, my dad said to me, "Listen to your gut on this. When you survive by your creativity, it can be dangerous to ignore your feelings. Remember that it's not Iviebaby that supports you, it's that voice. And when that voice wants to stop, you let it; when it wants to be quiet, you let it. Just keep an eye out and ask yourself at the end of each day if you feel like you made progress (don't think about what it looks like, think about what it felt like)."
Almost the second we walked in the door to this new house, I knew things were going to be different in a lot of ways, and one of them was this. There is a time to work your ass off, and there's a time to be still and listen.
"Professional runners take long breaks between marathons. They make no excuses for this, and no one judges them for it, because everyone knows that rest and recuperation is an essential part of being a pro athlete. The same is true for entrepreneurs (and everyone, really). Preventing burnout is part of your job. Staying well rested is part of your job. Sleep and exercise help, but occasional extended breaks are essential too, and their benefits on creativity, productivity, and happiness are well documented."
This weekend I'm flying to Chicago for a workshop that I don't need for Iviebaby. While I'm there, I'm going to completely turn my attention on another project and see what comes out of me. I'm really excited about it, and it feels exhilarating to be starting from scratch. There is something amazing about being on top, and something amazing about being on the bottom too, you know what I mean?
Something else I'm looking forward to is growing this new thing with you. Remember Iviemade? Remember when I announced Iviebaby? Many of you were even here when I was making crafty junk from a tiny studio apartment in Boston. I feel like I have so much to say about this side of myself, and I haven't flushed out this idea completely yet, but I'd really like to be transparent about the process of growing this new thing and see what happens.
Can I end this on a thank you for cheering me/the Ivie's on? Because thank you.