Thursday, 29 July 2010

Taking a break

You might have noticed that I’ve been somewhat absent for a while. Only a few posts in a few months, rather than many every month. This has not been for lack of inspiration or a feeling ennui about blogging. It has nothing to do with too much or too little PR love… or hate.

It has been entirely down to work. Stupid, crazy, hideous amounts of work. This is one of the problems with working for yourself – for most people, at least, the work comes in waves. You have a generally placid sea, where you sail along with little effort, get most of your work done during the day and have just enough money to keep you afloat. Then you have the tempestuous weather, where you get almost no sleep at all, are constantly bailing out water trying to keep from sinking under the tsunami of work and have to strap yourself in for fear of falling over the edge. And then there’s the over-calm seas, where you have to get out the paddles to move at all, where you have the time and the energy to enjoy yourselves, but can’t reach the dry land where you can afford to do anything.

We have, of course, been in the tsunami. Hopefully, by the time we get back from France (we’re on holiday at the moment), it will be settling into some choppy, but steerable weather. And maybe, just maybe, I’ll manage to post more than once or twice a month. Even if it’s closer to the big storms, it should still be calmer for us, as we’ve built up a good bank of freelancers and have learnt that we can delegate a lot more than we thought we could. We’ve developed strategies and processes and should be able to much better weather any storms to come.

So, yes, we’re on holiday in France for a week. More than half way through the week and I really wish we were staying for two – or longer even. I'm only just getting to the point where I feel relaxed and wound down, but have now already started to worry about the work that we have to do on our return. And it’s Rosemary’s birthday next week, too, and things to do for that. Chris’ mum is staying behind for the week, so we will have on-tap childcare. But it’s still going to be busy and I absolutely need to ensure that there is no work to be done on her actual birthday.

So, I leave you (hopefully not for as long, this time) with my new motto: Taking a break. I might not be able to manage a week in France every month, but I can make sure we carve out some definite break time – family time at the weekend, couple time at least one evening a week, and me time at least one evening a week. Let’s see how long we can make it last.

So, tell me about you… Are you on holiday? Have you been feeling overwhelmed or overworked? Are you yearning for a work-life balance or a bit of me time? What would your new motto be?


  1. Working for myself (as I do too) I realised that working all the time was doing my head in, so I cut back in order to have a better work life balance. My new motto now has to be get off your bum, as I seem to be taking this more life less work thing a bit too far... ;0)

  2. I love your new blog look - very apt for such a book worm! Not that I imagine you've had any time for reading. As you know, I'm not well placed to give advice about taking breaks, although I'm doing quite well this week. If only I could have bed rest every month...

  3. I've been on 8 weeks of holiday and on a total downer at the moment. But opposite to you, I'm in a totally calm sea right now - apart from a play dates at some distant point mid August somewhere, I seem to have ab-so-lute-ly NOTHING on. No work, no play. Random. And it feels weird and slightly worrying.

    Hope you have a lovely time in France.

  4. You take as long as you need! Your readers will be right here waiting for you :)
    How you're having a lovely time in France & having a well deserved rest. The new blog layout looks fantastic! x

  5. Good to hear from you! Like the new look too.
    Delgation is an amazing thing. I have a good friend who is self employed and she just hired someone to help her and she's like a whole new woman! Congrats on being busy, and enjoy the break.

    I am always busy too, but my work is a daytime 8-5 gig, hence I do manage some relaxation. I don't get to spend anywhere near as much time with my kids as you do though, so I'd say your way is worth it!

  6. have been checking in and out recently to see where you are - sounds like things have been completely manic - i honestly don't know how you do it with two small girlies!

    Enjoy the rest of your hols and look forward to reading again soon.


  7. I find the summer holidays particularly hard to get any work done. I hope you find things a bit easier in the weeks to come.

    Love the new look!

  8. I just posted about the same subject before I came here and read your post. Take as long as you need. We're not going anywhere.

  9. Oh I hope you have had a great holiday, enjoying all the treats that you couldn't have last year because of the baby!

  10. Pippa - it's so difficult to get the balance right, isn't it? Now go get off your bum!

    MTJAM - thank you! I think a week's bed rest once a month would be perfect, actually. Maybe we could get it written into the constitution or something.

    Luschka - having absolutely nothing on must be very weird. It's something that sounds appealing but I'm fairly certain I would hate it and, especially with an almost-4-year-old, be desparately searching for things to fill the time.

    Emma - thank you. We had a lovely time. But now I need to get back to work, so am procrastinating by actually responding to comments for the first time in a while. Hope I have more time to do such procrastinating over the next few months!

    Geekymummy - thank you. Delegation is very useful, yes, and something I've always been dreadful at. I'm gradually getting there, though, probably just in time for the work to dry up and it be uneconomical to send anything out at all. I think I do probably have it better, even though I sometimes yearn for a 9-5 (or even 8-5!).

    Elsie - It has indeed been totally manic. We only manage because Eleanor is incredibly laid back, which is so unfair on her really. Hopefully, she won't remember (or read the blog!) Holiday was fantastic!

    Ella - I can't imagine how you could ever fit any work in during the holidays, with so many children! Glad to see William is doing better.

    Themommydaddy - Spooky. Enjoy the work while you have it, and try to get an occasional bit of sleep!

    Kelly - It was wonderful, thank you. And I ate lots and lots of cheese and even drunk a bit of wine (not as much as would like due to still breastfeeding, though). Next year, maybe...