I Need To Take A Break, But I Don’t Want To

As my Fall quarter comes to an end I find myself eager to jump into personal projects. I’ve started writing a list of projects I want to do so i can then evaluate which ones I should dedicate time to, and while this is of course a good thing I’m also jumping the gun. For those who aren’t in a creative field or perhaps don’t do something they genuinely love, the idea of taking a break isn’t very scary or difficult to understand; however, I especially find this difficult.

For the past week I’ve been wrapping up some large projects and found myself engulfed in more work than I could handle. Tuesday night and Wednesday morning I was especially stressed as I scrambled to piece together the finishing touches of a few projects. This wasn’t necessarily the result of poor time management, but rather it was the result of me doing more than what was necessary. I’m both blessed and cursed to hold the value of whole -heartedly investing myself in whatever I’m doing. With that being said, I tend to take on more than I probably should. I’m able to recognize this, yet time after time I continue to do the same thing and as you may have noticed, I’ve already started to do exactly that. Classes have just ended, and I’m already worrying about what projects I’ll be pursuing over my winter break.

I’m ambitious, yes, but there is a fine line marked between ambition and foolishness. Although I’m relieved of any stress attached to fixed deadlines and group expectations that existed in my classes, I’m not invincible. As I’m now free of any strict obligations it’s extremely easy for me to just want to let loose by creating the things I want to create, but I believe I need to be very weary of this. Of course I approach this with good intentions thinking that I’m going to be working on awesome personal projects, but I must also recognize just how deceivingly innocent and ambitious that is.

Quite honestly, I’m so ready to work on personal stuff. I’m so pumped to begin working on some cool things and building my portfolio. I’m excited to focus on my own work rather than school work. If I want to be real with myself though, I must admit that one of the worst things I could probably do right now is jump into more projects. It’s time for a break. It may sound silly, but that’s incredibly difficult for me to state. Immediately picking up new projects will only falsely satisfy my needs of working on something other than school work. I don’t want to treat these projects that I actually care about as temporary pacifiers because I’ll then either burn myself out or grow tired of something I had previously wanted to see through to fruition. Rather than diving into some personal projects I’m scheduling a break for myself. My desire to create isn’t going to disappear, but acting on it too early when I’m likely still drained will only negatively impact that desire.

This morning I took off to head to Lawrence, Kansas for the NAIA Cross Country National Championships; I want to take this time to just relax and focus on my race. When I get back I’ll be spending a week with my girlfriend and taking time off of running which will let me refresh my mind. I’ve been non stop working for months now, and when I began thinking about this creative break I asked myself the following question: “What am I trying to prove by working non stop?” Creativity much like running requires rest.