When was the last time you took a moment to rest? This week’s video is just for you if you need permission to stop the world for a little while.
Christian is a sad panda. Sorry, Christian!
I got an email from Christian this week, saying that he or ze or she has only received one email from me since this person signed up a few weeks ago, just after we did our workshop and it does say in the welcome email for my newsletter that you’re going to receive something from me every week and you didn’t. Sorry Christian.
The truth is I’ve been taking a break for a couple of weeks. After we do our workshop and we have an enrollment period, that is a very, very intense period for a few weeks, as we try to cater to everybody’s needs and keep communicating with you about what’s happening. And that means that it’s very easy for me to get overworked.
So last year, I had a period where we did that workshop and the enrollment period and then I rode straight into making my Christian Dior reproduction dress for Costume College, and then I went to Costume College (on the other side of the world in Los Angeles) and then when I came back I was horribly burned out and I was really quite sick for about a month, and that was unnecessary.
So this time, I made sure that I took a break, and I was away for about three weeks. So the first week of that I was with my coaching group. I was working. The second two weeks, I was in San Francisco, as you might have seen on my Instagram. And yeah, I took a holiday. Even though I said I would be posting every week.
I’m sorry that I didn’t keep my word, but at the same time, it is important to take a break. And the reason it’s important, well I mean, it’s easy for me to say, you must take a break, we must all take vacations. But it’s easier said than done sometimes.
If you have a business or whatever kind of commitments you have at home, it’s difficult to walk away from that, because your business and your job and your family, that’s all responsibility that you feel like you’re leaving behind. And we tend to define our worth by what we do and not who we are. And you know where your worth really lies. It’s in what you are and not what you do. So it’s difficult to walk away, but I’m encouraging you to do so.
Walk away, take a break. And I mean take a break, take breaks during the day, and take breaks every now and then to take a week off, to take two weeks off. It’s easy for me to say and I know you know this already, but how often are you doing it?
It’s so easy to go for years at a time without taking any kind of vacation. And I don’t mean you have to be spending big money and going off somewhere abroad. You can take a staycation, as we call it in the UK and stay at home but treat yourself like you’re on vacation.
So it’s a little bit like how it is with your sewing machine. Have you ever left your sewing machine for too long between services? And the little work horse went for years and years and it just kept going and kept going and just then started to slow down, and slow down, and slow down, and gradually lost momentum or seized up or started having various kind of problems? And all it needed was a regular service. It needs a bit of maintenance every now and then.
I’m sure you know somebody or it may have happened to you, that you didn’t service your machine often enough or you didn’t put oil in your car often enough. (Guilty!) And it broke down. You are just the same. You’re not a machine. You are something much, much more complex than a machine. And much more expensive to fix, particularly if you’re in a country that doesn’t have a national health service, like we do in the UK!
But you know what I’m talking about. A service doesn’t cost very much. A vacation doesn’t have to cost very much. It’s worth taking a break every now and then so that you can get back up to speed and be working at full speed, working at full throttle. It’s a waste of time just to keep running yourself down, and down, and down, and down, and down, and work slower, and slower, and slower. You need to take a break, so I encourage you.
This is my message for this week. I encourage you to take a break. So this may have been slightly garbled. I’m still jet lagged. It’s been just about 24 hours since I got off plane. And now I’m back, I’m back at full throttle or I will be when I’m over the jet lag. And I’m ready to send you something again every week, whenever I can. I will commit to that now. So I hope you get inspired and do some sewing this week… But take a break first!
Cathy, I can’t love this enough. I ran into this and sent myself nearly to the hospital. I learned I am of no use to anyone if I run myself into the ground. I have learned the signs that I need a break and I try to listen to others when they start seeing the signs. It is amazing what happens when you do take a break – you can get 1000 times more done when you are fresh and ready to work.
Dear Cathy – Thanks for the encouragement, but please don’t feel guilty about not posting! You already do so much for us that I’m sure we don’t begrudge you time for yourself. I can’t wait to see what creation you assemble (or re-purpose) for Costume College this year, but no matter how little time you spend on it while keeping your work/life balance, it’s sure to be fabulous!
I don’t know when the last time I took a break was…It feels like it has been years honestly.
However, I am graduating from college in a week, so I will certainly be taking a long break very soon and I am very excited.
What a wonderful video, though I found this at the wrong time. I’m currently mid-essay and feeling ever so bored, but need to power through. I keep taking breaks to admire what I can find of your work on the Peacock dress. Keep up the amazing work!