So today marked an interesting, welcome but also somewhat uncomfortable transition that happens every year, when I go from working flat out at the trees to all of a sudden time opening up, and being able to shift to other projects.
It's welcome because I have been working every day since October 25th with only Thanksgiving day off. It's uncomfortable because after working that long and that hard, I feel funny doing other things, like I'm constantly waiting for the other shoe to drop and to realize that I forgot something.
And it's interesting because in that transition lies a lot of opportunity.
I can use the shift to make big changes, clear up messes and spaces I've been letting fester while I dealt with the pressing present moment. My office, for one, is almost impassable.
But the chance to see systems clearly and change them is also evident for non-physical systems: how do I handle my bookkeeping (poorly); would I be better served by a more educated approach to my website development (undoubtedly); what's my broader strategy for the year ahead?
This coming year is an exciting one for me on a professional level. My book is coming out in May, the magazine will hopefully start to feel more like a fluid, understood process, I'm lining up teaching gigs both in person and online (for more on that, read the previous post). I'm booked two months out at a daily quota 3x that of what I was booking per day this time last year, and I'm looking forward to working with some new wholesale partners.
It's also a year in which I will be deliberately pushing myself to engage on more platforms than I have thus far been willing to do. Instagram remains the pillar app for my work, but I have the podcast, and the Spooncarving Collective on Mighty Networks (if you don't know what this is there is a blog post about it too), and I'm gently exploring what Facebook, Linkedin an Twitter have to offer. I'm taking seriously the fact that we are living in a moment where attention on these platforms is as easy to get as it's ever going to be: it will only get harder. So I'm pushing myself to make the long term investments in these platforms that will hopefully pay off in years to come.
Transitioning also means spending more time with my family. I'm going to have lunch with my grandmother tomorrow (who is out of the nursing home finally) and muck out her study. We're planning an extended family visit to the Boston Science Museum at the end of the month. And I've gotten on top of my portion of the presents for this Christmas.
But the transition comes with the end of a simple, straightforward pattern (go to the farm and do as much as possible until it gets dark, every single day) and the start of a more nuanced, murky expectation that asks me to balance professional and personal values and goals. This can be sweeter than just pushing and pushing, but also more confusing.
Either way, like so many things in life, I don't get a choice. Here it is, and the best I can do is to try to navigate it with as much grace as I can muster. Wish me luck!
My blog has evolved into a series of short essays on the nature of entrepreneurship, craftsmanship, and their overlap. If either of these topics is something you think about, you will probably like this.