#13: Do I Have It in Me to Do It Again?
Yesterday, I took the day off. It was the first day in weeks that I didn't have my daughter, or plans, or work, or company coming over, and I spent the day reading a book. A whole book, start to finish. Just in case you think I was being lazy, I also slept in until 9:30, took a nap later in the day and, in a fit of productivity, made dinner. But other than that....nothing. It was heavenly.
Earlier in the week, I had said that I wanted to get some work done, writing and planning, on Sunday, but I just felt like a day off would be better, so I didn't dig into my research or do any writing. However, when we got into bed last night, Brian turned to me and asked, "How did you do it before, with Legion? Didn't you work every day, like 12-14 hours?"
I understood the subtext of this question—why was I resting, instead of putting in 12-14 hours a day, seven days a week now, when I am trying to launch something new? I also understood that Brian wasn't judging me, he was simply trying to understand my process. I've thought a lot about this, actually—why I did that back then, and why I'm unwilling to turn my whole life into work now, so I was able to give him a few reasons.
I have a family now. With a nine-year-old and a new marriage, the math on how much time I can/want to/am able to spend on work is different. I don't remember anything about the first two years of my child's life, and I'm not willing to make that kind of sacrifice again. Life is too fleeting and my family too precious.
I've learned a few things. When you are starting a new business for the first time, the learning curve is pretty steep. Now that I've done it a few times, I know some shortcuts and understand the effort/benefit ratios better.
I know the value of rest. I used to think that there was some kind of virtue in working yourself sick, but now I understand that to be a good business owner, boss, mother, partner, consultant, or human, you have to rest sometimes. I have no interest in working myself into a nervous breakdown again.
The point of business is to support my life. Not the other way around. I'm turning 40 this year, and I've worked to create a life that I love. Any business I start or work in should support my life (in a multitude of different way, including monetarily). My life should not exist solely to support a business. If I design a business that eats my life, I'm doing it wrong.
All those reasons combine to result in days like yesterday, when I read a book, and snuggle with my husband and daughter, and rest. The work will get done, and I'll work hard at it. But I won't give up the rest of my life for a business again.