This week's free write is in the same vein as last week's. I mentioned last week that I often thought of myself as "23 going on 40" and that's no exaggeration. The realization can be both good and bad, and that's what I'm going to talk about today.
I'm a 23 year old college grad with no intention (or desire) to ever work a 9 to 5. Okay, so obviously if push came to shove and I needed to work a set 40 hour a week schedule, I would. I'll do anything I need to to make sure I fulfill my dreams, but that's not the point. My entire college experience was overrun with projects, deadlines, and paper cuts. O'More left absolutely no time to "party" or have a typical college experience. For this I am grateful. What I mean by that is... I've never been much of a "partier" and while I am not sad in the slightest to have missed that, that's not to say I wouldn't have fallen victim to it like a few of my friends did. A few dropped out, a few managed to squeak through. But O'More didn't really let you do that. It was make or break. I spent 4 years obsessing over projects and deadlines that I didn't have time to socialize. But I never felt like I was missing out.
Fast forward a year or two and I still feel the same way. I don't go out to bars because I work at one. On the rare occasion we're visiting friends out of state we'll go out, but aside from shows here and there, I still don't get out much. Not that I'm a cat lady shacked up with my mister and nothing better to do. But I prefer to work. While I have no intention of having a corporate 9 to 5 job, I easily work 80+ hours a week. Whether it's on Honeybean, bartending, or design work... I'm constantly working. I'm constantly checking and responding to emails. There's even blog stuff to do. All of these things pay my bills, and I love every single one of them (This is where I feel really really lucky). I'd rather work my fingers to the bone than to go out and do typical "college/early 20s" things. Maybe I'm just shy. Or anti-social. Or both. Either way, I enjoy working more than I do socializing. This can be a good thing (to a certain degree).
There's not a single day that goes by that I don't almost-obsess over the future. Where are we going to move? Where are we going to open our brick and mortar? What about the schools in that town? Will our kids have a good future there? How far away is it from family/friends? It's ridiculous. This is where the "not so good" part comes in. 90% of the things I think about are totally irrelevant at the time anyway! This is also where that "worry/stress" tendency I have comes into play. I've realized that over the past few years that I've been so focused on the future that I've totally missed out on a lot of the present. Rather than explore Nashville for all it has to offer, I spend an embarrassing amount of time checking PadMapper and Google Earth for acceptable neighborhoods/towns to move to. Instead of enjoying Honeybean for the amazing blessing it has been, I'm obsessively searching for the next place to set up. It can get overwhelming.
I'm always trying to find the balance of never being too satisfied/content, and never taking the present moment for granted. It's so easy to do. It's so easy to completely overlook the fact that I'm blessed with so many amazing people and opportunities when I'm always looking for something else to do.
Maybe it's a good stance to have when it comes to business, but I want to make sure my business doesn't overrun my personal life. I consider a large portion of my "personal" life to be both that and business, but finding that equilibrium can be hard/daunting. Working from home on freelance design makes it difficult to separate my home/work life (and by difficult I mean impossible). Then I go to a bar to work on the weekends where most people go to socialize (and I get to do that, too, so that line stays blurred there also).
While I'm only 23 (and we do not plan on having children any time soon!), I constantly daydream about finally being a mom. I know that will be an absolute game changer for us and our businesses, but it's something I think about constantly. (Secret time: I totally have a little stash of baby girl dresses that I've collected over the years. Vintage and handmade. Mike rolls his eyes and tells me no each time but I can't pass them up! Another secret: This scares me into thinking karma will never let me have a girl! haha See! These are the things my brain thinks of!) I think about our future house, our yard, our mailbox (!!!) and flowerbed. I daydream about our shop and how we'll decorate. I think about how our children will (hopefully) grow up in our shop and work there and maybe one day we'll pass it on. I get so wrapped up in what's to come that I forget to stop and enjoy it now.
I'm terrified that I'm going to wake up one morning, really be 40, and feel like my early 20s were a blur. This is such an exciting time in our lives! Opening our businesses, establishing ourselves, exploring, getting married... it's so great. But I always catch myself saying "I can't wait until..." I need to learn to think in the present.
While I think it's important to always strive for more and to never become too satisfied, I'm trying to avoid the incessant urge to say "more more more!" I want to grow as a business owner, a person, a soon-to-be-wife, daughter/in-law, etc. But I don't want my need to be "better" than I was yesterday to overshadow my relationships with people.
So I have to ask... how do you handle the balance? Where do you find that equilibrium in your life? Are you a business owner with a personal life to manage? Give me your secrets! I need them! ;)
♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥
My Honest-To-Blog series is a weekly feature on LCH where I free-write about personal thoughts and situations. They're completely open, honest, and never edited. What you read is how I think... and sometimes it's a real big jumbled mess! You can read the rest of the series so far by clicking HERE!