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The Art of Balance - My plans for the rest of 2023!

20,000km and 3 1/2 months travelling around Oz, away from the realities and routine of life, certainly gave me plenty of time to think. Plenty of time to reflect and re-assess my priorities. Where I was spending all my time and energy.

In 2022, my little side art business exploded - and as a result, I spent every spare moment I had painting my butt off, along with all the hours of emailing, invoicing, quoting, website uploading and other admin required to keep a business running. This is in between working a full-time job and raising 2 kids!

I felt like I was rushing to get the kids to bed each night so that I could get in maximum evening painting time. I felt like I was neglecting my husband a little. I was thinking about my art and things I needed to get done all day every day, including dreaming about it!

Over the last 8 years, I've also had a very consistent gym practice, however, with my mind on the art and a thousand things on my to-do list, the gym also became an "occasional" thing I would do, and when I did do it, it was half-hearted. I was distracted between sets answering emails, looking at Instagram and really not focused at all. I noticed how different I felt without it. I miss it, I missed feeling strong and being proud of what my body can do and how it can move. I missed the endorphins and how they made me feel mentally.

I'm heading towards 40 and life certainly slips by quickly. My kids are 8 and 11 and they won't want to spend as much time with me soon. Bedtime reading and snuggles and kisses will disappear before I know it. I really need to pull back, slow down and try not to do ALL THE THINGS right now. This is not the season. The art will always be there.

I'm very much a people pleaser, I have trouble saying no. I'm a yes person, I'm driven and I do like to be busy. I get bored easily. I always need to be learning something new, absorbing new hobbies and interests like a sponge. I don't do anything by halves. I can be a bit of a perfectionist and can get a bit obsessed about things.

I also get stressed and overwhelmed easily. When I take on too much, my body is very good at telling me to slow down. I get sick. I get acne. I get big giant cold sores on my face. I feel exhausted. These are the classic signs I'm doing too much.

I needed this holiday so badly - I was really close to burnout. So as I return refreshed and relaxed from our lovely long time away, I'm going to try and be a little more balanced. Slow down a bit. Allocate my "art time", be strict with myself and stick to it - so it doesn't creep in and disrupt all the other parts of my life.

I'm going to re-commit to a non-negotiable gym practice, a realistic and not over the top 3 days a week of strength training and spend more time on my nutrition and fueling my body to build muscle.

I have a list of clients patiently waiting for me to return so I will (slowly) work my way through some commissions for the rest of 2023 and see how I go creating more of a balance with my art practice and the rest of my life.

Wish me luck - I do love it so much, but it quickly turns into an unhealthy obsession and addiction and my health suffers when I let it take over too much! I will just need reminding now and then that the art will be waiting for me to invest more time in future years when the kids don't need me around as much.

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