I know it’s been a while. I needed to step back and take a break for a little bit. But hey, it’s okay to take a break from blogging for a little bit.
This Weekly Sip is all about seasons.
And I don’t mean spring, summer, winter and fall.
This week, I broke the pattern of coffee shops and opted to check out a place called Matilda Midnight. It’s a swanky cocktail bar attached to the Dwell Hotel that opened last spring. I’d been wanting to check it out for a while, so I’m glad I finally stopped by.
On Mondays, Matilda Midnight offers a “Snacky Hour” special that includes three small bites and a cocktail for $10. It’s definitely not a full meal, but it’s a nice bite to enjoy after a long day at work.
This time, I sipped on a light, bubbly strawberry rhubarb champagne cocktail, accompanied by bites of a gruyere grilled cheese, tomato soup and a pesto salad. I love a good grilled cheese, and the gruyere just took that bite to a whole new level.
The snacks change each week, so I’ll have to go back another night and taste another round of bites.
Have you ever been in a rut? Felt like you aren’t on the right path? Gone through a rough patch? Wondered if you’re doing what you’re meant to be doing?
If you answered “no” to any of the above, consider yourself lucky. But I’d be willing to bet that you’ve experienced at least one of those feelings to some degree.
In fact, I’ve been feeling a little bit like that lately. It’s not the first time I’ve experienced those feelings, either; remember my quarter-life crisis? I’m not entirely sure why, but ever since my trip to New Orleans last month, I’ve been in a rut. I came back on such a high after a fun, stress-free weekend–a break I very much needed at the time–but I couldn’t keep the high sustained. I went to visit my parents and family in North Carolina over Memorial Day weekend, and that gave me a little time to rest and recharge before diving back into life as I know it in Chattanooga. I needed that time on the water to clear my head. But my head didn’t stay clear for that long.
I thrive on keeping myself busy. Outside of my job, I find projects that fuel my passions and keep my creativity flowing. Writing, social media consulting, teaching some friends how they can use social media to help their side projects and businesses… it’s all things I love. But lately I’m learning that there’s such a thing as “too busy,” and it can reach a breaking point.
There’s a song from the 1960s by a band called The Byrds that I’ve had playing in my mind lately. You may have heard it on the Forrest Gump soundtrack. Its lyrics are rooted in a passage from the book of Ecclesiastes in the Bible.
To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven: a time to be born, a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted; a time to kill, a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up; a time to weep, and a time to laugh… a time to get, and a time to lose; a time to keep, and a time to cast away… a time to love, and a time to hate; a time of war, and a time of peace. (Ecclesiastes 3: 1 – 8)
I need that passage painted on my walls.
I hate feeling stuck in a rut. I hate not enjoying things I usually love. I hate burnout. But the more I keep putting on my plate, the more likely I am to feel burned out, exhausted and worst of all, unmotivated. At some point, I have to realize that I’ve got too much on my to-do list and it’s time to give myself a break.
It’s okay to say, “it’s not you, work, it’s me.” It’s not a cop out in this case.
Rest is an often overlooked part of the creative process, at least in my world. I operate on “go, go, go” and “never stop learning and pursuing my passions” that I often don’t realize I’m exhausted or starting to burn out until it’s too late. As much as I’ve missed my blog in the last few weeks, I needed that break and didn’t want to force myself to keep writing and producing content when I knew my mind wasn’t in it.
So what do you do when you start to feel like you’re in a rut or going through a rough season?
First, be honest with yourself and those around you. Let other people know how you’ve been feeling and why you think you’ve been feeling that way. More often than not, they will notice when something is different and can offer guidance for how to address your feelings and fix it.
Next, think about what you can do to remedy those feelings. Do you need to take a break? Give yourself time to rest? Need a new outlook or perspective? Once you recognize that, take the steps you need to reach that remedy. Whether it’s a nap, a diet change, a routine or habit change or anything in between, do what you need to do.
Remember that these seasons happen and are a natural part of life. If you know how to respond to those seasons and adjust, then you’ll come out much stronger on the other side. Being able to recognize your struggles and when you’re going through a rough season is as important, if not more so than being able to produce the work and pushing yourself forward.
When was the last time you went through a rough season? What did you do to get past it and come back strong and motivated?