Today, I found myself looking at painted furniture online.
Now, this isn't unusual for me. I'm happy to spend hours looking at before-and-after shots, learning new skills, and dreaming of my own projects.
As any crafter will tell you, the dreaming is almost as good as the doing!
But this wasn't normal looking. I was looking a lot. Like, a lot! I kind of couldn't stop.
And then I realized it. I wasn't just looking at furniture...
I was procrastinating.
I've got lots of faults, but I'll admit: I'm not a procrastinator.
For me, one of the keys of being successfully self-employed is self discipline.
I'm good at making my list, sitting down, and doing the work.
But not today.
Today, I dreamily drifted over photos of chalk paint and thrift store finds while my To Do List sat abandoned.
I was a little taken aback when I realized what I was doing. Why was I procrastinating? There's nothing too intimidating or burdensome on my list right now. Everything's pretty straightforward. We did a concert last night, but I got a good night's sleep. I should be good. Wait, we've been on the road for a while now...
When was my last day off?
So, I pulled out my calendar and started scrolling back. Back through the ten days in New Brunswick, back through East Coast Music Week, back through the final days of tour prep, back through our busy Easter season, and then I found it.
My last day off was SIX WEEKS AGO!!!
And if I'm really honest, my day off six weeks ago was technically a sick day, so not a proper day off at all...
Many years ago, when we were working on staff at a church, I started insisting on taking Mondays off. I realized that, if we didn't claim a day, everyone else would claim our time for us. Now, in freelance ministry, we continue to recognize the need for time off, so Monday is our day. I'm pretty strict about it. I keep it free of appointments, set up a vacation reply so I don't check email, and hide my phone.
Monday is our day...
Until it isn't.
I could tell you all the reasons why my busyness has been justified over the last few months - full performance schedule, tour planning, grant writing, and just to complicate things, a puppy in need of medical treatment and surgery.
But the fact is, I needed to take time for myself, and I didn't do it.
So, now I find myself on the road, which is always the busiest time of our year. On any given day, we're either rehearsing, planning, booking, performing, interviewing, driving, or some combination of these. For these two months, we'll drive across six provinces, sleep in about 50 different beds, and interact with thousands of people.
Don't get me wrong: it's amazing and we love it and we wouldn't give it up for anything! I love working hard, and I love what I do. My lifelong dream was to be a touring artist, and here we are, making that dream come true.
But the artist life is intense. Touring is especially intense. We need to be open and present at all times, and that takes energy and focus.
So today, I found myself feeling a little worn, and needing to look at furniture.
As soon as I realized what was happening, I took a deep breath. In the past, I might have reprimanded myself for procrastinating.
Today, I chose gentleness. I reminded myself of how often Jesus took time to rest. He also lived life on the road, traveling and sharing the Gospel. His work was much more intense and important than mine.
If Jesus could take time to rest,
surely the world can turn without me for a day.
(And if you caught the Jesus Christ Superstar reference in there, you are truly my people!)
This weekend, most of Canada will take a break as we celebrate Victoria Day. We're leading worship, and we can't wait to share Sunday morning with the wonderful people of Shediac Cape.
But Tuesday, we're taking a day off.
A full, proper day off.
On Tuesday, we'll be in beautiful Lunenburg. I'm going to sleep late, walk by the water, eat seafood, and visit gift shops. Or curl up in a cafe and read a book. Or maybe tour a museum. Or maybe, just do nothing.
We'll wait and see what the day holds...
That's the beauty, and necessity, of a day off.