One of the unexpected perks of my vacation is that I broke my biggest bad habit: mindlessly watching TV every evening. During my month off, I watched almost no television (well, okay, I did watch the first two episodes of Season Two of “Downton Abbey”). For four weeks, instead of watching TV each night, I painted. I read. I went out with friends. I had long dinners. I went for walks. I drank cocktails on rooftop terraces and in hidden gardens.
I had all kinds of free time to do whatever I wanted; when I came back to my “regular” life, I found that there just wasn’t space in my life anymore for hours of repeats of “Without a Trace.” I’ve replaced it with hours of drawing and painting. Making this time to create has added some balance into my life: I look forward to wrapping up my client work each afternoon so I can spend time on my art.
With daily practice, I’ve also somehow managed to quiet the negative voices I used to hear – the ones that liked to say “This is going to suck,” and “No one will ever buy this” – whenever I sat down to create. I believe I should be able to keep them at a distance as long as I do my creative work regularly. And I will continue to do my creative work regularly.
I like this change a lot. I don’t feel like I’m on vacation any more, but I do feel like my time off has made my “regular” life so much better, and has changed me in more ways that I’d thought it would. I’m so grateful for my time away – and I’m planning my next big adventure.