I’m on vacation this week. I also call it my sabbatical. I really needed it. Since the beginning of 2016, I have been hustling with my day job, freelance projects, and my watercolor business. In the meanwhile, I have to take care of my family as well. With the new baby on the way, I know I have to take some time off to rest and to recharge. This doesn’t mean that I don’t do anything besides stay at home watching TV and sleep in everyday. Rather, I spend more time with my family and do the things I love, which means watercolor!
Burnt out is very real. And it doesn’t always come from work. I’ll say most of my stress don’t really come from work, but the lack of personal time and being unable to do what I want. To be able to identify the source of stress is very important for an artist (actually, it is important for anyone). If you are burnt out, your creative energy is drained and your motivation goes down. I never want to make painting a chore or something that I got forced into! It should be a reward for myself. After all, shouldn’t you feel rewarded when you’re doing something that you love? I don’t want other aspect of my life sabotage my passion for watercolor. Of course, it is important to have a steady income to provide for my family, and I do love my day job. But I need to take sabbatical once in a while to relax and refocus.
I’m writing this post during my stay here at Cle Elum, WA. I was able to do a plein air painting today. Because of my daily routine and having two small children, it is difficult for me to find time to paint on location. But I was able to enjoy the luxury of spending a few hours on location to paint! And that is my reward during this sabbatical week. I don’t know what does sabbatical mean for you, but I urge you to plan those out once in a while if you are starting to lose motivation to paint, feeling too tired to paint, or starting to enjoy less when you paint. It doesn’t have to be an expansive trip. But it needs to:
- Allow you to paint without worrying about other things in life.
- Make you excited about painting again.
- Let you focus on the most important thing for you in your life.
I am convinced that many people are spending time on the things that are not what they should be focusing on, while most think they are obligated to do so. The result of a lifestyle that focuses on the wrong things can be very exhausted! Imagine an athlete forced to sit in an office and work on tax for months. While he/she might not be tired physically, he/she will be mentally drained! Here’s a quote that says it well:
I understand not all of our responsibility are our passion and expertise. But if you don’t set some time to only focus on what’s important for you, you will burn out and not have energy left for what you love. In my case, that is painting watercolor. Protect your passion!