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Monday Series: A Story About Limits


There is so much to do; and I still feel really burnt out.

Monday started off well. I wrote the blog post and was reasonably productive all day; did a lot of exercise.

Tuesday was less productive. Found myself slipping; rebelling against my "get it all done early so you don't have to stress at night" mantra.

By Wednesday, I was almost paralyzed. It culminated in a huge breakdown on Wednesday night that kept me awake had me questioning everything. Shoutout to Josh for his support during that shitstorm.

Thursday was the breakdown hangover. I took most of the day off of work to try to recover. It was reasonably successful. I set aside the 15 minutes a day goal for C&B.com and art. I didn't have the energy for it.

Friday was a little better. Work was a little more comfortable but I didn't do much in the way of business or art. I joined a virtual would-be-bachelorette celebration. It was fun but I stayed up too late.

The weekend was ok. I was able to tidy up my apartment, which generally makes me feel better. I read a bit. Worked on the business and some thumbnails for an illustration contest that I'm hoping to enter if I can finish in time.

I'm sorry to report that I feel just as exhausted today as I did last Monday. I pushed past my limits and I'm paying for it.

So what now? 

I genuinely don't know. 

Let's be optimistic for a second. Despite the midweek-breakdown that forced the end-of-week recovery, I still made progress against my goals. Here's a list of some of the things I accomplished. Maybe I should actually write these down next week instead of trying to remember them all. I'm going to miss some.

C&B.com:

  • Transitioned my newsletter setup from Mailerlite to Omnisend.
    • Created a new Welcome Email.
    • Created a new homepage popup for email subscribers.
    • Created a @crookedandbeautiful.com email address that I've started putting on all the things.
  • Set up payment information.
  • Accidentally bought something from my own site which led me to realize that some of my products weren't actually listed as physical objects. Oops.
  • Fixed all of the products so they're real now.
  • Read about and got overwhelmed by shipping information. Set it to default.
  • Got overwhelmed by the realization that tax might be really complicated and vowed to figure that out later.
  • Set up a linkt.ree for Instagram.
  • Added a few more things to my to do list.  :-(

Art: I'm attempting to enter SVS Learn's April Art Contest. I've watched it from afar for years in all of its iterations. I've entered twice but only when the thing I was already working on sort of fit the prompt. This month, I thought I'd try to develop something specifically for it.

  • Research & Development: planning, brainstorming, and Pinterest board.
  • Thumbnails: I only got to 33. Sorry, Lee White. Time is tight.
  • Whittled down the thumbnails to 3-ish concepts that I want to explore for my roughs. I'm going to need to combine some ideas... maybe that means I'll increase to 36 thumbs. I want to follow Lee's method but I'm running up against a deadline here. I started this kind of late in the month.

So where does that leave us? Stressed I think.

I have a large project for work that I really need to finish as soon as I can. Like.. yesterday. So I'm aiming for as much progress as possible this week. This thing has been taking up a lot of my mental energy and will continue to do so; especially if it continues sitting above my head like a storm cloud.

This art piece is due on April 30th. What day is that? Oh wow! Next Thursday. I have more time than I thought, actually. Hmm, I just felt a big weight lift off my chest. Well, a medium sized weight. Ok, a 5lb weight. But it counts.

Lastly, it's not lost on me that this C&B.com site is lingering. I'm sort of preventing myself from moving onto the MC.com update until I've gotten the C&B.com site as finished as possible (for now) so I feel like I'm trapping myself by spinning my wheels here. That said, with the two timeline driven things above, I think this one has to fall third on the priority list.

When I say third, I mean per day. I would love to continue the pomodoro technique on the art and website if possible, but since the time blocks always extend beyond 15 minutes, I am going to hold myself to the priority order above.

  1. [Exercise/healthy-ish-food is the unspoken top priority here. I have been trying to make sure I do a little bit of movement every day. But it generally happens in the late afternoon/evening. And then I cook something if I don't have leftovers. It's worth documenting because it generally takes up at least an hour or two of the day but I'm not comfortable compromising my health in the interest of productivity.]
  2. Make enough measurable progress on the work project each day in order to free space in my mind/anxiety for:
  3. Art - allow this to extend past 15 if I feel like it.
  4. Website - also allow this to extend but since it will likely result in working late into the night, 15 is all that's required.

This feels like a lot of work and I'd be lying if I told you I was super energized and optimistic about the week ahead. I'm actually feeling a lot more defeated on this Monday than I did last week. That doesn't bode well. I'll do what I can, I guess. I've written a schedule for myself today. This usually results in stress because the rebel in me deviates from it almost immediately. Perhaps today will be different. Hard to say.

I've been reading Untamed by Glennon Doyle. It's shaking me up in a way that books like this usually don't. I've become desensitized to topics of this nature, I guess; given how many of them I consume. But this one is different. This one is forcing me to take a look at the various cages I'm locked in and ask myself if I have the keys to get out. Take this blog, for instance. The whole thing has been an oxymoronic study in locking myself in my own cage of productivity while attempting to break out of society's cage of "career success." What an interesting juxtaposition. Though, if I have to be in a cage, I guess I'd prefer one that I designed myself.

I just feel like there is something better than investment graphs out there, you know? I only wish I knew what it was. This C&B stuff feels so foggy to me. It's so hard to see a clear path forward even after months and years of brainstorming and journaling. It's all so uncertain. Ugh, this is a line of discussion that would fill encyclopedias if I let it so I'm going to stop for now. I have a plan for today and that is enough. Follow the headlights until you reach the next checkpoint, Monique. It's all you can do.


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