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Take it easy - slowing down from overwhelm.
Last month, in that fuzzy period between Christmas and New Year, I worked through Susannah Conway's course to choose a word to guide me through 2018.
I have done it before and find it a low drama way of guiding the feel of a year. It sounds faintly ridiculous to think that picking a word will change the way you live, but I have found that to be true.
Perhaps dazzled by the fairy lights around me I chose shining words - light and bright and luminesce. A feeling of stepping up and being me, a bright visibility, a bubble of joy.
Over the past month however, these words began to feel wrong - the lightness felt brittle, the shining just another thing to do.
So I revisited the exercise.
Almost immediately I found the word Ease.
It felt like a relaxing, the relief of your own bed at the end of a journey.
A recognition that I probably worked too hard in 2017.
So in 2018, it seems, I shall not be shining, I shall be taking it easy.
Good to know.
I have always been a swot. The fact that I can still vividly remember the time I got a row, in primary 5, for not doing all my homework is typical of my personality.
Even in 6th year, when I truanted a lot, I was taking myself and my history books to a local cafe and writing essays.
My self worth comes from getting the work done.
Domestically I am lazy as lazy can be, my bed is my favourite place, I am lax and infuriating to live with.
At work though - well that is a fury of taking on more and more and more tasks in an attempt to prove that I am working very, very hard.
If I am working long hours then no-one can say I am not doing my best - can they?
In 2017 sales from a couple of our main outlets nosedived, and I was faced with the reality of having to step up and actually let people know that we exist outside marketplaces.
It seemed that to do this I needed to learn about many thing - search engine optimisation, Facebook ads, retargeting ads, influencers, hashtags, optimum posting times, colours, sizes, clicks and algorithms . . . my lists took up pages and pages of my notebook.
Every day there seemed to be something extra added to my 'learn about' list - press releases, video live, meta-tags, alt-tags - and dozens more bookmarked instructional videos.
Walking the dogs, reading in bed, sitting with my family - my mind churned with confusion at all the things I was meant to be mastering and I became less and less 'there', more and more distracted.
And this is why, I think, my brain rejected 'Light' in favour of 'Ease'. It needs me to move away from all the shiny 'things to do' and relax into the things I feel comfortable with.
To do the things that feel easy - writing, designing, chatting, showing up - and to ignore the things that are just more work.
I still have to let people know what we do - particularly to help them understand what the Snapdragon Studio Membership is about - but I hope to be able to do that in ways that are easier for me. I hope to be able to become less overwhelmed.
I hope to be able to ask existing customers and members for help in spreading the word.
And in the meantime I have installed an app on my computer which temporarily stops all access to the pinging groups, emails, and forums with their shiny 'must figure outs'.
Hopefully this will let me get on with the kind of work which I find flows more naturally, and life in 2018 will be easy!