Being a new parent has taught me a lot about myself. It is especially difficult when the these lessons expose my shortcomings. It has always been difficult for me to admit to others that I need help or I am unable to follow through with something; however, I can usually admit it to myself. I am not sure why but for the last 5 months I have been trying to convince myself that I can handle all of the commitments I have made to myself. I was bouncing back and forth between projects and something always seemed to suffer. As my stress levels climbed, I began to realize that something was wrong but I still was not being honest with myself.
Last week I hit a wall and realized that something needed to change. I had to really step back and take a hard look at myself and figure out what was wrong and how I could change it. I did something I hadn’t done in a long time – I took time to be alone and just think. I had spent the last 5 months in one of two modes – work or zone-out. There were so many commitments I had made to myself that I was constantly planning and thinking and working, when I finally got a moment to relax all I wanted to do was turn off my brain and play video games.
“I was biting off more than I could chew…”
Looking back at it, I have trouble pin-pointing the exact moment I realized the issue or but I won’t let myself forget it any time soon. I was biting off more than I could chew and taking on too much at once. I had put so much pressure on myself to do and learn more that I had pushed myself too far. I was unable to admit to myself that I could not meet my own expectations.
After my epiphany I spent the next 20 minutes or so fighting myself on what to do about it. It was obvious I had too much on my plate. What I needed to do was pick one project, a small one, and focus on that as my creative outlet. I found the difficulty was not in finding one I wanted to do, but finding one that was not too much of a time commitment. I had to get my brain to stop trying to create something awesome and instead to try to create something manageable and grow it gradually. The reality is I am a full time employee, and a full time dad and husband, I don’t have time in the day to also be a full time Web Designer or a full time Project Manager. I needed to take an honest look at what I can do. I have a lot of great ideas that are just not possible to succeed at with only 8 to 10 hours a week to put into them.
As you may have already guessed, the idea that won is this blog. A project that I started over a year ago and I have been neglecting. I chose it for a variety of reasons but the main one at the time was that it was the only project that didn’t cause my stomach to tie into a knot when I thought about it.
It took me stepping back and taking an honest look at myself and my life to realize I need a project that will align with my priorities and not just my passions. I need something that I can create with the time I have instead of cannibalizing time from other parts of my life. I need to not bite off more than I can chew. I need to take smaller bites.