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Learn to Rest, Not to Quit

Google tells me this quote came from the infamous graffiti artist Banksy, but I can't find any verification on that claim. There are plenty of Pinterest style graphics with the quote typed next to an image of a small girl that totally looks like it could be a Banksy image, but nowhere could I find an actual photograph of the original piece, or any direct reference to one of his books. So whatever. I tried.

Whoever said it, this quote: "If you get tired, learn to rest, not to quit" has really resonated with me since the first time I saw it maybe a year or so ago. After a lifetime of committing myself to too much, reaching full overwhelm and freak out mode, and then quitting and hiding under my covers, this one simple line offered me an alternative.


Sure, get under those covers. But then get back out.


It's just one tiny little difference, but it leads to a whole lot less self loathing. When I reach that place of overwhelm because I've said "yes" to about seven more people than I should have... when everything inside of me is screaming to shutdown and withdraw and hide... I can give myself permission to do that - for a moment.


Before, when I reached that place, I'd lay under those covers (whether literal or figurative) and brood over how I had yet again proven myself to be a failure. I treated the decision to stop like an ultimatum. Final. Intractable.


It never occurred to me that I could substitute "stop" with "pause." Or "quit" with "rest."


I reflect on all of this here to say: I've been at that place again.


I have wanted to quit.


Months and months of home remodel - months more than there ever should have been - have left me drained and discouraged. I'm emotionally worn out. I'm terrified the house won't sell. I'm ashamed to say that at the end of all this, the original plan of buying a truck and a camper and hitting the road sounds so exhausting, I could cry.


With all that going on, I've had nothing left to give to this heart project of mine. Creative entrepreneurship requires more than simple execution: you have to emotionally 'show up.' Essentially, the very last thing I felt capable of. So, yeah. When it comes to this fledgling little business of mine, I've crawled beneath the proverbial covers again.


I'm here to say both that I am sorry, and also that I will do better. I'm already doing so much better than I have at those previous moments of overwhelm.


I've been hiding a bit, yes. But all the while I've been making plans for how I will transition back to full steam, where I will make up for lost ground, what pieces I can crank out for markets, what designs will be made into patterns next. But perhaps most importantly, I have given myself grace for shifting plans and expectations.



I've given myself permission to rest.


I'm putting this out there, both in case you've been wondering where the hell I've gone, and also on the fairly good chance that there's someone else out there dealing with a similar cycle.


You are not a failure. All is not lost. Fatigue is not the same thing as weakness.


Rest. And then when you're ready....


let's go.

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