No. 26: Time away

Studio Sunday by Gianna Andrews
Collage from the cabin weekend

Happy December! The last month of the 2023. We made it.

I hope you all had a wonderful long holiday weekend last week. But even if it wasn't wonderful, that's okay too. If it was chaotic with family, I feel you. If you were working long hours while seemingly the entire country had time off, I see you. The holidays have a way of making us feel isolated. At least, I know they made me feel that way for most of my life. 

However, whatever may have come out of your holiday weekend, I hope you took a moment to feel grateful for the gifts present in your life. Perhaps that gratitude went towards your best animal friend, or the way the morning light shines in your window, or the heater that keeps your house warm this time of year. I find that my appreciation for the little things lays the foundation for my overall experience of life.

Every Thanksgiving since 2017, I've been busy planning and prepping for holiday sales, marketing campaigns, packaging orders, etc. It was the most insane time of year for me, and every year I tried to balance all of that with showing up for my family—needless to say it is difficult to be in two places at once, and every year I found myself entering into December burned out and desperate for a break from everything and everyone.

But this year, for the first time in 7 years, things were different. In 2023, I've changed the way I engage with my business. Now, I am focusing my work on the art itself and the change it can bring. To align my winter plans with these changes, I only have two holiday offerings, the 2024 Calendar and ornaments, as compared to a whole line of holiday products like years prior.

So this year, we booked a staycation on the east side of the Cascades with my mom's side of the family. I was determined not only be present with my family but also enjoy myself instead of obsessing over work. Turns out the time away was exactly what we all needed. 

We spent three days hanging in the cabin and exploring the surrounding area. The whole weekend I literally kept loosing my phone around the cabin, which ended up playing in my favor because my intention was to spend time with the fam, not be glued to my phone. Staying in the cabin all together also made it so we spent more time together than we normally would. Instead of a couple hour visit with each other, it was a full blow 3-day event. For the first time in seven years, I was actually relaxed at the end of November. 

Growing up with divorced parents, I have multiple family units in my life. I used to wish my family fit into that traditional box of what I thought a family “should” look like, especially around the holidays. But the older I get, the more I simply appreciate the time I get to spend with the people I love. It doesn't matter what it looks like on the outside. 

Wishing you all a peaceful first week of December <3

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