When I started freelance writing on Upwork two and a half years ago, I was barely stringing together enough contracts to get by.
Today, I’m a few weeks out from starting a year-long contract—that has the option for an extension at the end of 2019—with my biggest client yet.
When I started freelance writing, it was just me doing the work so deadlines could be flexible.
Today, I’m often a part of a bigger team and so any shifts to my schedule impact the other people whom I’m working with.
When I started freelance writing, self-care was an afterthought and something I rarely practiced.
Today, I’m scheduling it into my calendar on a daily, weekly, monthly, and yearly basis.
Everything from my daily practice of writing, budgeting, and exercising.
To my weekly practice of taking the weekend off to properly rest and recharge.
To my monthly craniosacral therapy session and monthly massage.
To my future annual retreats with friends.
And while I now have the money—and budget—to plan for this regular self-care, there was another shift this year that allowed me to get to where I currently am.
That shift allowed me to get out of my own way and get to work doing what it is I feel called to do. It made it possible for me to care, genuinely care, about other people.
That shift involved laying a stable foundation for myself on which I could build the rest of my life. And it changed everything.
So now, I schedule in self-care.
Because me being well isn’t just about being able to take care of me.
It’s about being able to show up and do my best work.
It’s about me fulfilling my commitments to my clients and collaborators.
It’s about me enjoying this process of personal and professional growth.
We live in a world that measures success in big ways. The people we interact with want to hear a story that will dazzle them. That will either inspire them to get to work or convince them that doing great things is out of reach.
In reality, most change is slow and unseen. Progress is something that we experience at the micro level with occasional bursts at the macro level.
To the self-care that I’m doing.
Because in a world that would have you destroy yourself in an attempt to create your art, it’s a radical act to choose not to do that.
To leave the hustle for gradual and sustainable growth.
To be well because you have the privilege of scheduling time for that to be possible.
To find and appreciate the magic in the mundane.
So, what self-care do you need to add to your calendar?