Slow Down and Rest–That’s an Order!

I love what I do at Big Fat Soap, but being a sole proprietor is hard work. One of the reasons I choose to be self-employed is so that my work schedule can be flexible. What a great plan! You may be thinking . . . but reality is when you work from home and are Director of Everything, like me, you tend to work far more hours each day than a typical American employee – 7 days a week. Orders must be filled and shipped, supplies must be inventoried and stocked, marketing and sales tasks must be done, forecasting, reports, planning, follow-up with customers, and on and on it goes. It is truly never-ending. Add to the equation, the personality type who feels guilty sitting down to read a book or relax in the garden during day-time hours, and you have potential trouble.

A friend I’ve met recently—also an entrepreneur—gave me some valuable advice: You MUST take a day off. This is not negotiable. I’ve been replaying her words in my mind and I know that it is important, but I haven’t been able to heed her advice until . . .  one day I got the message.

Not immediately, because I tend to be rather stubborn when it comes to messages.

Ten days ago I was hurrying through my kitchen responsibilities to slice some green onions for tacos and well, I’ll spare you the gruesome details, but I had an incident with a very heavy, sharp knife. A trip to ER and a heavily bandaged index finger later, reality began to set in. How would I get my work done?  It’s just one finger, on my non-dominant hand – no big deal. Oh how wrong that reasoning was. I’m very aware there are MUCH worse things that others suffer from daily. I’m lucky! But I didn’t feel lucky. In fact, after only a few days, I was a bit depressed. And the idea of one hurt finger causing this, only depressed me further.

Every task, it seemed, was overwhelming: Tooth flossing? A twenty minute endeavor. Shower? Just the prep alone, wrapping hand and finger in plastic, ugh. And the actual washing and shampooing part? Double-ugh. Trying to type emails, absolutely exhausting. Cleaning up the kitchen? Too much effort to bother. Weed pulling or egg-collecting? No way. Soapmaking was out of the question. Day after day I fell farther behind. So I resorted to something I’m not proud of, I took naps. I rested.  And then the guilt set in. Until yesterday, nine days into my plight, when I realized that what I actually needed all along was rest. I was tired.

Now that my finger is healing nicely and I can actually type and wear a rubber glove (a necessity in my line of work), routine tasks are becoming less of an ordeal. What a relief.

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Slowing down allowed me to notice the flowers on my snap peas. So glad I didn’t miss this.

I hope I remember the lessons learned: Slow down. Take time off. Nap. That’s an order! Also: When slicing green onions a small knife will do.

12 thoughts on “Slow Down and Rest–That’s an Order!

  1. Good for you, Debbie. Glad to hear you attained some good advice now rather than later. Yes, owning your own business is more work than a regular 9 – 5 ‘er. Much more work, My parents owned their own business and they weren’t home much, especially my dad, but you do what you have to. Happy for you that all is in prospective now. God Bless you and your work. Karen

  2. You are awesome Debbie. You write beautifully and your passion for what you do is in everything you touch. Your soaps, your flowers, your photos and your life. Thanks for sharing a part of you, your words inspire.

  3. Thanks, Karen. It’s nice to have others understand our life-situations. Thank you so much for taking the time to check in and comment. I appreciate it.

  4. It’s kind of funny…I know from experience that if you don’t have the sense to slow down, God will find a way for you to do just that. It worked, I would say…

  5. Debbie – you are so right! We really gain a new perspective when we are forced to slow down. When I ruptured my bicep last year and was one-armed for three months, I learned a lot about what was truly necessary to keep things going vs what was essentially busy work. I also had the opportunity to work on building my patience and learning to accept help from others – neither are my strong points!

  6. Such great advice! It is so hard for us to do that sometimes. I found myself getting frustrated with my toddler yesterday because I couldn’t get any work done. Then, I realized all he wanted was my attention! Sometimes, it is the little reminders we need. Glad you are healing!

  7. Deb, I always love your posts. So sorry to hear about your hand!! I have taken to laying down and napping for 1 hour a day to split up the morning/noon/night shifts of working for a start up. It feels quite good and gives a break to the day. Love you! Diana

  8. Fascinating blog! Is your theme custom made or did you download it from
    somewhere? A design like yours with a few simple adjustements would really
    make my blog jump out. Please let me know where you got your design. Bless you

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