If you’ve been following along you’ll realize by now that I’m in the midst of a struggle to find my next new thing. I’m ready to take a break from new graphic design and brand management client work and move to something more sustainable for the long term. I want to stop trading my time for money and build assets that can sell over the long term with some upkeep, but not so much that I’m trading my time for money. Basically the traditional definition of passive income… but using the real definition, not the hot new version of the term that implies that I don’t have to do any work to earn the income.

And when I say struggle, that’s truly what’s going on in my head lately because I’m having a hard time picking a direction to take and mustering the energy it’s going to take to build something completely new.

But then I figured something out. It was a big lightbulb moment when I figured it out … it’s huge. But I can’t believe it took me so long to come to this realization.  Ready for it? Brace yourself, it’s big.

I don’t have to decide right now.

I told you it was big. It was a big DUH! moment for me. Why am I putting so much pressure on myself to decide right this very minute about what the rest of my business life is going to be? I have a full-time day job that pays my bills and provides the benefits I need to live a comfortable life. The business income is nice but mostly it’s play money and feeds my dream of one day quitting my job and working for myself. But there’s isn’t an urgency for that side business to sustain my lifestyle completely right now.

I’m tired. I need to take a break from service-based work. I need a change of scenery. I need a new challenge that excites me. I need a side business that gives me the added income I’m accustomed to so I have some pocket money that allows me to go on vacations, feed my electronic gadget habits, and keep me buried in art supplies.

What surprised me about this big realization – when I realized that that I don’t need to make a decision right this second. I was shocked at how free I felt all of a sudden. It was like the universe had been weighing on my shoulders and was just waiting for me to figure out that I needed a break.

Why was I putting so much pressure on myself to have a new side business lined up before I even finish the current one I have now? Well the answer is simple if you know me even a little bit … it has to do with being a control freak and needing to know all the future plans and have lists of tasks lined up ahead of time.

But why? Why do I have to operate like I always do and have all the things lined up neatly in a row? Why can’t I just chill out for a minute? Why can’t I just let life happen and enjoy the view? Why can’t I take a break and just play for a while?

My art studio

It’s been a while since I gave myself permission to play. Putting it on the calendar and scheduling it into my life. I think it’s about time to change that situation.

Years ago I converted one of the bedrooms in my house to an art studio. It’s huge and beautiful and stocked with (too many) fun art supplies. I used to spend hours upon hours in that room just playing, making and creating, experimenting and discovering. I love my art studio.

But then when I found myself in an “emergency house repair” situation 18 months ago, my art studio become the storage space and catch-all area for household stuff that needed to be relocated during construction. That construction project took nearly a year of DIY work but my little art studio never recovered. It’s still piled high with boxes and bags and books and miscellaneous crap that just needs to be sorted and purged. I want my art studio back!

Permission to Play!

So that’s my next big project. I’m giving myself permission to play. Permission to explore and be present. It’s time I swapped my computer mouse with a paint brush and glue gun for a while.

I’ll chronicle the process, of course (yes, I’m even going to show you the “before” pictures – maybe even a video – of what the art studio looks like right now, before I dig it out. Yikes!). I’ve come to love this little blog I’m creating and I want to use it more to document how my journey progresses. So it’s time I got back to the art of play and I’m going to take you along for the ride.