Visualizing My Schedule as it Flows

We are now six and a half years into our adventures in creative self-employment. The first eighteen months were all about scrambling to find ways to bring in more money and to spend less. The two years after that were all about growing the business and figuring out how things work. We succeed at business growth until we spent a year and a half so insanely busy that we had to learn how to turn down opportunities. The past 18 months have been one long effort to balance work and life in ways that allow both to prosper.

At each stage I had to re-conceptualize how I managed my life and the lives of our family. Last year I struck upon thinking of our schedule as a fluid river with a few fixed points rather than trying in December to plan the following April, May, June. Things always change in between and if I picture them already set, I have to re-set them. If they flow, then changes in the fixed points alter the flow without me having to panic. Conventions and appearances are fixed business points. Book creation and releases are fluid. Kid concerts and school schedules are fixed. Family outings and housework are fluid.

Most of the big fixed points for this year were placed on the calendar last Fall. One of the most important ones was a family vacation. I put it on Spring Break and I made reservations for a place we could go. I expected to arrive stressed and worried about work. I particularly expected it after the addition of a convention right before it and right after it. I’m not stressed. I can see how things will flow. It is all going to be fine. I’m looking forward to our departure.