It's easy to feel guilty for slowing down when you're self-employed in an industry of people consistently speeding up, but remember this - even a Lamborghini has to be serviced to drive its best. I spent this past weekend in the Keys with a few close friends. My time by the water was incredibly slow paced and exactly what I needed.
While NYC has an undeniable energy that makes this place my favorite spot in the world, I have to take breaks. I have to take a step back, take a deep breath, and remind myself of the big picture. This simple act has catastrophic effects on my overall state of being. I never fail to return home feeling refreshed and ready to dive back into the hustle - not just back in, but back in at 110%. You know how sometimes people say "you don't know what you've got until it's gone?" Perhaps this is what these little mini-vacations do for me, they show me a slower pace and remind me why I love my city and my life so much. They make me love the hustle all over again.
Two weeks back, I had a complication with a deal that led it to be shelved for a year - nothing out of the ordinary, nothing could have been done differently to handle it - just how this business goes sometimes. I knew I did my best, and this was best for my clients, but it still made for a shitty week. The following week I had some type of infection that caused my throat to swell and for me to lose my voice entirely. I was on a roll. I was completely exhausted. Mentally and physically. My first instinct was to hit the office hard and try to make up lost time. My mentors and friends knew better. Somewhat reluctantly, I agreed two days isn't going to make much of a difference considering. Best decision ever.
Sitting on the water surrounded by endless horizon helps puts things into perspective. Yeah, maybe I did have a shitty two weeks, but all-in-all, I'm light years past where I expected to be a year ago, and I've got a life I'm proud of. I have friends who support me, a healthy body, and a loving family. These things get buried in the rat race sometimes, but they were clear as the water I was floating on in that moment.
If you're feeling like things are getting rough, remember that smooth waters never made skilled sailors, and that rather than jumping overboard, it makes a lot more sense to adjust the sails. Take a breath. Smile. Conquer.