Tu Ha An - Dreamlike & Multicultural Illustration

I don't know how to rest (yet)

I work too much. And I don’t know how to rest.

Or to be more precise, I have no trouble working hard, and I don’t know how to stop before I’m exhausted.

If you’ve read the article My secret weapon for creative productivity, you’ll know that I’m starting to insert mini-breaks into my schedule and that I’m pretty methodical about managing working time.

But a problem built up over 20 years can’t be solved in 2 years of awareness.

Contrary to what you’re used to reading on the blog, this article doesn’t propose any tools or solutions, because I myself haven’t yet found a suitable method.

Rest stresses me out

In my memories, for educational and cultural reasons, rest would inevitably lead to arguments, punishment or humiliation.

Today, “voluntary” rest makes me more anxious than a client project deadline.

I know I need to rest!

Or more precisely, it was my body, with its alarm system of migraines, tendonitis, lumbago, heartburn… that made me understand this.

I was stubborn, but I had to admit that my body was right, after the 2 times it sent me to the emergency room.

“You just need to rest!” The phrase that stresses me out the most

After the 2nd trip to the emergency room, I changed my career path.

I’m completely fulfilled in my current job, my dream job: illustrator.

But like many other freelancers, since I’m happy working, it’s all the easier to increase my workload.

I thought I was Wonder Woman. But my body reminds me that I’m not.

When someone kindly tells me, “You just need to rest!”, I feel anxious, I feel guilty for not succeeding at something so obvious, and I feel even more trapped in my problem.

“A break” is not yet a notion my brain can accept without fear.

Do you see people who have lived in poverty for too long, and the day they have money they find it hard to spend?

They’re afraid they’ll spend it badly, they’re afraid they’ll waste it, they’re afraid the money will vanish overnight, when there’s no reason for it to.

In my case, it’s the time I never had before, when I had to draw in secret, scrape a few minutes here and there to create, or abandon ideas for lack of time.

Now that I have a bit more time, I’m afraid of wasting it.

“Forcing” the child to rest

See how little kids go crazy when they’re tired?

I’m the same way.

When I’m tired, I snap. I feel annoyed at my inability to estimate the workload. I feel disappointed by unfinished work. I’m ashamed of falling into distress.

I’ve observed among my friends, who have become parents, that their method of calming the child is to gently ask him to put his toys away and accompany him to bed.

So I gave Romarin permission to confiscate my computer and decided to… go to Canada for a whole month!

By the time you read this, I’ll probably already be on a plane to Montreal.

I wanted to…

I had planned to publish a YouTube video for today, but I didn’t have time to edit it…

I wanted to write a Creati’letter to be sent automatically at the end of the month, but I didn’t have time to type it…

I wanted to…

Anyway, my computer has been confiscated.

I’ll certainly be stressed at the thought of resting.

But this radical decision will prove to me that there will be no more negative consequences if I rest, that I’ll survive mentally without working, and that if my creations bring value to those who discover them, you’ll always be there, here, on the blog, and on YouTube, and on Instagram.

Well… I hope so 😁

So, you see, the blog is taking a summer vacation. The new articles will return in September with the same rhythm: the 5th and 15th every month.

I hope you manage to get the rest you deserve.

In the meantime…

Keep creating!

Tu Ha An

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  • Thao Nguyen

    Em rất đồng cảm với chị An luôn! Nhất là đoạn ” I feel disappointed by unfinished work. I’m ashamed of falling into distress.” Nếu không đọc bài này, em thực sự nghĩ chị An là Wonder Woman thật luôn, mà đọc xong rồi lại thấy càng gần gũi hơn. Tất cả chúng ta đều là human thui. Cố lên chị nhá 😉

    • Tu Ha An

      Yayyy cảm ơn em nhé. Chị rất vui vì em cảm thấy đồng cảm với những chia sẻ rất cá nhân này. Yes, chúng ta, những human muốn tạo nên những điều wonder hãy cùng cố gắng nhé :*

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