It’s July and for the second year in a row, we have rented out our house in Boulder for the month and relocated to our little place in Snowmass. The main goal for my time here is to rest and recharge — physically, emotionally, professionally, and creatively.  More specific goals include: daily meditation, quality time with Kate and the girls, reading books (real paper books, no Kindle or iPad), taking a break from computers, screens and social media, attending lectures, family meals, long bike rides that provide me with time to think, writing in a journal (with a pen and paper) and what I’m most looking forward to — a full week studying and making work with artists Tom Sachs and Dirk Westphal at Anderson Ranch. So yes, there is some irony in writing / posting this, but I also want to have a record of these intentions, as a future reminder.

When we did this for the first time last year, I was concerned that taking too much time away from work would become a problem, and I’d fall behind with marketing and spend months playing catchup. I was committed to turning down all but the most awesome commercial work. Fortunately that difficult decision never came up. But I try to remind myself that work will always be there. Opportunities to spend time improving the life you’ve built for you and your family are more rare, and it’s important to seize them. As a freelancer, this departure can be scary. It takes faith in the market, belief in yourself, good timing, and probably a bit of luck.

So while I had many concerns about this shift in gears, the extended time away actually had the opposite effect — I returned to Boulder last August totally refreshed and fired up to get back to work. My time in the mountains had given me a new perspective that allowed me to recalibrate my creative intentions, and I felt more focused and confident than ever before. The uncertainty and insecurity that can cloud my judgement had melted away, and I felt like I could see where I wanted to go more clearly. Looking back on the year since, I can see the effects of that clarity — I have worked on more projects that have engaged my creative skills and interests than ever before.

I’m now convinced that there is a big difference between taking a week here, a week there, versus taking a full month to achieve a set of goals and elevate your game. So I’m looking forward to continuing this as a part of my longer term plan for staying renewed, refreshed, and ready for the year ahead.

Jamie KripkeComment