Today isn't Monday.

Oh, sure, you are reading this on a Monday. But I am not writing it on Monday.

Because I don't work Mondays.


Because everyone needs to rest.

And not just a midday nap (although I'm a fan!).

A real, totally clear, totally un-eventful day of rest.
Without expectations or appointments or changing out of pjs.


Remember my theory of the Cycle of Creativity? Our creativity needs a fallow period, in order to, well, continue to be creative.

But so does our…everything. Our body, our mind, our spirit, our energy.

Everything. Needs. A. Break.

The fallow periods of the creative cycle always force me to take a creative break.
But I've learned that if I wait for my body/mind/energy to force me to take a break, it's too late. Usually I get the flu or a sinus infection or just an overarching listlessness.

But it's more serious than that.
If I don't take a break, my work suffers.
I go slowly.
I get distracted.
I make mistakes (not easy to do with yarn-making, but tragic in bookkeeping!)

Taking a day off, really, truly off, means that I return to my work on Tuesday with a freshness. Usually a few new yarn ideas, a new blog post and the energy to spin, photograph, or (heaven forbid) spreadsheet all day long.

Why a whole day?

Well, I was raised (and still practice) honoring the Sabbath.
The Sabbath meant, for us, Sunday. We'd head to church, go home for lunch, do the dishes and then lounge.
Reading, napping, crafting were mandatory.

My fondest childhood memories are of Sunday afternoons spent at the park. Eating take-out on a quilt, playing frisbee, walking the trails, laying in sunlit patches with my book held up to block the sun from my eyes.

And just because I'm an adult with 2 businesses, some co-owned sheep, and a pile of dishes doesn't mean I need to give up that time of rest and lounge-y-ness.

In fact, all those keep-me-busy to-do-list items proves that I need the sabbath more than ever.

Why Monday?

A Novel Yarn is open Tuesday – Saturday. Sometimes, on Sundays, Jay has to work and while he works (after church), I head to the coffeeshop and catch up on computer-work. Monday is the only day of the week we can both take off.

Even when he does have Sundays off, I end up working or we make plans with the family to hang out at the farm or run some errands (which is hard to do in a town that closes down on Sundays). In other words, Sunday never ends up being a day where I can lay around in my pjs if I wanted to.

And pj-wearing is a mandatory part of my Official Day Off.

Why so strict?

I used to let my day off be determined by what was going on that week. If we could lay around for part of Sunday, I'd count that and get back to work on Monday.

But, oh. That does not work. I ended up doing a little work every day and feeling like I was getting nothing done.

It's much easier to honor my day off if I set up clear boundaries around it.

No work email, no shipping, no work photography, no work writing, no work spinning, no answering questions or moderating comments or applying to craft shows. No bookkeeping or checkbook balancing or bill-paying.


What's left, with good, strong boundaries, is a big open field to run around in.
I can go exploring.
Or sip tea on my porch.
Or watch movies.
Or lay in bed.
Or meet a friend for coffee.
Or lay on a blanket in a sunny spot and read with the book held aloft to block the sun from my eyes.

What would you do on your day off?

6 Comments on Not on a Monday

  1. madebymegs
    April 19, 2010 at 10:31 am (12 years ago)

    If I were to have a Monday off, I would spend the day picking our lovely scrapbook paper. I would also head to the fabric store and pick up the coolest fabric they have. Too me, that is a perfect day 🙂

  2. Kathryn | Alpacamundo
    April 19, 2010 at 2:38 pm (12 years ago)

    I did as you say when I worked and went to school full time. It was a very effective tool. Somehow though, I seem to have lost it.

    Thank you for the reminder and I hope your day off was fabulous.

  3. Genesneaky
    April 19, 2010 at 7:56 pm (12 years ago)

    I don't always take a whole day off, but I haven instituted Chocolate for Breakfast on Saturdays and I think it is fantastic. Not just chocolate, it doesn't have to be part of your very first meal, but oh how it makes everything great!

  4. Genesneaky
    April 19, 2010 at 11:56 pm (12 years ago)

    I don't always take a whole day off, but I haven instituted Chocolate for Breakfast on Saturdays and I think it is fantastic. Not just chocolate, it doesn't have to be part of your very first meal, but oh how it makes everything great!

  5. Lori Stone
    June 3, 2010 at 2:41 am (12 years ago)

    I have been learning this the hard way, Tara. So easy to just work constantly when it's your own business. After all, you love it, right? But if I don't get a whole day away from it all to do just fun creating, I fall into a mindless rut where I waste lots of time but get nothing done.

    Thank you for the reminder! And I love the new website.

  6. TaraSwiger
    June 5, 2010 at 5:54 am (12 years ago)

    Yes, the mindless rut is a dangerous place. As is being so single-focused
    that you lose the ability to see the big picture (my problem!)

    Thank you so much Lori!