As I write this, I'm in a plane somewhere over middle America, on my way from Michigan to Arizona to watch my baby sister graduate from college. I just spent ten whole minutes trying to figure out how I can type a note on my iPad without being connected to wireless, which is a testament to the mental fatigue the last couple weeks have caused. Work has been busy and it has been over a month since I have had a day off. I am still behind on sleep from last weekend's whirlwind trip to Chicago for a design conference. I am two weeks deep in a cold that won't quit and I worked 15-hour days every day this week in order to wrap up my projects before going on this family trip, which I have been calling a "vacation" purely for mental health purposes. I don't like to glorify the culture of over-work but sometimes it happens and the facts are the facts. The main point is, I am exhausted and it's time for a break.
And yet, after getting to our gate at the airport this morning, the first thing I did, before even getting my morning coffee, was pull out the issue of Uppercase Mag I got last weekend (shout out to MoxieCon for the legit swag bags). I had never read an Uppercase before, and having finally made it through the week, this was my first possible moment check it out. A little while later, after boarding and take-off and beverage service, the magazine had been devoured and I was engrossed in a book I got a couple weeks ago called Just My Type. In a moment of rare self-reflection, I examined my tray table: design magazine, book about typefaces, plastic cup of coke and a couple used kleenexes. And I thought to myself, why am I working right now, this is vacation.
And the next thought was, I'm not. This is just who I am and what I enjoy. I love design and constantly learning about it. I hunger for it. This is no huge revelation, but the affirmation comes at a significant time considering I recently decided to change my business name from Sibling to my actual name and have been letting go of the idea that my business and personal life should remain completely separate. I have one twitter account now instead of two, and one instagram account where I share snapshots of my work mixed in with a crapload of phone pics of my cat. It feels better and easier, and a more accurate online representation of who I am and what I do. (Sidenote: Aaron just ordered a gin & tonic and we both agree, the new Seagram's can looks damn good.)
So now, I am "on vacation", indulging in the luxury of no to-do list and time for self-reflection from 35,000 feet in the air. I truly am planning on unplugging, catching up on sleep, cocktails and a lot of overdue hang time with my husband this trip. And if I want to spend half a morning googling the historical and social implications of blackletter fonts for no reason, I am going to do that too. Because all of it - family, travel, design, learning, the freedom (and challenge) of being my own boss and sharing it along the way - this is what I burn for.