I always find that the days off between Christmas and new years are particularly dangerous. They’re a time for extreme over indulgence (whether enjoyed in company, or in solitude), and procrastination. This is the time, when having eaten and drunk yourself into delirium over the last few weeks, you start to reflect on the year you’ve just survived. And then based on these reflections, and under the influence of too many mince pies and glasses of sherry, you start to plan for the following year. These plans, most often referred to as ‘New Years Resolutions’, generally go along the lines of: get thinner, be more healthy, do more exercise, make more money, have more sex, be more happy and don’t be in the same over indulged and hopelessly fragile state this time next year. Then a rigorous diet and exercise regime will ensue. For most of us we will bite off more than we can chew, fail pitifully at the first hurdle, (such as succumbing to the January blues, and eating the entire contents of the fridge one Wednesday night and then spending the next three days in bed with food poisoning) and give up all hope by February. I’m aware that this maybe a slightly pessimistic and unfair outlook, some folk will make it all the way to March before giving it up as a bad job, and there are always those who will still be sticking to the programme through to early summer, by which point they’ll have just become annoying, and you’ll have removed them from your social circle anyway. However the majority of us, myself included, will succeed in nothing during January other than taking down the Christmas decorations.
So this year I’m going to look at things from a different perspective, to see if it makes the blindest bit of difference. To do so let me first reflect on 2014.
This time last year, I’d just quit my job as a designer at a major high-street brand, and embarked upon a journey of self-employment as a freelance graphic designer. A bold life change, which trumped all other resolutions; making a living took priority over fad diets and exercise. I was determined that this wouldn’t be a foolish endeavour. Needless to say the rest of the year passed in a heartbeat, working most hours God sent, and spending every hour not working, feeling guilty about not working. A whole year of this attitude has lead to a disappointing lack of holidays, mini breaks, and doing all the things that I love most (apart from designing). And obviously (and most distressingly) my waistline has suffered dramatically too, resulting in my favourite pair of jeans now living at the bottom of the laundry bin, doomed never to see light of day again.
It has all been worth it though, I love my job as a designer and I’m heading into 2015 in a very fortunate position, having successfully made a living for myself last year, and establishing a great client base, full of individuals and companies I enjoy working for. It's time now, not to take my foot off the gas – this is never a wise idea in the design game, but to re-align the work life balance. As what is the point of making a living, if your too busy working to live?
So this year I’m going to record mine and the Muffins journeys; struggles, failings, breakthroughs and successes, as we look to re-align the work life balance.
Bring on the New Year . . .