permission and missing a week of #the100dayproject

palm trees, 100 day project
I took seven days off from the 100 Day Project last week. In a row.

When I committed to the project, this was my exact fear. Well, along with “Will my drawings suck?” (not usually) and “Who cares about this but me?” (honestly, no one, but that’s not what it’s about.)

I was afraid I would not stick to it. And for good reason – flaking out is kind of my thing. Some people are doers. I am a dreamer.

Doing something every day is a key part of habit creation, and despite popular belief, creativity is a habit, a muscle that must be worked regularly.

But doing something every day also invites monotony, and suddenly a fun daily drawing becomes one more thing to check off before I can go to bed.

There were plenty of days I wanted to miss, but I mustered up the motivation to draw. Still, I was not surprised when I blew off a day. I was exhausted. Then one day turned into two, which turned into three, and so on. Some days I was physically tired and wanted to relax. Other days, absorbing the energy of my 10-year-old child with ADHD just about wrecked me, and I crawled into my bed and laid there like a zombie for two hours.

Before I knew it I had unintentionally missed seven whole days.

I had a few choices.

  • I could berate myself (one of my specialities)
  • I could quit and add the project to a long list of things I’ve failed to follow through on
  • I could suck it up and intentionally pick a day to start back up again.

I traveled to Pasadena for the Mom 2.0 Summit last week and packed my sketchbook, pencils and pens, making sure they were all easily accessible. I am super lazy, and I knew if I made it too hard, I wouldn’t do it. In the span of 100 days, I never intended to give myself time off just because I was traveling. This is part of the challenge! And when you’re in California on Texas time, you wake up at 5:30 in the morning, watch the sunrise from your balcony, and use the palm trees as inspiration. And then the next day you scribble out another quick palm tree drawing on hotel stationery while in a session on imposter syndrome, of all things.

palm trees, Langham Huntington Pasadena, mom 2.0 summit, pen and ink drawings

These drawings are my favorite souvenirs.

When I signed on to do The 100 Day Project back in April, I envisioned how cool it would be to see this whole thing through to completion.

I also knew I needed to give myself permission to not complete every day. I know myself. But I wondered if giving myself permission to miss one day would also give me permission to miss another. And another. And another, like a landslide of demotivation.

And in a way it did. But along with that permission to take a few days off, I also gave myself permission to start back up again with no guilt. I’m not making up those days. I’m picking up where I left off. When someone has the gall to ask me where days 24-30 are, I’ll kick them in the shins, or maybe I’ll just say, “In someone else’s sketchbook.” Cross that bridge when you come to it and all that.

Seeing a project through to completion doesn’t mean you never miss a day. It means you fall off the horse or the wagon or whatever the metaphor is, and then when you’re ready, you hop back on. Missing those seven days was an important part of my process. I have to be intentional with my daily drawing, not making it a task on my list, somewhere in between doing the dishes and for the love of all that is holy, will someone else please fold these socks that have been in the hamper for a week?

Permission to breathe. Grace in the process. Intention in resuming and seeing it through. And a couple of kick ass drawings to remember the trip by.

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