Look, I know it’s easy to fall into a rut.
As a business owner who works from home, I know how easy it is to fall into the wake up, sit at your desk, work all day, eat dinner, watch Netflix, go to bed, and repeat routine. Been there, done that. I also know that when you’re overwhelmed and overworked in your business, it’s easy to look at the rest of your to do list and errands as things to get done as quickly as possible with as little effort as possible. Also, been there, done that.
Soon everything is routine and boring, the rut becomes the everyday, and you’re just going through the motions, checking things off your to do list without any joy and excitement, and fun. And if it’s really bad, that rut can even affect your vacations in a not so hot way.
At one point in my business, I was working 16-18+ hour days, 7 days a week, and everything felt like a chore I needed to just get through — even taking my kids to the park. It’s hard to admit that, but it was my reality.
After making big changes, everything gradually got better. I slowly got my life back, and once again found time to have date night with my husband, to bring joy and inspiration back into my life, to pursue hobbies just for fun, to go on family adventures, and to nurture relationships I had let slide.
Part of how I was able to drastically improve my own life and my attitude about juggling my work and my personal life was to make a serious mindset shift.
Make Everyday Events Memorable Experiences
Instead of looking at everything as a chore or an item to be checked off a list, I began to look for ways to make the mundane things fun. To transform them from a to-do into an experience. Whether it was around the house or on vacation, I began to ask myself: How can this be more fun?
- When going on a big family camping trip, instead of buying the same color shirts for everyone, we tie-dyed shirts, creating a super fun activity we did together before the trip.
- When driving to Los Angeles for the umteenth time, we decided to take a new, scenic route we had never driven — even though it was a little longer.
- Instead of driving straight to a destination, barely stopping for a bathroom break, we plan stops at landmarks, historic sites, or other interesting places along the way, making the drive as much of an adventure as the trip.
- When going out to eat, I try to order something different — which is a BIG deal because I always order the same thing.
- While running errands with the kids, I’ll add a surprise pit stop to get frozen yogurt or to do something special.
- Instead of just roasting marshmallows when camping, we make sculptures with them and then burn them all in the fire.
Choose The Experience
After living in our house for 11 years, we’re finally focusing on buying furniture and decorating — until now we have chosen to spend all of our extra income on travel, vacations, and adventures with the kids — and a fabulous backyard. But now they are older and it’s time we actually have enough places for the whole family to sit when they come over for a party!
We needed a shelf for the family room, to go under three small windows on the main wall. We scoured the internet and local stores looking for one just the right size, and didn’t find anything we liked. But then Brian found one on Ebay we loved. Even better, it was from California Hardwoods in Auburn, California just 20 minutes from our house.
We could have just ordered the shelf online and had it delivered, but that wouldn’t have been as fun. Instead we hopped in the car, drove up to California Hardwoods and had an adventure. (Who would have thought you could have an adventure buying a shelf?)
When we drove up, there were several gorgeous, natural timber shelves on display outside, but none were the right size. We needed a large shelf that was at least 8 feet long and 14 inches deep.
We headed out into their salvage lumber yard to look at potential rough cut, timbers for our shelf. The kids and I had a blast exploring and looking through their lumber yard — even in the extreme heat.
We then looked through the reclaimed, natural, pine timbers, which were by far our favorite, and they pulled a few out with a forklift to examine closer so we could pick the one for our shelf.
After looking at several different pieces of timber, we found the one that would eventually become our shelf! We talked through the finishing of the shelf with the craftsman and they had some great ideas to really make the uniqueness of our timber shine.
It was pretty awesome to go through the process of selecting our own reclaimed timber for a custom, one of a kind shelf — one that really is more like a piece of art.
So much better than just ordering one online or buying an assembly line shelf from a big box store, because we all remember our day melting in the hot sun while we looked at timbers in the California Hardwoods lumber yard every time we look at it.
It took several weeks to be fabricated by hand, but it was so worth it.
The shelf looks fantastic installed in our family room, and, while it was supposed to be a cantilevered, floating shelf, the weight made us a bit nervous — especially because a huge part of our couch stretches below the shelf.
So after A LOT of searching online, we finally found some gorgeous, heavy, metal brackets that match the proportion of the shelf and actually look like trees trunks and limbs.
They were the perfect finishing touch, and now I just have to figure out what I want to put on the shelf!
What About You?
Have you ever found yourself in a rut? If so, how did you get yourself out of it? How do you make average moments, memorable experiences?
I’d love to hear from you!