You should see the pages of notes I take at conferences. They’re a mix of transcriptions of speaker soundbites, things I want to remember to look up later, and ideas that have popped into my head during conversations and sessions.
Ideas. So many ideas.
It’s incredible what I can come up with when I hand off all of my regular responsibilities and preoccupations and make more space for my own thoughts.
I’ve yet to come home without a single “I should really do this!” kind of idea. They’re usually big, ambitious ideas too. I come home ready to throw myself into new projects with wild abandon. I feel energized and motivated and pumped to shake things up a lot.
And then there’s laundry. And the dishes. And that school project that needs to be finished. And that volunteer thing. And dinner. And lunches. And email. And the dog needs to be walked. The house needs to be tidied. Oh, and all of my other projects and deadlines need attention. And of course the fact that new projects are rarely lucrative at first, and can I really afford to work for “free” even more than I already do?
And everything slowly creeps back into my brain until I start to feel almost more overwhelmed than I did before I left.
The problem with working for yourself at home is that there’s no one to help you prioritize your tasks. There’s no one to bounce off ideas to see if they are worthwhile or just plain silly. It’s a challenge, and the dog is really no help at all.
I’m not tabling my new ideas quite yet. I’m still in love with them, still hopeful that I’ll find a way to make them work. But, more urgently, I need to find a way to maintain that level of motivation and passion after I get home and re-immerse myself into my life, after I open up my brain to contain all of the children’s lives and issues, all of the puppy’s needs and wants, all of the house’s demands.
I worry that if I don’t, those ideas will perish the same way so many other great ideas have died, only living on the pages of an old abandoned conference notebook, gathering dust on the back of a shelf filled with countless others. And that would be a crying shame.