Well, it finally happened. As you may have noticed, I’ve been gone for a few weeks. I officially ran out of time. I’ve always done my best to prioritize this podcast, but I got to the point where it was either make another episode or take some much-needed rest and I had to choose the latter. You’ve heard me talk about the importance of self-care and taking breaks and I stand by it. I rarely let myself get to the point where that’s even a question, but the last several months have been intense. I continue to be grateful for all of the work and opportunities, but it was a lot. Every time I told myself, “I’ll take a break after this job,” something else came up that I didn’t want to turn down and the cycle continued.

But now here we are at the end of the year and it’s finally time. The last big job ended mid-December and I don’t have any major obligations until February. My plan is to take at least a month off to rest, catch up on personal things, and mentally prepare myself for what’s to come. I do fully intend to come back to weekly podcasts and to start interviewing again, but hopefully you understand why I need a little time off and don’t forget about me while I’m gone.

But I wanted to at least say hello, wish you all happy holidays, and do a quick recap of 2021 to figure out how I got here in the first place.

Usually, the end of December into the beginning of January is slow. By December, everyone has wrapped up projects for the year and gone into holiday mode. January budgets haven’t been allocated yet and it takes a little time to get back into the swing of things. I’ve always enjoyed that time, especially since I started working for myself, because it’s a restful way to end one year and start the next.

This year, that didn’t really happen. All of January and the first week of February was spent wrapping up season 22 of Intervention, which was 34 consecutive weeks of intense work for me that started in June of 2020. Fortunately, I got a few weeks off in February but jumped straight into season 23 in the beginning of March, which was another 30 consecutive weeks that ended October 1st. So the two seasons were 64 of 68 weeks from mid-2020 through October 2021, where each week was at least 5 working days and often bled into the weekends because of when the shoots were scheduled.

Working on a series full-time like that is plenty enough to warrant a long break. But that wasn’t all I was doing.

In April, there was the Skechers spring marketing video and the Mercedes Tony Hawk commercial. We also started working on the new website and booking platform for The Voice Actors Studio, which took 6 months of planning and regular meetings and testing before launching in September, followed by all the troubleshooting and refining that’s still ongoing.

In May, we started preproduction for Blue Origin’s First Human Flight in July, which took me into the field for the first time since March of 2020. Showing the world the first successful launch of humans into space was pretty special.

August brought along the Traditional Medicinals shoot. September was the launch of the TVAS website AND when the craziest episode of Intervention was at its most chaotic AND that bled right into the 2nd Human Flight AND the Skechers fall marketing video. That was around the time I started really needing a break.

I thought November might give me that rest, but we went straight into planning for the 3rd human flight, which happened in early December.

On top of all of this, I have a handful of monthly retainer clients where I’m working various hours on things like consulting, managing, and bookkeeping. I produced 49 podcast episodes, taught 8 3-hour workshops, and found a way to squeeze in 6 new coaching clients.

So yeah. That was 2021 for me. It’s been such a fantastic year for work and I do not take that for granted. But if there’s one thing I’ve learned about navigating the roller coaster of self-employment, it’s that you take advantage of slow time when you have it. So that’s what I’m doing now. I went for a 90-minute massage, and intend to get at least a few more. I’m catching up on projects around the house. I’m spending a lot of time not doing much at all, which makes my cats happy. The typical holiday lull has been back to normal, too, which has been nice. It makes me smile every time I check my email and nothing new has come through any of my many accounts. I still have some work to do, but I’m limiting that to a few hours a day, if even that. I’m just taking the time to breathe and enjoy the quiet.

I hope you are doing well and enjoying some down time or something else that’s important to you. Thanks for hanging in there with me while I take this much needed break. In the meantime, if there are topics you’d like to hear about, guests you’d like me to interview, or if you have any other suggestions, please reach out. You can email info@aardvarkgirl.com or DM me on social @aardvarkgirl. I’ll talk to you again in the new year.