Leaning-Back-year-laterLast year around this time I wrote about having the worst week within the most challenging year of my life in a post called Leaning Back.

There were two quotes from Arianna Huffington, whom I’d seen speak just prior to that post last year, that were sort of a mantra for me a year ago and those two quotes have been part of my daily motto to live by almost every day since:

 “Lean back before you lean back in.”

This is all about taking a break to recharge so you can truly give whatever you are doing 100% of your best effort. Pause. Take a breath. Then go. Last year I went to Narragansett, RI and my family and I stayed at the beach. This year again we returned to Narragansett, RI with the family, but it was different this time.

I still completely disconnected from work for the most part and just spent time with my two boys and lovely wife. I built sand castles with the boys. Lil’ E learned to ride his bike. We walked the beach every day. We watched the ferries leave the docks. Again I relaxed and reflected. A year ago I did much the same thing, but I was confused and anxious about the direction my future held.

This year I got to look back at the past year since and smile. I’ve accomplished a lot professionally but more so personally. I’ve learned in the past year to take time to lean back during the day and to know when to work and when to just spend time with my family. Work is not life, it should be scheduled around life. My wife and I go for little walks around the yard at night now to just talk after the boys are in bed. We have family dance parties. I run wild and free and screaming with my boys around our yard, as it should be. I laugh more.

“The worst things in life will open doors to the best opportunities”

Last year I had one really bad week, sandwiched in one really bad year and the positive viewpoint in this quote was the direction I felt should be the positive mindset I needed to take.

The first half of 2013 was…well…a big bag of suck. There are no other words I feel can aptly describe it. I lost loved ones I was close to; my career, (outside of the moonlighting I was doing on nights and weekends with Adelie Studios), lacked direction and purpose. But I’m thankful for that big bag of suck. Without the beginning of 2013, I would never have launched Adelie Studios on a full time basis. I may have been content just doing it on a part time basis going from project to project and never really challenging myself or testing what Adelie Studios could be capable of becoming. I wouldn’t have reflected on what, or more importantly who, was most important to me and set my priorities correctly around them.

What a difference a year makes.

Last year I mentioned how as an artist you need to step back or away from what you are working on to gain perspective so you don’t lose sight of the bigger picture. Stepping back is a way to critically take a better look at what you are working on and come back with fresh eyes. Life is no different.

I’m proud of what I’ve accomplished in the past year.  This year, I am chomping at the bit and ready to go with a million ideas swirling in my head. Ready, set…