In February, taking a break from social media for a weekend was put on my heart at a moments notice, I blogged about 6 reasons why we should take a social media sabbatical here. I realized that I had constantly been connected every minute of every day, which is so normal for our generation. We’re either answering emails, replying to instagram messages, meeting with peers, texting or answering phone calls. It’s a constant flow of “work” that we each partake in every single day.
The burn out.
I found myself getting swallowed up in the hustle, blurring the line between business and my personal life. Living in a place where my identity has become so rooted in who I am as a photographer and business owner, and not so much in who I am as a human, who I am in Christ.
When that moment hit, I knew that the Lord was tugging on my heart to simply be. I disconnected for a weekend and it was so refreshing and good for my soul.
As humans, we desire some hustle to feel adequate, to feel like we are succeeding, to fulfill our feeling of purpose. Maybe I’m speaking for myself, but I slip into this place of feeling that my adequacy comes from all the things around me - work, friendships, how much I cook & clean, how often I workout, my overall “busy-ness". None of those will ever amount to be enough to fill me up, yes they’re provide a temporary fulfillment, but nothing can sustain my fulfillment like Jesus can.
Why such an extended period of time?
Over the last 4 years since beginning Jessi Nichols Photography, I have not taken an extended period of intentional rest. I have been pushing forward, pursuing bigger dreams, going and doing as much as I could for my business. While we have seen so much fruit from my business & have built some incredible relationships, it has been exhausting as well, just like with any job or with any form of work.
Yes, we’ve gone on plenty of vacations and have traveled as a part of taking time off. But, even on those vacations I was replying to emails, scheduling, posting, texting, for business purposes. Being away wasn’t truly meaning being away. That’s what my soul has been craving. Intentional rest.
I am craving a refresh, and after much discussion with Braden, I’ve made the decision to take the entire month of September off from work with the exception of one wedding I am photographing towards the end of the month. Why September, you ask? I was scrolling through my calendar last month seeking that little slice of wonderful, aka a stretch of a few days that didn't have a little dot on my google calendar. I scrolled past July & August because there was no more than a 2-3 day stretch without commitments, and landed on September. Two dots. Two dots on my calendar for the entire month of September. I felt like I could breathe.
Yes, I realize this is an aggressive amount of time, but the Lord has made it so clear that this is the timeline needed. I am so at peace that this is His plan for this upcoming season of my life, and even as silly as it sounds to say it out loud, I knew in that moment of only seeing two dots on the calendar that this was it. This was my intentional time to rest.
No worries, I’m not gone for good!
I am not taking a month off from JNP to call it quits on my business, no way, I love this job way too much! I am taking a month off to significantly slow down, to truly dig deeper into who I am as Jessi Nichols the person, the wife, the friend and family member. Spending quiet time strengthening my faith and learning how to just “be.”
I will have an email responder up the month of September, but, I’ll be checking my inbox and replying to emails each Wednesday morning (9/6, 9/13, 9/20 and 9/27). I only plan to check emails once a week simply to ensure that none of my current clients & brides feel that I have shut them out.
Plus, I know that life continues on at turbo speed even when I am slowing down, so emptying my inbox once a week will ensure that I stay on top of things & can come back in October in full force. Content will still be streaming on my blog & JNP’s Facebook with recent work, all of which will be prepped the month of August!
How will I fill my time?
Friends, I don’t have a set plan and that’s the beautiful piece of this endeavor. I’m giving myself the space and freedom to make decisions as I go. I plan to spend more time with Braden, good quality time. I plan to reach out to my best friends & to truly invest in those friendships. I plan to be more present with family. I'd love to get a few projects done around the house that I've been neglecting for a while. I plan to do a bible study & to learn to just “be.”
It will be tough, my personality thrives in doing and succeeding. Letting go of those idols will be a good stretch of my faith, as well as learning to let go and trust Jesus with the process.
I'll be honest, I'm nervous.
Maybe even a little anxious.
Slowing down is hard for me, which is why this is so necessary.
Thank you all for understanding & I can’t wait to come back full force October 1st!