downtime, abundance and fear

I have been thinking that I need to start slowing things down a bit to prepare for baby bean's arrival in February. Just a few weeks of self-care and downtime to center myself before my world gets turned on its end. This requires taking on fewer jobs and fewer obligations. And this is something I'm really really bad at.* I say yes to almost every job that comes in because I'm scared that work will eventually dry up and I'll regret not taking it all on when it was flowing. And I don't know how much I'll be able to do when baby is here. On top of that: Colin's work situation (he was on a contract with an agency) is coming to an end in January. So I'm a bit nervous about where income will be coming from when the baby arrives. (It'll be fine. Maybe a blessing so Colin can be with me and baby bean more in the first few months.)

Last week I had a ton of work. Lots of painting, sketching, designing and thinking. And this happened every day for 12 hours a day. And then I worked the weekend too. I paid for this is exhaustion and wicked swollen ankles (the bane of my pregnancy).

I did this in part because everything seemed to be due around the same time. (It always works that way, doesn't it?) And because I wanted to clear some space for this week to be less intense. I created a list of things I wanted to do when I got some down time, including:

- Read in bed. - Catch up on downloaded podcasts in bed. - Listen to my birthing cds in bed. - Stay in my pjs and stay in bed.

(Lots of bed time with my feet up!)

- Relaxed yoga. - Meditate (possibly in bed). - Planning meals that would be good to freeze for when baby gets here. - Pack my bag for the birth (a little early, I know, but I'd just feel better if it were done). - Go the library. - Call my dad back. - Catch up on a few friend emails. - Get a massage (I have a gift certificate!) - Have dinner with a friend. - Go for a long walk in the woods. - Sip tea with no time pressure. - Play scrabble.

Getting to do these things would be awesome. But I took on two new jobs again yesterday without blinking. It's like a reflex at this point and I actually feel guilty for saying no... like it's somehow personal. (BUT I did say no to two also and lived with the guilt! Points for lope!)

But I'm thinking maybe I should space out my simple pleasures list instead of trying to have a week or two or three to enjoy them all. I dunno. Just thinking out loud. My gut says to cool it and chill for a while -- it would be good for me and the baby. But my head is nervous for all the reasons I stated above. Maybe I should continue to squirrel away my acorns. Or maybe I need to shift my focus to abundance -- of both time and stability for the future (even in this scary economy).

How do you make space for downtime? Is it a struggle for you? Or do you just do it and let everyone deal with it? I'm curious.

*I think I've blogged about this 7 billion times now. Sorry about that. :(

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Y'know. Scratch all that. I feel like I'm just complaining and that's gonna get me a big fat nowhere. Let's roll. Work, downtime, whatever.