This has been a redefining summer of my life, and I think it has made all the difference. I purposely took a break from conferences, workshops, and festivals. I taught my two standard summer online courses, and spent a lot of time at home with my wife, my dog, and my tools. I still played trombone and worked on long term projects, but I also built a workbench, set up my garage shop, built an art piece for our living room that has some deep personal meaning for me and my wife, and fixed a bunch of little stuff around the house. Yes, we rent, but we have a unique setup with our landlord, and I don't mind spending 3 bucks on a tiny part and an afternoon to make something work again.
I also turned 40 this past December, and it has really bugged me. I have less hair than ever, what hair is left is grayer than ever, and weight is harder to lose than ever. But you know what? What I've done this summer has really helped me find peace with everything. In a way, I was doing what Banksy suggested before actually seeing the piece. I rested the parts of my brain that have been running full throttle, while ramping up my skills with wood and making a personal goal of getting dirty and dripping with sweat every single day. It's made me feel more alive, more well rounded, and ready to start the school year with an extra burst of energy and enthusiasm.
You might find yourself at the end of your rope, at a crossroads, or at what feels like a dead end or a burnt bridge. Ask yourself - have you really rested? You might have more options and approaches than you think. I found my copy of the Banksy print for 10 bucks. Maybe it's something you can put in your locker or on your bathroom mirror. In the meantime, I know what I'll be doing with the rest of my summer - making a picture frame for my new Banksy print! Be well and take care!