After some conversations with my more regular clients, I've decided to take August off from paid work. This is a very radical step for me, as I am a workaholic and not in a fun way. Work and productivity have been central to my identity as long as I can remember.
My mother taught us a Puritan work ethic: work was noble and valuable, as was being financially independent. Idleness was suspect. Life was happier if you kept really busy. As a child, you don't realize your parents have their own demons to avoid in the best way they can and that they pass on those forms of avoidance.Boredom and anxiety are two of my demons, and work and more work have been successful ways to keep them at bay.
On the advice of a couple of my friends, I have begun practicing for August. A leisurely Sunday afternoon spent on my porch swing with a good book and petting Mr. Sam. Stopping work at 5 pm on a weekday. Not getting on email first thing in the morning. Showing up for work projects at 10 instead of 8 in the morning. I think I'm beginning to get the hang of it.