I’m back from my mini-getaway to the shore, and even though I’m already missing that sunshine and beachy air, it’s always refreshing to get back to my home base and get organized. (Do you get sick of hearing how much I love my little routine? Feel free to ask me to shut up about it at any time.) We have another road trip to PA this weekend, too, so even though I would have loved to stick around in Ocean City for another day or two, I know I’ll be grateful to have taken the time to reset before our next round of travel. (Do you get sick of hearing about our trips back and forth to Pennsylvania? Again, feel free to ask me to shut up about it at any time.)

My typical weekend view

As of today, it’s been nine months since my last day in my corporate job. It’s hard for me to believe that I’ve been figuring out this new life for myself for as long as it takes to have a baby! As I inch closer and closer to the one-year mark, I feel increasingly humbled by this whole experience. How did all of this happen? Earlier today, I went back to the neighborhood near my old office to have lunch with my former cubicle buddy (yes, that’s the official term). To this day, every time I take that particular subway route, it’s hard for me to believe that it’s not my daily commute anymore.

Last week, I grabbed coffee with a fellow freelancer who started her own journey in full-time writing at about the same time I did. Back in September, when we caught up for the first time, we both had a few connections, a healthy dose of optimism, and an attitude of “Hope this works!” Now, nine months later, we both described our days in one word: SWAMPED. This wild discrepancy between those two conversations pretty much sums up how I’m feeling for this recap (you can check out my eight month recap here.)

I apologize if this is coming off as a humble brag — “I’m in such high demand!” — because I promise that’s not what I’m trying to do here! If anything, I’m finding that I need to do a better job of tempering my workload so that I’m not constantly telling people how busy I am (which, as you may remember from one of my earliest monthly recaps, is something I am desperately training myself to avoid). This feeling of being swamped is a shortcoming — not an accomplishment. My plate is filled with long-term projects these days, and while I’m focusing on creating systems that will make it easier for me to manage it all, it’s an ongoing process, and I’m anxious for these deadlines to pass so I can start thinking more creatively, trying new things with my writing, and not leading with busy-ness.

Since the shift in seasons, I’ve also been trying to remind myself that it’s still SUMMER! The pace of the working world changes at this time of year, and even though I want to keep hustling so I don’t miss out on any opportunities over these next few months, it’s OK for my pace to change a little, too. I want to be proactive about planning for July and August so that I can make mental space to feel some summer vibes once these major assignments are behind me. I’m dreaming of long writing sessions outside, lots of hours spent working on my book, and catching up on my long list of books to read, which I know will ultimately make me a better writer, too. It sounds like a pretty good light at the end of the tunnel to me!

How do you make it feel like summer, even when you’re hard at work? I’d love to peek your insights in the comments below!