Turning the corner

Man, what a week.

Check that… what a couple of weeks.

OK fine. What a month. In that case… what a year. Already.

2006 has not been kind to me health-wise. First the kidney stone, then the worst cold I’ve had in recent memory. The kidney stone was painful enough, let me tell you. But this cold was dreadful. Two weeks of misery– the worst of which was this past Sunday into Wednesday. It’s been going around my office at work and through my friends as well. Chicago winters– gotta love ’em.

But I’m turning the corner and I’m finally feeling better. Just in time for the weekend, of course. How convenient!

So it’s officially Friday, which means it’s Friday Flesh time. But I haven’t really given any thought to a Friday Flesh Foto for today, so I’m just going to wait until next week for the next installment. Besides, I haven’t blogged much in a while and I have a few things to write about.

Lately I’ve noticed that it’s hard for me to say the word “no.”

I do graphic design for a living, and as the years have gone on, and people have seen some of the work that I do, I get requests to do projects for this, that, or the other thing. Usually the project has a very noble cause behind it, and is something I can get into and put a part of myself into in order to make it work. Other times it may be for a friend or for a friend OF a friend. Sometimes the project is for myself… this blog (the look of it), for instance, is of my very own design. And if money is thrown into the mix, I’m ready to jump head-first into the project.

Now I’m not saying this to say that “money talks” with me, because history will show that this isn’t necesarily the case. But for far too long I have been doing jobs without any monetary compensation or even bringing up the subject of a payment plan.

So lately I’ve been seeking out projects that will pay… and so far, it’s going fairly well. I’m working with one group at the moment, I have another client I’ve been working with for a year now, and today another opportunity fell into my lap.

My problem is, at the same time as all of this, I have other dedications– work, the choruses, and basic life in general. And then of course there’s my blog, finding time to read other blogs, and my participation in Discuss It.

When something slams in my face, like being sick or feeling run-down, I stop and ask myself “Am I doing too much?” “Do I expect too much of myself?”

The answer to both questions is yes. But when I look at what I’m doing, I enjoy it. I like the challenges. By pushing myself to complete a task or accomplish a goal, I’m proving to myself that I can do it. There have been far too many times in my life where I wasn’t sure I’d ever accomplish anything. I know I can do it now.

The question, therefore, is… how much longer can I do it without burning out?

And the answer is… wait and see.

Have a great weekend!