A Bus Engine and a Creative Block

It has been two weeks since we arrived back into Aus. Wow! That time has already flown, I tell you!

You know what the hardest part has been? Stopping. Because, well, we really haven’t had time to.

The past few months have been a whirlwind for us. For those who don’t know the full story, let me catch you up…

In May 2017 we moved to Calgary, Canada from Canberra, Australia. At the end of that year we purchased a school bus which we spent the next 8 months building into a tiny home inside. We moved into it in September 2018 with plenty still to do (it seems the list NEVER ends!) and prepared for a brutal Canadian Winter. I don’t think we have ever worked harder to stay alive than we did that Winter. It was the best thing we’ve ever done though and we are so much more for the experience of it.

At the end of last year the engine in the bus stopped working and we planned to start a rebuild on it as soon as the weather got better in Spring 2019. At this point we didn’t know that our permanent residency application would hit a roadblock in January and we would have to pack up our Canadian lives and head back to Australia in May. So that happened, but we thought “Hey! We will be back for a trip in the bus so lets get it fixed before we leave for Aus again.”

The unpredictable Canadian weather brought us a taste of warmer times and then thrust us into more snow storms and rain, which really put a dampener on our progress (see what I did there 😏). Between building a website, preparing the bus, packing up our lives and working, there was becoming less and less time for us. But Ricky got the engine about 98% fixed! It was unreal. To get to even that point was a HUGE effort and very satisfying. The last week we were in Canada I hauled scrap wood and bus parts into the car for trips to the dump while Ricky worked tirelessly on the engine. Most days he was covered in mud and oil and I was covered in mud and splinters. I will never forget the sound of the bus engine so close to turning on as Ricky turned the key time and time again. That last day felt like it could…just…tick…over. Our good friend and go to man for mechanical help, Rick, told us that it wouldn’t take much to fix it from this point, but we just didn’t have enough time. Maybe one or two more days and it would go. It was frustrating that we couldn’t get it going again before we left but we feel better knowing it won’t take much to get it started once we return.

Since returning to Australia, we have had so much to catch up on. We’ve been lucky enough to have plenty of photoshoots to edit and plenty of back end work to do for our business. Ricky jumped straight back into work only days after landing and I started a new role working remotely for a digital marketing business. It has been very exciting and full steam ahead!

I hit a slump though. The first week back I couldn’t figure it out but my creative drive wouldn’t kick on. Every day I tried to work, I just couldn’t find my drive again. It was like the bus engine trying to turn on - that’s EXACTLY how I felt trying to get back into work. I didn’t want to get behind but I was also running my batteries down by continuously trying to force work. I pushed and pushed, turned the key every day until it took effect on my body. Wednesday: I ended up with two migraines in one day and lost my vision (yep - actual eyesight gone).

OK. It was time to stop.

I rested, meditated, read and took time to recover. Then came Friday. The next step was to reconnect with our business values and core creativity. Once I did this, boy did I take off! It was back! I turned the key and the engine was roaring. I had my creative drive back and now here I am writing this for you.

I know this blog post has been a little more personal than everything else I have previously written, but I wanted to share this as an encouragement and a reminder for anyone else who is running themselves into the ground. It WILL take a toll on your body. Your mind, emotions and body are all connected and you need to give balance to all of them. If you see yourself heading in a similar direction, here’s me waving you down letting you know there’s a car crash around the bend if you don’t slow down.

Have you let yourself slow down recently? Maybe it’s time.

If you have any tips on balance or experiences like this of your own that you’ve learnt from, let us know in the comments!