by Dallas Shaw
A long, long time ago, in a faraway land called Scranton, Pennsylvania, I vowed to never be that obnoxious adult who said the phrase TGIF. I designed and redesigned my career from early on so there would be no cases of the Mondays. And, I don’t ever say TGIF, thank you very much. But, I do always look forward to my Sundays.
How I Sunday (or How I Saturday/Sunday if I’m being honest) changes a bit each weekend and, if still being honest, my weekends aren’t perfect. I still have an anxiety attack at some point (usually on Saturday at around 3PM) and have to tell myself it’s ok and remember to just relax before I get back into my zen.
Let me rewind you back for a second - to explain my weird job and why I need to force a major shutdown on weekends.
I’m an illustrator for luxury fashion brands, a creative director of a new brand called FAERIE, as well as a visual consultant for temporary projects, an author AND my own PR rep right now (don’t believe me? See Dallasshaw.com. See?! I’m pretty shamelessly good at it.).
Here is the background. My first job was at Disney, then I changed careers and ended up a well-known fashion illustrator, which accidentally turned me into an industry influencer and a traveler and a PR rep and whatever the hell else the current project demands. I didn’t like all of the posing-with-bags and the fake laughing and the projects that I didn’t want to put my name on (even though they were on my favorite store), so I decided to change my career (again) and risk losing everything on a chance to be proud of my work.
That business launched this week, but months ago I went into laser-focus-mode building that business. I still take on other creative projects that make me happy. That was when I decided forced weekends (and forced a lot of other things) needed to happen.
I started implementing a morning routine on all days, but it stretches out a little more on weekends and flexes its muscles. I’m the WORST at routines, so forcing this was a challenge and I’m so happy I did it. When I closed my eyes and envisioned a perfect morning it didn’t involve my phone and it didn’t involve stressing over interns. It went something like this:
- Don’t look at your phone. Drink a glass of water before you do anything else.
- Thank the day.
- Brew a cup of your favorite coffee (this is imperative that it’s not robotic like “put in Keurig cartridge, pour into a carry out cup and go) but instead make a coffee and sit down and enjoy some of it. Add Coconut oil or collagen to it, whatever you do- but for the love of god just sit down for a moment.
- Light a himalayan salt lamp.
I decided I’d also force myself to put on relaxing music and write in my journal at the start of every morning.
This makes me think about what I want to focus on for the day. I’ve asked my Insta followers in stories how or what they do when it comes to journaling because I didn’t have a clue and they suggested a lot of things, but the two that work for me are: just writing whatever the hell you feel like and forcing it for a set amount of time. Or reading a quote and reflecting (I was really into a quote that you reflect on). Online, I’ve been finding a lot of journal writing prompts and I’m not so much into that, so I’m still practicing this practice.
Then I start my day.
The rest of the routine changes a bit depending on the weekend and what I feel like, but it always oddly seems to end in organization. At some point on Sunday I always end up in my closet. Sometimes with a glass of red and always with a podcast (I’m listening to Mirror Mirror a lot right now). Folding and reorganizing and making donation bags feels like my reset button and it doesn’t feel like a chore. It feels like a weight being lifted off of my shoulders.
I have a strict don’t check your email rule on weekends. Over the years I’ve learned there isn’t a single email in the world that can’t wait a minute. No family member that is sick sends an email before calling me. I’ve only recently started watching Netflix. I’ve never been a big television show watcher and I certainly don’t do reality shows, which are so outrageous and out-of-hand. When I make myself binge on Netflix, it feels like I am on a desert island. Mind off. I just finished YOU, and am about to get back into Ozark. New to this whole Netflix thing, I am open to DMed suggestions!
I don’t really go out on weekends. You are more likely to find me out with friends on a Tuesday than battling lines on weekends. My weekend nights are my chillest nights of the week. Backwards I know, but I’m unapologetic about this.
Face masks, new palettes, hair treatments; I’m basically my own beauty editor during the weekends. I was a beauty editor for some time and I feature products I like in insta stories and on Pinterest, so I get a lot of products sent to me (Hi - job perk!). A few minutes spent drinking tea while testing eye masks is my idea of multitasking.
A LITTLE THIS AND THAT
Here’s the good stuff: I go makeup-free, I wear obnoxious socks, I cuddle with my dogs, and I read self-help books or business books and I just LIKE it. I meditate daily and on weekend. I set a timer to remind myself to keep up with it. I often take an entire day to stroll through fleas markets, vintage shops, antique malls - I find so much inspiration in those places and could spend hours just talking to the vendors I meet and looking through someone else’s treasures. I don’t work out on weekends and I don’t feel bad about that, either. I laugh with my family. I eat pizza and grilled cheese. I’m down for the memories and for the naps and for whatever the day brings.
BRINGING SUNDAY TO MID-WEEK
I believe, as a boss, I sometimes need to practice this weekend mindfulness at other times. Being a good boss, and an inspiring leader means that your team doesn’t get to see the sticky stuff. The money stresses, the late night calls, those innnterns - your team shouldn’t have to deal with any of that. Handling the difficult stuff is what makes you the boss. The next time you have to walk out of the office and go to a 3 pm yoga, or step out to get a tea and stroll the vintage shop for an hour to reset, DO NOT feel guilty. Bring a little Sunday into your day when you need it, so you can keep up the creativity and the balance you deserve.
IN LIFE: EXPECT THE UNEXPECTED
Recently, I started a little brand called FAERIE. The best way I can explain the reasoning for adding a new business is this: Have you ever been hired to do work as a creative, but that work isn’t always yours? It doesn’t always feel like 100% you? Well, FAERIE is all mine. My artwork on product, a collection of powerful curated items, and an office space of dreams. I hope you’ll visit us there @wearefaerie, or me at @dallasshaw.