You’re not “just tired”. There’s always something else.

24 series blank time

24 series blank timeSome days, or parts of days, you’re just not productive.

You’re not targeting your goals or firing on all cylinders or crushing it. You’re not reading impactful books or watching helpful documentaries. You’re not going to the gym or cooking a healthy meal or having insightful conversations. 

You’re just…tired. 

Or are you? 

Are you ever “just tired”? 

Have you ever noticed how it’s so, so much easier to say “I’m just tired” as your reason for things not being right? 

You’ve snapped at someone, or fallen apart crying, or tripped over something in the kitchen (for the eighth time), or you have an errand to run and then decided to do a few other things and realised ten minutes down the road you forgot the one thing you needed most….

And someone says “are you okay?” and you say “oh, I’m just tired”. 

You’re not though. 

You’ve had a difficult conversation with someone you care about (or with someone you’re struggling to care about). Or you’ve had ten conversations like that in a row. One of your clients has decided to leave (or several of them) and you’re trying to figure out what you and your business can do better. A team member has some personal issues and you are trying to help them. A family member is unwell. You have health issues of your own that have flared up (again). The boiler has broken (again). 

And on, and on, and on. 

You’re worried. Anxious. Angry. Frustrated. Sad. Discouraged. Confused. Lost. 

AND you’re tired, because all of these feelings are making you tired

I really am not sure what the answer is on those days. Do you open up to a friend? Go for a walk or go to the gym? Drink more coffee? Spend time in prayer or meditation? Take a nap? Read an easy book, not a motivating inspiring one? Watch half a season of 24? 

What I’m thinking is, all of those things are an option. 

I’m not saying they are always the best option. Sometimes the last thing in the world you need is one of those things. If you’ve been talking constantly and having lots of meetings and you’re clean worn out, going for coffee with a friend may not help at that point. Conversely if you’re stuck in your own head and can’t think straight, watching more Netflix may only make it worse. 

But you don’t have to always pick the inspiring motivating thing. 

Sometimes you need the nothing thing. The blank thing. The “I’m just stopping for a little while” thing. 

That was me on Monday. I mentioned on my Instagram story I’ve had some fairly major boundary-setting in personal and business situations recently. I am so grateful for the opportunity to deal with those things and be really clear about what is okay and not okay, what works and doesn’t work, what I’m committed to and not. 

It’s been both amazing and hard….and on Monday it all seemed to pile on me, and I just felt limp. 

Part of my mind knew going for a walk could be the best thing. Or running some errands and getting little things done ive been meaning to do for a while. Or creating content or working on some PF systems. Or sketchnoting. 

I ended up watching half of season 5 of the series 24. 

Now, this is hardly new to me. I’ve watched all 9 seasons of 24 … probably twice. Maybe three times. (For any high level judging of me, I will defend with the fact that back when I had an auto immune illness and it was particularly severe, tv series were absolutely my friend. I’m not saying that’s only when I watched lots of 24, but… it’s something.)

And I got to thinking about it on Monday night. I felt rather like I’d wasted my Monday, hadn’t powered through, didn’t go for a walk, wasn’t achieving. …Even though Mondays are my no-expectation days, and that’s the whole point of Mondays is to do whatever I have energy for that day (or don’t). 

I didn’t really ‘rest’, either. True rest is not the blank entertainment of Netflix or Prime (it doesn’t blank you out – it heals you and restores you). 

So… did I waste my Monday? Would it have been better if I went for a walk? Would I have gotten great content written if I tried to create that? 

I don’t know. What I do know is, sometimes when you’re “just tired”, there are a lot of options. And as long as you don’t let it take over your life – as long as you’re not choosing the tv series or the fiction novel or the video games as your default to avoid hard things in life – it might be an option just for that day. 

On Tuesday morning, after not having slept well at all (probably a result of too many things I ate with sweeteners, and staying up late watching 24), I got up and went out for a walk. 

I didn’t feel like it – I felt tired – but I also knew I’d had my blank time, and now I needed to step up again. This kind of tired was the result of my choices the day before.

So I went for a walk. And held the PF team meeting. And held the client meeting we had almost rearranged. And had a healthy Hello Fresh meal. And worked with the team. And had a few conversations and sent a few hard emails and set boundaries and pressed on. 

What i’d love to hear from you today is…

What’s your ‘blank time’ thing? What do you do when you want to be all motivated but it’s just not happening that day, and it’s okay? 

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Morning walk. I stood and watched the ferry come in and the sun lighten this little edge of the world.
Been going through old photos and letters - the last of the boxes i had stored at my sister’s house in america. 

When I first moved to Scotland, I only planned to live here for a few years and then go back. Then after a few years I wasn’t ready yet…then I got my residency…still not quite ready….then started a business…then Scottish citizenship…bought a house …finally accepted this is my home and I wasn’t moving back. 

And with every visit back to the states I would go through more boxes, more photos and letters and memories. I’d keep some and throw others away; take photos out of frames and give away the frames; and as time went on I was able to distinguish between the ones I definitely wanted and needed to keep, and those which were lovely at the time but didn’t need to be saved anymore.

Over twenty years on and this past trip I went through the very last of the boxes. I joked to my sister that I’ve now officially settled into Scotland 😆 

This photo of me and my Gramps is a fave and definitely a keeper. Most of the photos and letters I’ve kept are those of family - parents, grandparents, sisters, nieces and nephews. And as much as I love taking landscape photos, I noticed that 20 years later it’s the people photos I am more likely to keep. Thankful for the traditions and patterns of seeing family every year or so since moving to Scotland. They’re small things - baking Christmas cookies and going for walks and going for road trips - but it’s the time together and the continuing family jokes and the memories which remain. And a few photos.

My grandfather (and all my grandparents) have now passed on, but I remember with fondness sitting around at their kitchen table, eating fresh vegetables from the garden, playing scrabble, laughing and talking and drinking coffee.

It’s the small things, and the rhythms of family, which last. ❤️ 
#family #memories #grandparents #oldphotos
Made fresh mince pies for the first time ever. Over twenty years in Scotland and I’d never tried to make them from scratch, so I figured…now is the time! I’m doing lots of thanksgiving baking (yes, we stretch it out here so I’m still prepping!) and decided to buy the ingredients. 

Dried fruit…mixed peel…lots of spices…and Venezuelan rum :) I made up the mincemeat last night, and then today put it in the little pastries and even cut out the wee stars to go on top!

I think I can safely say they’re the best mince pies I’ve ever had. Fresh out of the oven sprinkled with icing sugar and with a glass of said rum alongside :) 

Now we are curled up with a Harry Potter marathon, with plenty of mince pies AND a thanksgiving feast still to come. Happiness! 

#mincepies #homebaking #maryberry #maryberryrecipe #happythanksgiving #happychristmas #harrypotter #hpmarathon
Oh hey, it’s me. 

And a new updated KLR brand and website! 

For the past six months or so, while I was finishing my book content and the final edits from my side, we have also been working on an updated KLR brand and website, to distinguish from the PF brand and site. 

It’s a tough job, when you’re the business owner and have been for ten years. And the book you’ve written is for the kind of clients your business serves, so it feels like a PF project.

But I’ve also been working for years to figure out (and help others see) that PF is far more than me. I’m the owner and MD, and I’m involved in sales and speaking and writing, and yet our clients primarily work with the team. There are 18 beautiful humans delivering great creative work every day from PF (soon to be 19!) and as I always say to potential clients, you definitely want all of them working on your creative projects. They’re structured and organised and talented - 19x more talented than just me. 

I’ve still got my own skills. And my own identity. It took us weeks to dig into how we represent “Karen L Reyburn” as a personal brand, with an audience of clients and friends and accountants and non-accountants and witches and wizards and family members and creative humans. 

We settled on “Leader, writer, creative, coach”, because those are the areas I love the most and want to lean into more as PF grows. And as I write more books and keep being my own self. 

If you’d like to be on the list to get “Karen’s notes” by email every Saturday, or to be on the waiting list for the book (coming May 2023), the link is in my bio. 

And I’d love for you to head over to my new site ( and let me know what you love or anything you notice and wonder about! 

Stay strong, stay creative, and keep going. 

#karensnotes #staycreative #justkeepgoing