We were supposed to drive up north this weekend for my grandpa's and nephew's shared birthday party. But the weather has caused a change in our plans. We'll be hunkering down at home instead.
V. and I ran a few errands after he was done with work, and you would have thought Armageddon was on its way! The weather is supposed to get truly nasty, but in all honesty I think most people are looking forward to the little bit of downtime a storm will provide. The stores were packed with people getting "supplies" to get them through the weekend--food, movies, liquor. Check-out lines strung out half way through the stores and it was a mad house every where we went!
I've been waiting for the snow to start ever since yesterday. So far everything is covered in an icy crust. Snow that, while walking Anu, shattered like grains of salt under my boots. In the last hour the snow has started to fall with growing heaviness--and, although I was looking forward to going to my grandparent's, I'm also looking forward to spending a weekend at home.
Yesterday, in honor of the coming storm, I decided to switch gears, started a fire in the fireplace, and had a real bona fide "artist's picnic." Leah shared this idea a couple weeks ago over on the Create a Connection blog and I've been wanting to do it ever since. I made a bowl of soup, warmed some bread in the oven, and poured myself a cup of my favorite herbal tea... then I snuggled up to write some poetry. It felt wonderful and I think I might already be addicted to this sort of thing!
One thing that I'm getting better at, even after only one week of doing work in Finding Water, is learning how to approach myself and my art from different angles. I have been so stubborn about "getting something done" that, as a result, nothing good has been coming from it. Going on an Artist's Date reminded me of the value of loosening up and allowing myself a sense of play-- while, on the other hand, Morning Pages are teaching me how to remain committed to something.
At first I was irritated by what I was writing in my morning pages. I kept writing about money and how frustrated I was by what I'm being paid at work. I'm not normally the type of person that thinks about money so often (I guess it's one of those things that I try not to think about). There are too many things that are more important to me than financial success. But lately I have been feeling a growing sense of frustration over the lack of time I have to do the things that are most important to me (such as work on my thesis). It has caused me to think about what my time is worth--and it didn't take me long to come to the conclusion that my time is worth more than a barely-above-minimum-wage job--no matter how much fun it might (on occasion) be.
The strangest thing that happened this week is that, immediately following the pinnacle of my frustration, the phone rang and I was offered a (nearly) full-time position at the garden shop (the one I helped out at over Christmas) for twice the pay I'm making at the bookstore. Even more strange, is that this all unfolded within an hour after I made the definite decision that my time was worth more than what I had been giving it away for. I made a list of what I wanted. And then I got it. Literally, I asked for more money--and I received it.
Of course, getting what I asked for has come with its own set of problems. Reality set in and I realized I would have to make a decision. What about the bookstore?! Despite the low wages, I still love it there and want to stay involved. But, truth be told, I can't afford to work there as my sole source of income. So I sat down, once again, and wrote down an ideal schedule. And you know what? It might just work out perfectly. I can have the best of both worlds, get paid more, and make my time management a whole lot simpler.
This is a huge shift for me and, in the process, it has caused me to feel much more capable of creating the reality that I want for myself in more ways that one. For me, Week 1 has been about possibilities. But, more than that, it has been about turning the notion of possibility into reality. This feels like a stepping stone, leading me to the next step on my path. I don't regret where I've been because it has brought me to now.
I've found that this new-found awareness is effecting not just one area of my life, but several. My thesis is moving (gracefully) forward and I'm actually starting to lose weight (that in itself is miraculous!). Like the last time I did The Artist's Way, I am feeling a profound shift in my center of gravity--and it's refreshing to feel a renewed sense of excitement towards my creative endeavors (especially in my writing life). A sense of balance, believe it or not, is returning.
I feel like I have been catapulted through the air--and, finally, have landed on a stretch of solid ground--solid ground with water on both sides of me, that is. And, in keeping with the Finding Water metaphor, this week I've come to the realization that I'm free to relax and go "swimming" anytime I want.