The Next Chapter :: The Joy Diet (chapter 3):
Never mind that I'm a week behind.
I just wrote half a blog post when my little cat, Viscosa, came and sat on my computer and managed to turn the power off. It's just as well because all I had written was a bunch of nonsense about how intensely hard I've been working and how exhausted I am beginning to feel. You know, the old story.
But that's not what I really came here to write about. I came here to write about Desire. I wasn't able to post last week because I was in the final days of preparation for a big art show opening. It swallowed me whole and then I got swallowed a little bit further by travel (read more about animal rescue and puppy adventures) and then the aftermath of being too busy to keep up with things for too long.
And this is where I've been spit out. On a Friday morning in the middle of October with dogs waiting to be walked and a heavy layer of mist outside my window. It has led me to my very first day off in over a month (the last time being only because I was too sick to carry on). It's fairly ridiculous what a big deal it is for me to be taking today off. You have no idea what a mental leap it was for me to put my foot down and say NO MORE, for just one day, NO MORE. I am, after all, my own schedule maker. If you think it is all bliss and candy being able to work from home or to be a full time artist or to follow your dream or whatever it is...think again. Living this life takes some pretty heavy-duty amounts of determination. It also requires knowing when to stop--which, apparently, is not one of my talents. I am aware of the insanity of this pattern, but have yet to find a way to break out of it.
And so...for the past week I have been thinking about Desire. My thoughts usually begin when running errands or on my way to a photo shoot in the city. Shortly after turning down County Road 1 (an especially beautiful road flanked by fields and bright colored forests and rolling hills), I ask myself what I desire and, this past week, each time, my answer comes back the same. I just need a break. And before I even get half way through that thought I feel the sting of tears and a heavy sort of hopelessness. I know that is the exhaustion talking. Because giving myself a break would be easy. But what I really desire is to be able to take a break without having a mountain of work pile up on the other side of it. As I drive, I attempt to follow this string of desire to a solution, but my brain starts to feel cloudy; it bumps and skids a little; I feel an ocean of tears start storming in my belly. This is about the time when I become keenly aware that something needs to change...and soon. My desire for a whole day or weekend or evening of simply "being" rather than "doing" is so deep that I can feel it all the way through my bones and into the earth.
Letting myself get tangled up in this thought of wishing for some downtime never gets me anywhere. The wishing makes hopefulness grow cloudy. And so I take a nap and dust out the cobwebs. I start over and remind myself that starting over is something I need to do on a regular basis.
I admit that I have not yet even finished reading this past week's chapter ("Creativity"), but am savoring the question: What will help me to obtain my heart's desire? This is an action oriented chapter. I'm good at action. Unfortunately, I'm a little toooo good at it and so I proceed with caution. I tweak the question to go more like: What can I do to help me obtain my desire that won't just make more work for myself?
My desire is to make enough money that I don't have to work myself to the bone just to have enough to barely get by. My desire is to set myself up to get paid more and work less. My desire is to occasionally take a weekend or evening off just to do something else or nothing at all. My desire is to learn how to create free time and then not jam pack it full of more to-do's. My desire is to live a little bit more sanely and feel a little less exhausted in the process. I desire time off without worrying what kind of hellacious work load will await me on the other side. This is a simple desire, right?
I am ready to start living my new story. My new story requires creative thinking...and this kind of thinking requires one simple ingredient: rest. Right now I'm going to do just that.
Never mind that it took me all day to write this post. I got distracted. Distraction was bound to happen. It's a process. I feel awkward, but am baking a pie. Morning turned to evening...and now that the day flew by I think I'll go back to bed with my book. I obviously need practice when it comes to chilling out.
For now: more rest. Creativity coming soon.