Saturday, March 17, 2007

{Checking In} Week 4 of Finding Water

morning pages:
oy! i guess you could say that this week was (on a superficial level) not a good week for morning pages. i only did them 4 out of 7 days. i don't even remember why i neglected them last sunday, but i missed monday and wednesday because my niece and nephew got dropped off at our house in the wee hours of the morning on both of those days. i have renewed respect for mothers who are able to somehow fit in their morning pages everyday. (and speaking of) the issue of having kids has become a very big deal in my life these days. there is hardly a moment when i am not weighing the pros and the cons of whether or not or when to have kids of our own. i would like to write about this someday, but it is such a deeply personal subject to me. i wouldn't be sure where to begin... and anyway, i think i'm getting off topic here.

despite the lack in quantity, this week's morning pages have taken a turn for the positive. my thoughts have settled into a new rhythm and i've been reaching new depths in my journal pages that leave me, each time, with a new-found willingness to believe in myself and my work. having carried around so much doubt for such a long time, i am grateful for this turn of perspective.

i am beginning to believe in myself again.

artist's date, walking, and significant issues:
this week i went to a salon to get my hair cut and colored and then went shopping for a few new items of clothes that i would feel good wearing. i wrote about it here. i don't spend much money on myself in terms of appearance (i usually blow my money on good food, good coffee, and good books instead!).

this week, for me, has been about finding a balance between work and pleasure. i've been once again reminded that i accomplish more when i give myself a chance to truly relax and enjoy myself. this week i did exactly that by spending time to get my hair done (including an oh-so-luxurious head massage), going shopping, and taking several long walks down by the creek (with wolfie, of course!).

while walking i've been taking extra time to notice things like raccoon tracks along the water, the glint of ice and rushing currents, and the shifting colors of trees and old abandoned buildings. i took time to really look--and, in doing so, my old world turned into one discovery after the next.

oddly enough (rather, not-so-oddly), taking time to set everything else aside and just BE has brought a lot of organization into my life this week. this week i've managed to:
  • deep cleaned almost the entire house
  • do 5 or 6 loads of laundry
  • clean out all the accumulated garbage in my painting studio--including mopping the floors!
  • catch up on emails
  • go through several stacks of paper work
  • pay bills (this was a serious accomplishment!)
  • send a package in the mail
  • go grocery shopping
  • thoroughly clean the laundry room (another serious accomplishment!)
  • print out half of a ream of paper worth of writing (more on that later...this is another big deal).
  • go on not one, but TWO photo shoots
  • read and return several books i had on loan (for seriously too long) from the bookstore
  • bought a paper punch and several 3-ringed binders for organizing my writing)

...yeah, you get the point. i took time AWAY from my work (writing) and then accomplished more in the end. why is this so hard for me to r-e-m-e-m-b-e-r??! i get so obsessed with accomplishing something that i (too often) don't get anything done. i think it's safe to say that this breath of motivation might have all started last week when i rearranged my writing room and put my desk a little closer to the window--right smack-dab in front of it, to be more precise. i needed a shift of perspective, and i got it. one thing has led to the next...but would i even be aware of this if i wasn't doing morning pages or going on artist's dates or taking extra long walks or doodling in my sketchbook?

i was worried that doing this book (Finding Water) would eat up too much time that i just don't have. but instead of my time being swallowed up by blog reading and navel-gazing, it seems that doing all of this has actually had the effect of creating time for the things that are most important to me (writing and painting). i feel my momentum starting to pick up speed and with it a belief in myself is beginning to return--one thing being connected to the next to the next to the next...


these photos are from the places that i walk.


Janet said...

Your week sounds pretty good to me. You seem to have accomplished quite a lot. I had the same feelings about starting this book....I thought it would take too much time but I find I'm doing more than ever before. I'm also in the process of clearing out accumulated stuff. Where does it all come from?!

Leah said...

sounds like an amazingly productive week to me!! i'm so glad that you have found time expanding for you. i need to remember that bit about just relaxing into being, anxiety about getting everything done *right now* tends to lead to me doing nearly nothing as well.

kristen said...

Right on! I love this post and all the positive spring-like words I've read here. I've found that I notice a whole lot more and see beauty in my somewhat routine day-to-day.
I've been feeling this need to reorganize and clean too. I've attributed it to the spring bug, but perhaps it really is this journey through Finding Water...hmmm.
Sounds like a perfect week really. Blessings.

Anonymous said...

yep, definitely sounds like you got a lot done! i'm curious about the writing you're doing -- is it personal stuff in your journals or for your thesis or other submissions or a combination of all of it? i also love that you can see the skyline through the trees of your walk. xo

Gemma said...

Beginning to believe in yourself again....Fantastic!

The Dream said...

I love your blog.
Believe, Believe, Believe.
Hey, I especially LOVE the photo of the steps with the melting snow/ice. Can I get a copy of that from you?
I, too, feel as though I am accomplishing much more - the creativity surge is in progress.

kj said...

jessie, what can i say?

just yay!

bella said...

Jess, this sounds like an awesome and productive week for you. I myself couldn't keep up with week 4 but I'm determined to tie it in with this Week # 5. I loved reading your thoughts and your list of accomplishments.. and girl, if you need anyone to talk to about your feelings on trying for a baby.. you can always email me.
Love you.

bee said...

oh, my sweet girl.

i want to comment on every one of the things you brought up in this post. i don't want to miss anything....maybe i am just going to call you....i will when i'm done this.

you would be a fantastic mama. but i got this 'frisson' when i read that - and i thought, "i want to live near her FIRST." visiting you is just not gonna hack it, sweetie, i need to live in my own cabin (not like crazy d, but...) and walk over to your house in the morning with my own wolfie and bring you coffee...and play scrabble at night with you and v...i need to make this happen. first india and then minnesota. lol.

yay for you and accomplishment week! holy f***. i can't seem to get started...i must. i will.

i know i'm missing out on it all...but i'll talk to you soon.

i miss you and love you, didi.

Elizabeth said...

Woh! Go Jessie! What an AMAZING week .. you have inspired me no end. I feel like a headless chcken still, flapping around and getting nowhere; you might have just provided me with the answer, to just 'be'. Thanks for a great post.

I'm with you on the hair/clothes thing - did that too myself this week - but I really envy you the wolfie, and the walks. So PLEASED that you had a good week - and never ever doubt that you are VERY talented. :-)

As for being a mum and doing art and stuff, it does all fall into place after a while: I actually get WAY more stuff done, art, housework, fishing. friends etc, than I did before I had my son. You just get 'in the zone'.

Love and blessings to you, E

melba said...

I read your last few posts. I drank them in! I want some of that coffee! MMMM.
I can't wait for the day when
1. We eat Indian food together
2. Drink coffee together



Riggwelter said...

This is one positive blog!
It sound like you had a very productive week, you go girl!
I also love the pics, especially the Racoon tracks.
Isn't it great how one thing just leads to another.
Keep believing in yourself!
(I'm also intrigued with you writing, looking forward to hearing about it)

Anonymous said...

Fabulous week for you!
I'm so inspired to find a balance so I can get more done. More "me" time to spend on artist dates and morning pages.
Having just moved, I know the feeling and the inspiration of a new perspective from where I write.
Yay for you!!!
I'm catching up.....

GeL(Emerald Eyes) said...

Hi Jessie,
What a fantastic week for you! It's great that "you're beginning to believe in yourself again." Plus, your insight about reading FW and doing its course actually creating more time and increasing productivity and inner fulfillment is what I have found, too.
There are other aspects to your post, I'll randomly comment on:
Those raccon tracks are a cool photo! (I'm also a photographer so seeing you went on two photo shoots among this week of also accomplishing so much that you wanted to do makes me feel so happy for you. I'm glad you are pampering yourself. To me, relaxation begets creativity, but I need to follow my own advice more often.
Your post is inspiring.
Take care