I find the need to romanticize my job today in order to keep myself sane. Things have been a bit quiet here at the ol’ garden shop, but today I woke up at the crack of dawn to unload half a semi-truck worth of Christmas trees. I would have been crankier about it except for the fact that I find an odd sense of enjoyment in these outdoorsy sorts of physical activities. Not to mention, the smell of pine is intoxicating. Autumn leaves drifted and swirled upward in strong wind currents. Everyone walking to and from the coffee shop next door was exceptionally friendly. It seems that, in general, the smell of pine trees has this effect on people. Ok…so never mind that it was dark when I woke up. Never mind that my back is now stiffening. Never mind that I had to coordinate something I shouldn’t have had anything to do with. I admit it: I enjoyed myself. And I feel more connected to things than I have in several days.
Maybe that’s all I needed…a little extra exercise to loosen up and release all those emotional toxins that have been knocked loose during the course of the past couple weeks. Such a simple solution—I forget—is exercise. It’s not every day that I get the opportunity to throw around Christmas trees. Trees are good medicine. Even if they have (unfortunately) been cut down and transported from another state. True, I prefer the deep forests, but in this urban landscape I’ll take what I can get.
These days, I’ve been feeling a persistent urge to keep working on my thesis. Actually, I don’t want to do it, but there is not a second of the day that I’m not thinking about it (except while hauling trees, that is!). I completed another 4 (rough) pages yesterday in between a yard work, a visit to the dog park, sending a few emails, and dinner—a straggling paragraph here, another there. Finally, I had to tell myself: STOP! Other than the four pages I pieced together yesterday, progress has been slow. I beg myself to keep moving forward while reminding myself that, eventually, I will reach the very end. When I get really stuck, I do 15 minute freewrites (alla Peter Elbow), then move on to a new thought. It turns out that those freewrites have become the bulk of my most recent pages.
Last night, to keep myself from total and absolute burnout, I did the wise thing and took a break by going on a little shopping excursion with V (paints for me, pants for him). Once back home, I shifted focus to my other current obsession: web design. I’m presently working on several projects at once and, oh my, I would be so happy to just spend entire days CREATING!!
One thing that I am learning about myself is that I enjoy work that allows me to move around and mix things up. When things get monotonous, I tend to turn off. But multi-tasking on compatible projects? Yes, I love that idea—but compatibility between projects, I’m noticing, is key. And, uh… time management (which is something I would love to get better at). I thrive off of feeling a sense of personal investment in what I do. However, I also need to learn when to call it quits and just relax. It’s a continual process though, isn’t it? To live a seamless life—is that even possible? Maybe not, but what I’m striving towards are things that turn me on, not shut me off.
And so I have two questions for myself: What brings me satisfaction? And how might I create a life based on those things?
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