I’m on a roll here, with facing my fears and doing it anyway: today I had a(nother!) revelation over my morning breakfast party*, about wanting more structure in my days, weeks, years.
Very easily said! But to actually put even one or two hours a week in place, and to work methodically and practically towards some of my bigger goals, well, this honestly scares the hell out of me!
There are a couple of big goals which I can see I’m actively avoiding achieving, by not scheduling any time in per week to attend to them, and by being lured into any possible digression that can be found. Because they are big dreams though, and because I really want to achieve them, and because I know that all things are achievable, so long as we put in the dedication and take responsibility for ourselves, they’ll come to pass- yey.
taking responsibility (mixed media/ paper) cyprus 2002
What I consider Living The Dream, is focussed on a core freedom of not being bound by routines, nor by the power dynamics of others/ of economics/ of convention. I do pretty darn well in manifesting what I need and want in the world, and in remaining happy and healthy throughout, and I feel free in the most profound sense of the word; spiritually, energetically free… but I’ll confess one big bain of my adult life: I get worn out quite often.
me exhausted from working my ass off, so wilding out, 2010
NB wilding out rarely truly alleviates stress, on any level!
I don’t mean major burn-out, but I definitely do mean that weight of just carrying too much, trying to fit too much into the day, telling myself I’m not doing enough, and taking any and all criticism (no matter how insignificant) as a massive issue which I have to work even harder to avoid in future. In the past, this has also led to my wilding out, or partying excessively, to antidote the heavy work schedule I’ve enforced on myself!
I have a saying; ‘If I’m awake, I’m working’! It’s meant to function as an informal ‘Do Not Disturb’ sign, and to build a boundary, protecting my privacy and subtle working atmosphere from being constantly invaded by the curious -many of whom think of artistic practise as free time, or a kind of permanent vacation (haha-fucking-HA!). What the phrase means to me, is that my life is filled from dawn to dusk (and often also in the dream-time) with creative activity; with growing energy, making things, working towards dreams, and so on.
So anyways, one of the problems with the mantra, is that it is true, and I pretty much am in a consistent state of hard graft: thinking about working, giving myself a row for not working harder, preparing for working, tidying up after working, and so on and so on. This leads to occasional bouts of ‘I can’t do this!’ -because it just isn’t possible to be working every hour of the day, no matter how much one loves what one is doing.
me in the studio, yesterday: i love what i do!
In fact, one of the problems with social entrepreneus, solopreneurs, people working from home, etc, is that we get stuck in this tangle of just pottering along, doing a million things, being distracted by the everyday… We love the freedom of not being tied to a desk, or whatever, so we go all out to take that as meaning complete freedom: I don’t have to do anything which I don’t want to do.
This works to a point, but there is SUCH a fine line there- a clear balance to be surfed elegantly and skillfully, that we can have harmony between our striving, our achieving deadlines, our enoying the resulting harvest, and then entering fully our respite time. Each has to be marked somehow, delineated, either subtley or tightly.
breakfast at gepino’s: photo © dylan chubb
Okay, as often happens, I probably got way too philosophical there, but what I set out to write, was how… gulp!… I am committing to (do my best to) implement various new structures in my working time, which will allow both resting (yippee!) and more efficient use of my waking hours. It’ll help me focus on my goals, and communicate more clearly with my audience too.
Phew, only took me 10 months since graduating from Marie Forleo’s business school to make this commitment!
SCHEDULED WORK COMMITMENT NUMBER ONE:
I’ll be putting out a
NEW BLOG POST
EVERY FRIDAY AFTERNOON
(European central time!) for you all!
Let’s have an almost-the-weekend brindisi** to that!
let’s hope i don’t forget to write it in my agenda- haha!
* in Italy, it seems like breakfast is always a very special, social, almost celebratory event- this is one of my biggest loves about spending time in Italy, and I’ll write a blog about it soon… ♥
**brindisi is the Italian word used for ‘cheers’ when we toast someone/ something