I’m not posting a drawing today. However, I’m in a good place with my drawingsâ€¦ I’ve always liked things I’ve made or drawn, but I just felt I needed a change. Then for a long time, I couldn’t do other creative things like writing, or even dreaming. Seriously, didn’t remember my dreams. I’d go to bed exhausted, and wake up, exhausted…
For so long I was burning the candle at both ends and wondering why I was having difficulty getting new ideas and creating new things. That’s been getting better as I’ve been more uncluttered. Anyone could find anything they’re looking for in my studio. And yesterday, I had everything I usually do in the evening, done in the afternoon, so I could have the entire evening to myself (two of my guys were at hockey). I read with our 7yo, and I did end up sketching a bit! Even when I thought my whole day was a washout, because I was taking care of other things during the day, I managed it. Amazingâ€¦
I was rarely truly organized, although I seemed that way. I was always doing the inevitable chores at the last possible minute. I never had a problem with deadlines, I would put any assignment ahead of other things, and should. But outside of that, I was constantly chasing my tail, constantly playing catch up, constantly feeling like I had to time for me, and blaming “all the stuff I had to do” for that. Even my workouts were on the backburner for something else.
But, it was not the organization that put me in the right place mentally and emotionally. Well, part of it was, but primarily, it was my lack of procrastination.
Usually when we use the word lack, it’s in a negative way: lack of self control, lack of drive, lack of time. But in this case, it’s a positive. By not putting things off untilÂ laterÂ I was able to free my mind. I don’t know many parents who love laundry, washing dishes, changing sheets, etc. I also have the added responsibility of making sure that the boys’ extra stuff is done as well: homework, school extras, sports stuff is clean, etc. But by getting those things done as soon as we can, we free our brains to be open to creative thoughts, and expanding ideas, resolving challenges in a creative way. At some point we all find ourselves saying “I have my best ideas in the shower” or bathroom, watering plants or whatever. Because those are mindless activities, we don’t need to think to do them, so we’re free to think about other things. I tell our older son constantly, kids who maintain their space have more time to do all the stuff they want to. Kids who don’t, spend their weekends cleaning. It’s getting in there, wish I’d listened when I was a kid!
Know what else? I also stretch, before I get out of bed. I need to stay flexible. How can my mind be flexible if my body isn’t? I also power walk or run every day. I do this as soon as the kids are on the bus. Sometimes five miles, on rare occasions six, usually four. There are days when I only feel like one or two. It’s something, as long as you get the heart going for even a small amount of time, it’s something. THAT is better than nothing. This also unclutters your mind. We need to “empty the cache” on a regular basis. I’m told constantly you have to “work out” ideas in drawings (I have such difficulty with metaphors), why wouldn’t you work out the physical muscles too? Exercise is good, for everything…
I’m relearning to enjoy myself, my husband and my boys. I can think clearly, I can write again, which is nice, I read more, and I’ve remembered a few dreams (but they’re not exactly what I want, perhaps I need different books)! Yet, I have the same amount of hours in the day, and actually more responsibilities as our boys get older. Lack of procrastination seems too easy, that fixing it couldn’t possibly change your life. We all tend to put things off, rob time from one activity to give to another, which we’d also robbed time from that activity for something else. Collectively though, these things are exercises in focus and discipline, and should be our priorities. The hour you’d spent on FB or Twitter you could have finished something else. I love Twitter, I will never give it up, but, I have slotted it for a certain amount of time per day. I only spend time on it after I’ve finished all the “have-to’s”.
Maybe it’s being in my forties, maybe it’s because I find myself giving advice to our 9yo that I should be taking myself, but I’ve had a complete overhaul in my thinking and doing. Lots and lots more thinking and doing! : )