Gas molecules will fly all over the place unless held in a container. That’s what I’m like . Unless I am contained in a structure, I am all over the map. As a result, I can feel inefficient and anxious. Ironically it appears that in order for me to “think outside the box”, I need to be in one
For most, they have a structure imposed by a job, school, and/or family responsibilities. That used to be me but 2 years ago I retired from teaching and now it’s up to me to create my own structure. In other words, I get to be my own parent. Scary.
I make several kinds of visual art, play music, sing in a choir, and write, plus take care of an aging farmhouse on rural property. I’m doing a little of this and a little of that. As a result, my work is all over the place with no real sense of focus & accomplishment. I am “showing up” but irregularly without a clear set of goals. So after bumbling around for a while in this new found frontier of freedom, I realize that in order to function effectively I need to create my own “box” for myself to save me from chaos.
Recently I sent for books on the subject. Currently, I am reading , Goal Setting forPeople Who Hate to Set Goals.” This small book by Keith Ellis is helping me prioritize & set measurable goals step by step. Today I am going to sit down, write out my goals and create a visual flowchart to follow. For me, unless I write things down and have a visual posted in a place where I see it consistently, all will be a wash.
Some successes thus far: I have started to get up an hour earlier. That helps a lot. I also for some months now have been following a modified version of the house cleaning and organization system on flylady.net. My house is way more in order and clean than ever before by just following her simple systematic approach. I function much better in a clean, orderly environment.
If you have any tricks to stay focused and organized, I would love to know!
It happens sometimes to creatives- your head is filled with a party of ideas & inspirations and then all of a sudden the party is over. You’re left with a bunch of rubble, an empty room, and a creative hangover. That’s where I am at. I’ve been here before and it’s not fun. You feel lost, lonely & a sense of despair. The one thing I do know “This too shall pass” (but not without some effort).
Parties can’t go on indefinitely. At some point, you need to rest & recharge. The first step is to clean up after the party- literally. I am doing a total cleanup of my studio. On Saturday I swept down my cement floor, got rid of unnecessary items that lined the walls and occupied the floor and then hosed down the entire thing. Afterward, it smelled fresh and sweet. Today I am cleaning and organizing my table surfaces. For some reason cleaning my physical space also cleans my mental space. It’s not a cure-all but sure is a positive start to make room for new ideas. Best of all- It’s something I can do now and feel good about.
I wrote the following poem at my low point (also posted on “Poet’s Corner”). I look forward to hearing the songs of birds again.
I don’t know how you experienced travelers do it. For me to leave on any trip is a challenge, let alone an overseas trip. Here is a glimpse of my reality. The good news is, I am finally here my printmaking workshop at the Ballinglen Art Center, Ballycastle, County Mayo, Ireland.
I hate lists
They wind around me
Like boa constrictors
Squeezing out my life’s energy
Feasting on my self-esteem
Waiting for others in queue
To take their place