Boundaries, Imperfection, Self-Care, Writing

No Really, How much Time Does it Take?

I’ve been living by the seat my pants in terms of how I do The Work the last few weeks. At first when I returned to my job, it felt like I could handle everything, (my job and all the whims I have regarding The Work), and indefinitely. But no one can really function that way. It makes a body moody and resentful.   

Over the past few weeks I’ve been beginning to reconfigure the whole operation. There are some questions it seems I have to come to terms with, (and figure out realistic answers to). 

What do I want to do? —I always want to do everything. 

What can I actually do? —I can’t actually do everything, though I often want to believe that I can.

How long will it take to do it?  —Probably longer than I suspect, but in general any task I set if front of myself is finite and can be completed in some amount of time.   

No really, how much time does it take?  —This usually requires doing it a few times to get a rough estimate so I can schedule it out. 

What is enough?  —It’s my work, I get to decide. And there has to be an enough. If there isn’t I’ll never stop, or more likely burn out.  

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Boundaries, Imperfection, Self-Care

Bells and Whistles

Today, I started the process learning a new app to which I recently I subscribed. Finding out how it works; what are its bells and whistles? As I attempted to connect the app to a different program I use, I was prompted to upgrade (and pay more). The bells and whistles are doled out at different price levels.  

How badly did I want the integration? At that moment, it seemed really important. If nothing else, it would have offered a sweet dopamine hit in the ‘ol neuroreceptors. It’s the same dilemma that presents itself anytime I buy a phone, computer, or other sundry gadget. It’s what do I need versus what I want.  

Tonight, I held back. I’ve spent the last week or so paring a lot of bells and whistles out of my life. I talk a lot about being able to define what is “enough” for myself. It’s really important to know what I’ll use, and what I actually need. (And in the end it was more than I wanted to spend). 

But I wanted the bells and whistles really bad.   

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Boundaries, Resistance

Reading the News

One of the lessons of Tiny Habits is to simply watch what I’m already doing, (without judgment) and build on that. This is a way of looking at where my motivations lie. (It’s also a lesson of from animal trainers—try as I might, climbing a tree is a behavior I’m not likely to elicit from a seal).   

Interesting things that come out of this. For instance, in my mind, I’d love to be someone who doesn’t read the news. There’s a lot of judgment and effort I’ve put into not reading the news. 

Yet, I still do it daily.  

I’ve found I can build habits into my life that preclude reading so much news, and also that I actually just enjoy reading the news.  

There’s a chance I just haven’t tripped over the correct approach to excluding news from my life. There’s also a really good chance that all the judgment and shame I lay on myself over my news reading habit is just wasted energy.   

Boundaries, Imperfection, Practice, Self-Care

What is Enough?

I’m a big advocate of “enough.” 

What is enough?  

How do I define enough for myself?

How do I guard myself for when the world, (and the voices in my own head), tells me what I’ve done isn’t enough?  

Enough is a work in progress. An experiment even. Most of what I do, I’d love to do more of, until I find that I don’t want to do anything anymore. It’s preferable not to get to “I don’t want to do anything anymore.” So I’m aiming to learn what’s enough.  

Boundaries, Imperfection, Inherent Self-Worth, Self-Care

Meh, revisited

It’s interesting to see in my illustrations, perhaps some subconscious messages poking their little head into the sunlight. The kitty saying “Meh,” a perfectly reasonable and appropriate thing for a cat to say in popular culture’s telling of cats. But I could have said anything. Or nothing at all. Good ‘ol Beanie could have just napped on his couch:

Or a couple of days ago when this seal balanced the veritable world atop his nose–something like Altas performing at Sea World. I’ll say here for the record, “I like the work;” but I wonder is my sub-conscious getting grumpy? Perhaps my muse is sending up smoke signals?

A few days ago I scrawled down these words; “Every time I try to lower the stakes for myself, I want to raise them somewhere else.” When I consider doing fewer drawings each week a voice in my head says; “Great, then you can post everyday!” Or, “Great! That means you could do more detailed work!”

One of the voices in my head is a workaholic Tigger. The balanced, rational part of my mind knows I can’t do everything. The balanced, rational part of my mind defends my right to decide what is enough. Workaholic Tigger will always bounce back with an offer of more work.

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