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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Imperfection, Self-Care

This Page Intentionally Left Blank, an Explanation

I’ve been reading Alex Soojung-Kim Pang’s “Rest.” It’s a manifesto for space in our lives. Or, “why you get more done when you work less,” which is the subtitle. It’s an open question in my life right now.

I’ve gone from being furloughed and the large swaths of time that accompany it, to full-time employment and trying to balance my writing, music and art with that.   

This week, Sunday i was scheduled to work a double. Monday I was was also scheduled for a double. I was also committed to posting a blog Monday morning.   

I thought posting “This page intentionally left blank,” was nearly perfect summation of what I’m aiming for but haven’t quite achieved. Two days later, I’m left wondering what intentionally leaving the page blank, i.e. leaving my time open sometimes would look like. Or will look like.   

Adding more and more commitments to my time is my habit, but I don’t think it’s one that serves me. 

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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