This week I went back to work. I’m still in shock. Now that makes me sound like I had a lovely long holiday across Christmas and New Year but I actually worked across the holidays, so last week I was taking my time back. It was amazing – time off when other people are working is amazing! I did a yoga class every day (another resolution on the go) and I cooked nice meals, and had coffees with friends that I hadn’t seen for an eternity and I gave myself creative thinking time (in coffee shops, with posh coffees)!
That was an incredible week. I made solid plans and got start dates in mine and other people’s diaries to REALISE the projects we kept chatting about. I spent a solid day talking about craft activities and cabaret and drawing pictures of brooches and birds and what materials they might be made out of all over my notebook.
I miss that week. But like all good dreamers (really? Surely there’s a way out of this some day?) I had to go back to the grind to make the money that supports me through my whimsical flights of fancy…
So how do you make this balance work? How do you schedule your time to allow for thinking space, doing space, working, seeing friends, family, partners, without going stir crazy or living by my blackberry more than I already do? And then once you’ve built up the momentum of projects that were, and still are, so exciting and inspiring to be pushing forward, how do you maintain that energy to keep them up?
I hate the idea of coming home one day to find in a corner a scrunched up song sheet, some fabrics and sequins half sewn, half glued together as I lost patience and the enormous, complicated flowchart gathering dust…
There’s an interesting article a friend of mine brought my attention to about How to Be Happy. It includes such ideas as ‘build a shrine’, ‘embrace good smells’, and the ever-useful advice of ‘sleep, just sleep’, but it also advises resolution savvy readers not to give themselves homework. The argument here is, if you’re not doing it; if that half scarf, half baby blanket, potential cushion cover is lying in a knotty pile in the corner, untouched for months, and nagging you with its needle eyes, then it’s just not really worth it.
I am very much not taking this as an argument to never try these things (I will be Martha Stewart – I WILL!). The reasoning isn’t so much ‘If this isn’t going to get finished, why bother? If this is just going to be an additional stress in your life then why bother? Why bother? Why bother!?’ but more saying that it’s ok to start and realise half way that this isn’t really you, isn’t really doing what you had hoped for yourself. It’s ok to let yourself off the hook and not feel that every seed you sew has to manifest into a beautiful tree that you can show to your best mate and beyond. Sometimes projects don’t work – sometimes they lose their steam or just never quite take off the ground.
So I am going to be forgiving. And hopefully by releasing this pressure from myself I’ll be able to stay excited about my projects, and then keep them moving forward. And I’m going to remind myself that sometimes even just making a start is an achievement, and will make starting other ventures easier and more successful.