Every scrap of paper

There is energy in resistance.

So I am resisting.
Resisting to make another clip art set
Resisting to write in my professional blog
Resisisting to write, period.
Resisting to learn JavaScript and PHP
Resisting to DO things, like cooking and cleaning, and organising and socializing.
Resisting to travel
Resisting to sleep
Resisting to eat
Resisting to enjoy

I’ve read several articles on how to focus today and not one was necessary for me. I know what is happening. I must be honest.

Craving free time, I got it. And now I don’t really know what to do with it, a part from experimenting.

It seems that I’m incapable of committing. Yesterday I realized this as a buddhist nun told us about her life, her projects and her work. I have one commitment and that is to my husband. It’s the one that spans large and wide. A part from that, I float. I don’t even want a dog because I can’t handle the 15 year commitment and it’s a sad affair. When I begin a painting, or a clipart, I start it with trepidation and before I know it I’m bored or I want to do something else. I am distracted every two seconds by a inconsequential curiosity:
Did I get an email?
Did I get admitted to that FB group?
What was that singer that….?
Should I buy a printer?
And obviously, I jump from web site to website looking for… what?

I hadn’t read a book from beginning to end probably since last summer. I noticed because just yesterday I managed to finish one incredible novel by Nancy Houston. The last novel I read voraciously was also by Nancy Houston, last year in France.

I know what I’m looking for. A commitment to something, to anything, something I can plunge myself into. I thought I found it with drawing and painting but the thing is, it needs to go further, it needs to be long term, it needs a purpose. Every two minutes, I’m tempted to do something else.
I have a list of projects that I want to do. But most of them have a timeline of at at least 6 months.
In this age of impatience, I want projects finished in the next five minutes.

So what do I do? I keep looking for more ideas, more projects, more classes, more how-tos.

Believe me, dear reader, it embarasses me to acknowledge this.

But I get the feeling I’m not alone.

Whenever I get into this lost state I think back to the days when we didn’t have internet at home, only at work and weekends were genuinely made for exploring and experimenting for long stretches of time. I think about how oblivious I was about copyright and tearing out magazines to make collages was the full extent of my creativity. The most magical thing of this was that I didn’t feel compelled to share any of it. I made art and at most, I mailed it to a friend. I wrote long letters accounting my days almost to the minute.

These days I feel I wake up just to go back to sleep again, losing large chunks of time.

So I am thinking about how to revert this state? What’s the strategy?

The Internet

  • First I put a blocker on my “problem sites”. The thought of “Shit! what if I miss something important” makes me laugh because the last important thing I read was not online.
  • Second, I removed problem apps from the phone. The only indulgence right now is Instagram and I don’t even follow that many people.
  • I pulled “the sheet”, the lined sheet of paper where I mark every single time my hand reaches for the mouse to change tabs or interrupt what I’m doing. So far, writing this text I’ve wanted to open a new tab to “check something” 5 times.

Time

  • Time tracking to the minute
  • Not being strict with planning, I’m not a planner, I will never be.
  •  Recognize when I get grumpy because I have to do chores or activities (such as eating) because they make me “waste time” and attempt to cognitive-therapize myself into believing it’s good for me.

Offline

Chose one fiction book and read it during the course of one week instead of three. Commit to the book.

When one has commitment issues, usually it’s linked to love, but it’s not always the case. Even if you are in committed relationship, these “issues” can pop-up in unlikely places.

Despite it all, I keep making a drawing or two a day, sometimes I approach watercolors in all humility, sometimes I just splash them insanely and waste paper.

newwork

All in all, the goal is not to give in to resistance.

This post was inspired by Movement Muse.

Comment 1

  1. I can find myself in a lot of what you write. Committing to anything long term has always been my issue. I get a shot of endorphins from new ideas, new beginnings. Sticking out with anything is a chore. I’m only now learning the lesson of patience and showing up every day, even though I know that at my core, I’m a person who plunges.

    Showing up in any way, even if it’s “messing up” the fancy watercolor paper, still counts.

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