When the flu makes you pause…

I have had the flu – or perhaps it would be more accurate to say, the flu has had me…

I am now recovered, although it has taken more days than I was intending – viruses are careless with our intentions…

And, after the first frail futile days of burying myself in novels and tissues, it has been an opportunity to pause…

To reflect…

To re-assess and re-align…

I have been disturbed by how easy it is to drift from my ‘true north’ and to not notice that drifting in the minutiae of day-to-day…

… how easy it is to take the easy well-trod route instead of navigating by my own stars…

Time for a course correction!

Thanks to this pause, I have been able to recognise what I have doing to my dreams and goals (simple answer: not as much as I need to!) through fear, through habit, through erosion by daily grind.

And I can, and have, trimmed my sails and reset my course.

I recommend taking a pause now and again (though I also recommend leaving viruses out of yours, if you can!)

Stop, breathe, check where you are heading.

Is it truly where you want to go?

It is very easy to drift with life’s currents – even a small shift can lead to being dramatically off course over time. Best to take that moment to pause and adjust…

Big waves on the New Plymouth waterfront

Transitions

I’ve been a bit pre-occupied this week:

  • I’ve had a new acting manager start at work (which turns out to be all good),
  • my kids have started at a new school (which was not all smooth sailing but is fine now), and
  • I’m returning to my term time work hours and routines after our summer holidays (which is all good, but yet another adjustment)

There’s something about these transition times that leave me edgy and more anxious than usual… especially when all the transitions happen in the same few days!

I confess: I like my comforts and the security of routine.

I’m not a natural adrenaline junkie or someone who seeks to live ‘on the edge’.

My adventures and explorations tend to be in civilised climes with regular meals and a reliable map to base my wanderings on. I like to know that my meals are coming and that I can have regular comfy sleep (maybe I’m part house cat?!)

I am more at home with adventures of the mind and soul, than I am with putting my body on the line.

Which brings me to a deeper transition that is underway in my life…

As I continue the transformation of my creative life, many of my old goals and desires are falling away…

My creative life is becoming full of bare branches with only a hint of budding new leaves.

While I’m enjoying being able to see the ‘sky’, I am left wondering what to do with myself…

What leaves do I want to grow?

So, now the outer life is settling into its new shape, I think it is time I turned my attention inwards a little.

I have no idea how that will affect my posting schedule!

I do know that blogging is one of my ‘must keeps’, so I will keep on trying to share my journey with you.

Please forgive me if that is more erratic than usual 😉

The ‘D’ Word

If you’re anything like me and most of the rest of the world, you’ll have grand dreams and plans and visions of how you’ll live your life next week and what you’ll create when the stars align to perfection – which is lovely and good, but…

What about today? Right now?!

You may well have heard the saying: “your actions and decisions today are your habits next week”

It would be nice to write this off as trite Pinspiration. Unfortunately, it’s pretty much true.

Which brings me to the ‘D’ word – my bugbear – DISCIPLINE

Not the kinky kind (unless that’s your dream 😉 ), but what the Free Dictionary defines as:

Training expected to produce a specific character or pattern of behavior, especially training that produces moral or mental improvement.

AKA Self-discipline and its close cousin, self-control…

Now, if you’re still anything like me, you know that all those wonderful ideas we had at the start of this post are going to take hard work to reach.

And you’ll know that the best way to do this is disciplined (that word again) hard work.

And you’ll also know that the reality is that after you’ve worked your day job all you want to do is eat easy food in front of the telly and not be self-disciplined or self-controlled (unless it’s the kind of control that keeps you awake too late finishing that cool novel) because it’s too hard and you’re too tired…

… which gets us exactly nowhere nearer those dreams.

So, what to do?

I suggest “thinking small”.

It’s easy to get caught up in the idea that we must devote hours of blood, sweat and tears towards our Art everyday, and if we can’t do that, then we might as well not bother. I’ve fallen into this trap more times than I like to confess to.

The truth is small steps work.

And it is from those small steps, those little regular choices, that our discipline is formed.

You may not be up for three hours of hard graft, but can you manage ten minutes (or even just five) of playing with your Art?

If you do that everyday, that’s over an hour of work each week – which is a whole heap better than none! And if you do that every week…

Having read this same advice many, many times and ignoring it (which means I won’t take it personally if you do the same – honest), I have now realised it in my bones and have decided to actually try following it.

I’ve realised that half an hour every afternoon gives me

  • ten minutes to dance,
  • ten minutes to paint, and
  • ten minutes to do some housework.

For me, that’s three important steps towards my goals every afternoon – in manageable, doable chunks. I’m not going to clock watch – my ‘ten minutes’ is more an encouragement to keep it small than it is a precise measure. I figure I’m more like to run over than under, because usually it’s getting started that’s my sticking point, but that’s another post…

So, while you can feel free to nag remind me about my good intentions (and I promise to report in), my challenge to you is:

What ten minutes each day will you do?

 

 

2013

Here’s some of my ‘goals’ for 2013 in Wordle form:

Wordle: 2013

13 by 2013

I came across the 12 by 2012 idea in late November, which was rather too late to join in.  So, when I was doing my (first-ever!) personal annual review (thanks to the Daily Bellydance Quickies emails), I thought I would include a list of 13 by 2013 as part of my goal setting.

To help keep me accountable, I thought I’d share my list (I’ll write more about my other goals in a later post):

1. Finish partially completed or promised craft projects (in no particular order):

  1. Brian’s cardigan
  2. Hamish’s blanket
  3. Matthew’s blanket
  4. 8ply jacket (for me)
  5. cot blanket for Emily’s baby
  6. “pay it forwards” to Katy
  7. “pay it forwards” to Liz
  8. charcoal jacket
  9. green and brown skirt
  10. Celtic needlepoint
  11. cot quilt
  12. embroidered tunic

2. Use up my stash (fabric and yarn) until it fits into the currently available storage boxes

3. Clear out my personal archive boxes (aiming for one, not three)

4. Clear out the filing cabinet

5. Sort and organise the kids’ past artwork

6. Sort and organise our digital photos (at least up to  the end of 2008)

7. Get my full Drivers’ licence

8. Make my tribal belly dance tassel belt

9. Read my current “to read” pile

10. Make my bedroom more of  a haven and less of a dumping ground

11. Clean the oven at least twice

12. Sort out and maintain the front garden beds

13. Go to the dentist

I’ll post on my progress as it happens…