I DID IT MY WAY

What with the big show I do in August (9 days, people–please remember that when I’m slow with your special orders!), and getting my daughter off to graduate school (first time she’s been too far away to visit) and then vacation (I did nothing for six whole days), I fear I’ve sadly neglected my blog.

I felt it, too. The guilt. Heck, I didn’t even do my morning pages. Didn’t keep up on Facebook, either.

This morning, I had an extra fifteen minutes, and pondered what to do with it. Check my email? Sure!

But then I realized I miss writing. I may drag my feet about it, but it’s like fun exercise–I always feel better after I do it.

So rather than waste time looking for my current journal, I simply started another one. (Because of this coping strategy, I often have three or four journals kicking around at any given point in time.)

And of course, I started off pissing and moaning about what an awful person I was for not writing for the past five weeks.

And then I stopped. I looked at what I’d written:

I haven’t written in…months.

And then I wrote:

So what?!

I’d made a choice, every day. Write….or go to the beach. Write….or go out to breakfast with my husband. Write…or sleep in. Write…or pick up Meg and go ride horses.

I did not choose to write, every day, for five weeks. That’s all.

Do I regret any of those choices? Not a bit.

Eventually, I miss writing. I restructure my day to allow time to do it. Or I suddenly have something to say, and drop everything to get it down before I forget. (Dear readers, you have no idea how much wisdom I’ve had that has simply blown away in the wind of my busy-ness like so much lint.)

What helped me get here today was this post on time management (NOT) by Danielle LaPorte, whose blog WHITE HOT TRUTH is one of my favorite reads. I’d long given up trying to be super-productive–lost my mojo a few years ago–but I hadn’t given myself permission to not feel guilty about it. When I read her post, I laughed out loud in relief.

Most of our choices are simply that….choices. Yes, there are good choices and bad choices. But it’s not always so clear which are which.

Work in the studio, or blow it off to have lunch with a friend? If you are honoring your art, and fiercely protecting your creative time, then perhaps the former is the right choice for you today. And maybe that friend is annoying, and always leaves you feeling vaguely unsettled.

But perhaps something says you need to honor your friendship today. Maybe your friend needs some love and support. Maybe it’s you who needs the love and support. (And hey, maybe, like me, you’re the annoying friend.)

Different times, different goals, different stages of life call for different choices. The sooner we allow ourselves to simply be who we are, today, the happier we can be.

So instead of a to-do list today, I simply set some priorities. I had three pages of writing with a great idea for an article. Done. I thought of all the ‘have-to’s’ I have to today, and picked the one that keeps coming back–the new design that’s just right for a store that’s waiting on some new work from me. There’s a friend who’s special order just keeps popping into my mind. I’ll work on her piece today. And I’ll make the phone call to another friend whose need is greatest, and make time for her.

But the first thing I did this morning, after my morning pages, was my favorite.

I went riding.

The first frost of the season killed off most of the annoying bugs. The sun was brilliant, but the morning was cool, perfect riding weather. I had unexpected (and welcome) company on my ride. My muscles are sore–I’m finally healing after a back injury last fall, and foot surgery this spring–and it feels good to be sore from riding. From doing something I love.

I feel…..

happy.

My blessing for you today:

May you choose for yourself today, the thing that will make you the happiest.

And may you have many opportunities to do so.

N.B. In the interest of full disclosure, I did write my column for The Crafts Report. And I did my columns for the Fine Art Views newsletter. And I wrote several times to my son, who moved out two months ago (to a house two blocks from here.) And I kept up on some crucial emails.

So, yeah, I wrote. But isn’t the point of this column still a good one?

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5 Comments

Filed under art, choices, craft, organization, time management, writing

5 responses to “I DID IT MY WAY

  1. “I’d made a choice, every day. Write….or go to the beach. Write….or go out to breakfast with my husband. Write…or sleep in. Write…or pick up Meg and go ride horses.
    I did not choose to write, every day, for five weeks. That’s all.
    Do I regret any of those choices? Not a bit.”
    As a fiction writer who should be far more disciplined but isn’t, I so love your rationale. It’s always walking the dogs, the beach, embroidery or messing about for me. Guilt? Ummm, yes. Do I care? Sometimes… when I have readers champing at the bit for the next book (and telling me) But do I regret the choices? Like you, never. It’s food for the mind and food for writing.
    Lovely post, lovely blog. Thank you.

  2. Well said, and a much needed reminder. Thank you, Luann! Your writing is always timely and on target.

  3. Yes, enjoying the moment is the important part of life.. and that we can is a blessing.. We have llama’s so I would not feel guilty about not riding a horse.. Love them, hug them!,

  4. Amen, And since you asked, yes a good choice. It is a very timely post for me. I have not been writing lately for my still very embryonic blog, nor doing much art. I am recovering from foot surgery and confined to having my foot elevated for 50 minutes of every hour, and still have weeks to go before I can walk freely, and thus easily access the office or studio. So a lot of time to think, with my conclusions coming very similar to yours, “So what?” is becoming almost a daily mantra when I list the “shoulds” of my existence. So here is to a healthy choosing..

  5. Elaine

    Glad you’re back! I do miss your blog when you’re away.

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