I’m very distracted today. It is not a “live in the moment” kind of day for me. I am anticipating my vacation. I am looking forward to working some more on organizing my house. I am imagining what it will be like to drive cross country with my son.
This translates to a fairly unproductive day at work and a general dis-ease with having to sit in my office all day long waiting to go home so that I can do something. Something that I learned through my journey of the last couple of years is to complete a “check in” with myself to bring my attention back to here and now. If I do a check in with myself it looks like this:
Body – Temperature is comfortable, belly is full, I’m feeling a little “antsy” in my chair – wiggling around, neck is stiff
Mind – distracted, looking forward, uneasy, wandering
Heart – full and delighted, light and energetic
Soul – peaceful, at home
By checking in, you ask yourself to pay attention to the four aspects of your being: body, mind, heart and soul. It is important to pay attention to what you are feeling just as you check in. Even as you check in, you are changing. You may get relief from a cramp that you noticed, you may notice some sadness slipping into your consciousness. Nothing lasts but it is useful to check in and notice what’s happening now to bring your attention to the present moment.
Take a breath. Close your eyes. Check in. How are you feeling……right now?
I’m going on vacation next week. It will be the beginning of a long series of days away from home and off the job. It is my current excuse (along with a major reorganization of the house) for not printing.
Here’s the thinking:
If I go into the studio and get started on a series; if I really get excited about it; I most likely will have to abandon it in the middle because of my vacation plans. Interesting idea, don’t you think? It is completely and totally an excuse to not get started with something new.
So, what have I been doing? This weekend, I picked two gallons of blueberries and froze them. I baked bread. I put up fourteen quarts of pickles and I tore apart the studio. Since these were all things that need to be done, I’m not feeling too bad about printing time. The studio is now such a mess with all of the reorganization that it will be a major project to put it together again. I have so far given away four full size garbage bags full of fabric and there is a lot more waiting its turn. That part feels really good. Soon furniture will be rearranged and my bedroom will hold all of my sewing tools and the studio will be free to be a printmaking haven.
Useful Distractions is what I call life stuff that needs to be done and gets put in line in front of the art. You know what I’m talking about: the dishes, the garden, the children, the house, the husband. It can be big things like spending the day with your family or something tiny like picking flowers for the kitchen table. The list can be endless if you let it. I keep promising myself that the time will come soon when I will be alone in the house and thrilled to have my art take up more space in my life. I think it will be true. I hope that I am not too much out of practice. I fear that the transition from mom to empty nest, may be painful because I am out of practice taking the time to work on my art. I don’t want to substitute one set of Useful Distractions for another.
To make the transition smoother, I have planned my vacation as time for me and my art. I am taking lots of supplies with me and I intend (see how I’m saying this out loud to make it real?) to work on ideas and nurture my creative self while I am gone. One week, I have invited my art group to come stay with me. I’m anticipating projects galore!
Where does time for art fit into your life? How do you prioritize it so that your Useful Distractions don’t take over?