Thursday, May 28, 2009

a tiny speck of blinding light

Today was mostly an administrative sort of day, in the office and not anywhere in the studio except to measure or count something. Yesterday was like that.
And the day before.
I don't remember what happened the day before that, just that everything seemed more difficult than it should be.

And today, Aubrey and I began to get on each others' nerves as we worked. So we took a break, drove to the post office and as a treat, let someone else make coffee for us. By the time we returned we'd worked out a couple of things on 'the list.'
At six we took a walk around the neighborhood. The heat was still cloying, so it eventually evolved into a trudge around the neighborhood. But the conversation was lively.
Each activity proved useful.

Not working in the studio for days tends to have a negative effect on my mental state. Not working in the studio for weeks makes me nuts --not at all in the good way.
It occurs to me that it's a stupid thing to put such a burden on my work. There are other ways to achieve a similar end result (balance, peace of mind, the zone, zen, any alphabet of terms). Swimming, for example. Any activity that allows us to concentrate on that all-important "one thing" can serve as meditation. There is indeed such a thing as too much thinking, after all.
It also occurs to me that I've stopped doing these other sorts of activities that used to 'tide me over' until I could get back to studio work. I can look back (now) and see how it happened, gradually. I stopped seeing swimming or relaxation as productive and valuable activities. It's classic anxiety-driven over-working behavior. It seemed that if I had time to do other things, I should be in the studio, even though a vigorous swim can be accomplished in twenty minutes.

This is not good thinking. Or logical.

But loads of us tend to be illogical when it comes to caring for ourselves.

It doesn't matter so much why we do it, as recognizing that we do and fixing it.

I've spent a great deal of energy and time trying to fix a lot of things. I've spent little time enjoying.

Most of those things we fret over will very likely seem to fix themselves if we fix ourselves. There's a reason we're supposed to put the oxygen mask on ourselves first. Silly humans!

I need to fix me. For sure.



Dan Guy said...

I'm noticing lately that when I am intensely concentrating on something I enjoy, like churning out some clever code or hacking my phone's ROM, my sense of anticipation begins to be indistinguishable from anxiety. I need to take more breaks.

lisa said...

Dan Guy: It's true, isn't it? By the same token, you can take a few solid deep breaths and your brain will believe you're calm.
I'm finding that taking just a couple of minutes to stretch and breath can help a great deal.

Rubius said...

Thank you for your words. You bring up some points that have been floating in my brain for a while. There really is a thing about too much thinking.

lisa said...

Rubius! How I miss you. I think of you often.

Miss Bliss said...

"Most of those things we fret over will very likely seem to fix themselves if we fix ourselves."

Now this is quite brilliant and a truth that proves out in my life every single day.'s all part of it. That's my challenge, to remember there is really no separation. Everything feeds into the work and the work feeds into everything. Blessings.

Loraine said...

I thought it was hot out here at 85- guess I've been here too long. I remember Palm Springs summers- feeling yourself being cooked as soon as you open the door...

Benton Warren said...

85 degrees??? Oh, to bask in the glory of only 85 degrees!!! And I know what you mean Lisa, I feel like most of the things that used to tide me over have been pushed away or left on the wayside for far to long! All this work-a-day work is making Ben a dull boy! I'm really looking forward to getting together with you this weekend for the Strange Machine project! That's the kind of fun that makes it all worth while.

lisa said...

Miss Bliss: if you're seeing this every day, then you're way ahead of me!

I like your blog, btw. your rants are purposeful and coherent.

Lorraine:Today was, fortunately, unseasonably cool and cloudy---just what I needed. but, do you agree" You actually have to experience desert heat to even have a clue as to how intense it is?

lisa said...

Bent: Yay!!! Strange Machines!!
I truly look forward to getting back to work on this project.

Put some coffee on and we'll be all set.

I'll bring a camera.

Ed said...

I get what you mean about looking after ourselves - something I'm not always good at doing. I've had a day of cleaning the house thus far. So this afternoon I'm off for a walk around the streets of Brunswick to bask in the waning autumn sun. Maybe I'll go for a swim. But I also have to email a review to a friend to see what they see if I'm off base. Hope you managed some "mending" with some gentle exercise and relaxation.