I took an unintentional leave of absence. (Leaf of absence? Heh, heh. . . . )
It wasn’t pre-planned or meditated, it just happened as I sunk into life and let myself figure a few things out by mostly unplugging. (Instagram has been my tether to the Internets).
I’ve really been in touch (and by “in touch” I really mean “consuming everyone else’s creative output”) only by means of my phone (if we’re regularly in touch via blog comments – I’m sorry, commenting from my phone just takes too darn long, but I promise – I was there!).
My dear HP Mini died the other day. I gingerly carried that little guy into the computer repair shop, and the man behind the counter, dressed in hospital scrubs (total truth), told me it would cost more to fix than it was worth.
I nodded solemnly, knowing this was the probable outcome. I was prepared for it.
The twist of the situation was that I didn’t really mind the whole “lack of internet access” part of it.
I was happy to be unplugged and living life away from the world wide web (for the most part). Being unplugged seriously reduced unnecessary and frivolous stress.
For the past month, I’ve been doing some internal questioning to try to decipher how I want to move forward here.
I’m not going to lie – throwing in the towel and powering down the entire thing was one of the top three options.
“Where do I go from here?” was the predominant question.
“[Wherever] I want, Napoleon” was my answer.
I’m not going to worry about what I should be doing, what might get more hits, if I’m producing enough frequently enough, whether or not I can network with it, if it will someday turn lucrative, if Foodgawker, or Craftgawker, or Tastespotting, or anyone else will grace me with their stamp of approval.
I’m going to give myself permission to abandon a schedule, veer away from a general theme, talk about weird stuff that only a few people in the world might find interesting.
I’ve adhered to so many self-imposed regulations, parameters, and boundaries that I’ve boxed myself into a virtual corner of quiet, no-wake-zone sort-of creativity (or lack there-of), and I don’t want to stay there anymore.
“Shutting down and sinking in” – words that kept playing over and over in my head. I’m not sure if I heard them somewhere or if my subconscious mind is trying to direct me, but that’s where I’ve been for the last month.
Mostly off-line, and sinking into home.
Since Christmas, our house has been at maximum capacity, fever pitch, a point of likely spontaneous combustion, and if I don’t get a handle on ALL THE STUFF that is taking over our house like The Blob (circa the 1958 horror film), we all might be consumed and DIE.
And me and my people (bad grammar?) have jointly needed each other. Maybe I need them more than they need me right now. Being with them instead of online grounds me and drowns out the radio static of all that business that doesn’t matter in the long run.
We need the peaceful afternoons of doodling and reading and biking and general cleanliness to keep us all feeling whole and little bit more like fully functioning, real people without frayed and raw ends.
(A side story: I’m seriously de-cluttering again. I spent three hours in Little Gal’s room the other morning and pulled out two and a half kitchen garbage bags of various overflow – garbage, toys, books, clothes. Her 6×8 foot room is organized like it’s been through bedroom boot camp. When I tucked her in that night the words, “Thank you for organizing my room Mommy. I LOOOOOOOOOVE it!” , came from her 4-year-old mouth.
Who’d have ever thought such a little person would appreciate extreme organization to that degree?
Maybe all these neat-freak people are on to something. . . . )
I’ve also realized that I need quiet peaceful creativity just as much as they do. It’s feeding me again.
The dormant artist in me has woken after a good three years of hibernation – why, I don’t know.
I don’t know why I ever let it go dormant, and I don’t know why, of all times, now it is coming back to life – but inspiration abounds, and I’m honoring it.
“If you have two or three real passions,” says artist and writer Austin Kleon, “don’t feel like you have to pick and choose between them. Don’t discard. Keep all your passions in your life. . . . The thing is, you can cut off a couple passions and only focus on one, but after a while, you’ll start to feel phantom limb pain”.
I’ll keep writing and cooking. I’ll keep painting and doodling, and I’ll keep serving and sharing (still more to come on that. . . ) and I’ll trust that they’re all passions that were placed in me to make me whole, and somehow they’ll bless the people around me too.
Thanks for continuing to hang out with sporadic, disorganized me.
Next up – an easy peasy white chicken chili (Crock Pot!) for busy winter days!