End of Week 4 - Check-in
Aaaaah. That is a sigh of relief. A coming-home, slipping out of boots feeling, being back in blog-land, among friends. I've been reading as many as I can over the past couple of hours - a veritable binge, a feasting... but that was bound to happen, wasn't it? In fact, I didn't hate the reading deprivation. I found it forced me into a different relationship with time - using my time in so many other ways, and there actually seemed to be a whole lot more time in a day, and in the week. I've come to the end of the week with a little accomplished in terms of creative output, and a fair amount in terms of putting my life in order in ways that support my artist long-term. I have NOTHING on hand right at this moment that I am procrastinating on! This is unheard of, really! During the past week, I've been a responsible householder, dog-owner, student and driver and got little (and some not-so-little) neglected chores seen to, leaving me feeling a lovely sense of clarity and space in my head. There are things I still mean to do (as in the redecorating plan), but it doesn't feel like something I should have already done. There is no guilt attached, and hence no anxiety. I am just going to savour this, because it won't last forever, but it feels so good right now.
And here is my confession: I didn't deprive myself 100%. I checked emails, out of necessity - to keep up with some of the feedback on the chores, and to stay in touch with family, and once I was online, I admit I peeked to see was anyone else out there (surprisingly few!) a couple of times, but I didn't really read - more like scanning, like catching sight of magazine covers in a newsagents. Is that reading? I put aside any newsletters and magazines that came this week. I actually didn't read before a crucial meeting with my research supervisor (and when a question came up I should have known the answer to, I just shrugged, and she said "Will you let me know next week?" sure, sure, next week!)
So What did I do? - Some SoulCollage - four new cards. I hand-wrote my 40x365 posts in my journal, (posted them this morning), did some writing at my Women Writers Group - one piece that got very excited and positive feedback really pleased me too, I found my sketchbooks and pencils (and sets of acrylics, oil and soft pastels, and watercolours that I've accumulated and never used) and did one small sketch. Half-way through, I said This is Awful, but then I said Great. I'm making bad art, one of the things I'm meant to be doing, so I kept going. I did a great job! - It's really bad! I bought myself a table-easel at a ridiculously low price on my artist's date. I tried out new recipes, sprouted seeds for salads, poked a few weeds out of the garden, spent long times watching the birds at the bird-feeder (I felt checking a bird-identification book wasn't really reading, was it?). I've already referred to the clearing of low self-worth clothes (anything stained, damaged beyond reasonable repair, too big, too small, kept for pure sentimentality, cheap or nasty) and that released into the light of day some clothes I really like, so I dressed differently this week. Even jewelery I'd forgotten buying turned up - a lovely pair of pansy (real flowers) earrings are just the thing to brighten up February.
Oh... I haven't even mentioned the Artist's Way tasks! - I did them all. Out of them all, would you like to meet my 8-year-old self?
- She loves being down the fields, long grass, hiding-places in hedges, secret dens, picking flowers and grasses, poking into dark places and claiming them for hers.
- She has discovered words, and loves playing with them, drying out big words, making words rhyme and dance. She loves to read, although she has yet to discover her great love - Enid Blyton.
- "Dolls need Dresses" is her motto. Aunt Carrie obliges, with access to a generous scrap-box, bits of trimmings, buttons. Dressmaking aunts are a real perk. Paper dolls are great too. She loves Bunty (comic) over Judy for that reason - Bunty's back page, fantastic every week.
- Her favourite clothes are dresses and skirts that twirl. She believes she is really pretty with her ringlets and her dark eyes. She was a princess with flowers and a lace bag on her First Communion Day last year. She still feels like one.
- She is able to claim any stray child for a friend
- She loves schoolwork, homework, really enjoys having it done well. She does "projects" of her own devising during school holidays.
- She loves to roll down the grassy hill in the park, to twirl around until she falls down dizzy.
- Her favourite things are papers and pens and pencils, "office" stuff, notebooks, and paste or glue. Tracing paper. She loves to trace pictures.
My 80-year old self requested that I exercise regularly, eat well, and quit the caffeine. I haven't had caffeinated coffee since, went to the gym 3 times this week (my goal) and ate very healthy food. She's a feisty old lady, and I'm looking forward to being around to meet her!
Ok. I know everyone has a lot of blogs to check out. Just want to say, it's so good to be back. Thank all of you for the sharing you do. This is really one very exciting journey for me.