Sometimes, no matter how much you feel the pressure to keep going, things in life make you stop and take some time and rest. Recharge. Think.
Right now, I’m sitting in a hotel room in Gulfport. By the time you read this, I’ll be back home, but this week has been nice. I’ve done exactly… er…. well. Nothing. Sleep. Read a couple of books. Slept some more. Then I moved over to the other side of the king-sized bed (my husband is used to this) and slept some more. I started off this trip with fever and chills and a rattling cough. I’m better (from the sleeping), and I’m not surprised my body just said ‘no’ after this last month. Mentally, physically, emotionally, I needed a break. I needed time to just be without extra pressure to do.
Sophie said this thing in Wednesday’s blog, about how weeding gives her that sense of success, that Zen calm. Painting does that for me, and I love having it all done when I can look back and see the accomplishment, and know that I did that. (This applies to both kinds of painting — household as well as art, which I love and miss like a part of my body.)
I firmly believe that the greatest part of my creativity, my ability to solve problems, to see the layers of characters, the machinations within machinations, the emotional journeys, is directly related to the free associations I’m able to do when I’m relaxing, Zenning out in some other activity. I need that free time to make those loose associations, to meander through the world of the story, seeing the connections. If I don’t have that, my energy level plummets mid-story, and the overall impact feels unsatisfying, when I’m done. I crave that impact, that emotion, that moment in the story when I’m pulling a Joan Wilder and crying as I write the moment that I hope brings the readers to tears as well as a catharsis.
I haven’t been very relaxed the last few months, and it shows. My friends have gotten me through it all, and I love you all for it. And because we own a small business, there will always be something to deal with, but I’m really tired of the upheaval sucking the soul out of my life and my writing suffering for it. For all of the things I need to do in my life–eat better, exercise more, be more thoughtful of friends–none of it’s going to happen if I don’t figure out how to re-charge without having to go clear to another state to be a slug in a hotel room for three days. (Although, really, this isn’t a real hardship. 😉 )
I used to paint (oils) and I haven’t had a chance to get back into it. I miss it terribly. I love photography, which I’m doing more and more of, and I hope to do some more gardening–which is something I can do with Angie (g-kiddo). I’m going to look hard over the next couple of weeks and see what are my time-wasters that aren’t creating that Zen feeling, and try to start eliminate them. Then I’m going to carve out time to just be.
So how about you? What do you do to relax? How Zen are you? 🙂