There are lots of blog posts I want to write. Lots of creative ideas are buzzing around my head, sparked off from other bits of things I’ve heard or read lately.
I haven’t been able to actually write though. I suppose I’ve had the fear. I’ve not had much time, and that feeling of being rushed has translated into a feeling of pressure and stress, and ultimately, into me not doing anything.
It feels like a common issue among creatives. We put a load of pressure on our creativity, and sometimes (as with anything you put pressure on) it starts to falter. Sometimes, ideas dry up. Other times, we really want to carry on with creative pursuits but there’s just not enough time in the day.
Yes, it’s really important to make time for creativity, or whatever your hobby or passion is, but it can be really difficult to fit it in with life. As a mum, I find this even more so. Days are long and often filled with heart busting moments of joy, but also, mainly knackering. Sometimes the last thing I want to do after Soren’s bedtime and clearing up the bombsite kitchen is sit back down at the computer… sometimes I do; lately, I’ve chosen to go to bed and read; take a bath, or potter about listening to a podcast.
life goes in peaks and troughs, and to feel balanced and sane we shouldn’t feel bad about taking a bit of a breather from one thing or another.
This isn’t supposed to be a moan, or to come across as me saying “Hey! It’s ok to stop doing the things that you do!” It is HUGELY important for us to carry on having hobbies and goals, and to create music or writing or to play football or yoga or do whatever it is you do that helps you feel like you.
Instead, it’s more a recognition that life goes in peaks and troughs, and to feel balanced and sane we shouldn’t feel bad about taking a bit of a breather from one thing or another.
Modern life sux
There is simply no sane way to do everything that is asked of us in modern life. Work, family, relationships, keeping our homes reasonably clean, looking after ourselves, looking after other people, or animals, community related stuff, social media, HAVING FUN, having opinions, news to keep up with… it’s a lot. And it’s not all necessary. Not all at the same time.
I’m not sure trying to keep up with all of this is good for our mental health, or our happiness levels.
Channel 4 News did a great interview with Google executive and author Mo Gawdat recently, which really helped refocus my thinking. He says that happiness is related to the difference between how we expect our lives will be, and how they actually are. So it follows that someone with simpler expectations of life will be happier with a simpler life.
I really love this idea. It’s a simple one: being aware of what you want from life and making choices which will make that life more likely. Personally, I don’t want a life that full of material things and stuff – rushing from one moment to the next without really appreciating anything. Taking a breather from some of life’s “extra stuff” is good in the short term, and the long term.
It doesn’t mean you can’t or won’t ever be good at whatever it is you’re taking a break from, it’s just giving yourself permission to relax.
No one cares but you
This advice, along with the realisation that no-one really cares apart from you, have really helped me lately.
Another piece of advice which may have come from Sarah Tasker’s podcast, Hashtag Authentic, and her interview with life coach Sas Petherick (it might not have, I can’t seem to find this exact bit in the clip… but it’s a good interview so worth a listen anyway.) This involves an exercise to deal with getting carried away with anxiety by thinking realistically about the consequences of not doing something.
For example, if you don’t reply to a message at this moment – well, you’ll probably reply to it later. If you don’t do it later, your friend might choose to take the hump – or, more realistically, they’ll have forgotten too. If you don’t do the laundry tonight – you can do it tomorrow. If you don’t do it tomorrow, it’ll be another day. Your world won’t fall apart. When you realise that nothing momentous will actually change in your life if you don’t do that task right away, it takes a lot of pressure off.
It’s good not to carry on down that road and just think, meh, so I never wear clean pants again (please don’t do that), but if it allows us a bit of mental breathing space and gets us back to a place of living life i a way that makes us feel good, then it’s worth it.