I talked last week about my yoga classes and the fact we’re asked to think of a word or ‘intention’ each class. It surprises me when something comes to mind as it’s usually something unexpected. The other day my word was ‘surrender’ and it came at the perfect time as I was stressing about a heap of stuff – some of which was beyond my control. And – as a self-confessed control freak – I was struggling.
But being reminded that it’s possible to surrender control of certain things to fate and that it’s not the same as giving up or quitting, was a comforting idea.
It might surprise you that I’m still doing my morning pages. Although I’m doing them at night.
In case that sentence makes no sense and you haven’t committed my posts to heart, I’ll give you this subtle reminder about a book by Julia Cameron called, The Artist’s Way. One of the tools of the 12 week course are morning pages – 3 pages of freehand writing. I’m up to week 10 of the book… (so surprisingly I haven’t quit)! But for a range of reasons do my morning pages before I go to bed.
And each day mine include stuff I’m feeling guilty about. Stuff I SHOULD have done, but haven’t. Boy, gotta love the SHOULDS, OUGHT-TOs, and MUSTS.
It’s the control freak in me who loves her ‘to-do’ lists. The very act of writing down shit I should be doing helps me feel in control.
The irony – of course – is that it makes me feel worse when I don’t actually do it.
And I was struck by this very thought the other night. There are things on the list that I’ve included on my #5before50 bucket list as well as things I feel I SHOULD be doing.
‘Pitching freelance articles to paid sources,’ comes to mind. Not to mention the whole ‘write a novel’ thing. Of course on my daily or weekly ‘to-do’ list, the actions are far more doable. They’re bite-sized goals. Like I said… I’m good at ‘to-do’ lists and goal setting. It’s the (lack of) follow-through that has me guilt-ridden and anxious.
And the other night by the time I was getting to the end of the third page of my morning pages, I was stuck for stuff (which is the point of them I believe) and before I knew it I’d written things like…. “I wish I didn’t HAVE to do these things.” I’d written, “Imagine if my non-working days were free for me to do whatever I liked.”
And it hit me. These goals (the lists) are all self-imposed. They’re things I think I SHOULD do. I mean, I think I want to do them… but I’m not entirely sure.
In yesterday’s post about my home office I ended it by wondering if it’s not actually the environment – the study itself – that’s thwarting my creativity; but perhaps it’s me.
The whole aim of working part-time is not so I can just struggle financially! 😉 It’s about having balance in my life. I’ve assumed that would translate as me having more time to write. And perhaps it does and will continue to do so.
However… so much of my current overwhelm; so much of my sense of failure is about self-imposed goals I’m not achieving. Pitching book reviews and articles for money. Writing a novel. Writing more in my local blog.
So… I can’t help but wonder if I tried to remain goal-less for a month or two; if I took the SHOULDs off the table… if I’d be surrendering control and guilt; or if I’d be quitting.
Do you think there’s a difference? Do you think sometimes we should push ourselves when we’re not sure we DO want to do something?
I’ve joined Leanne from Deep Fried Fruit and some other bloggers to help promote “ageing positively” and the Lovin’ Life mindset across the interwebs. You can link up via any one of us!