Discipline

I made a promise to myself this week that I would make time to write on my blog on Sunday night. In fact, I’m trying to make time to write every Sunday night.

The fact is that I’ve been in a rut lately. I’m creatively stagnant. My work isn’t engaging me the way it has in the past, and I’m not quite sure what to do to re-engage myself. I’m wanting a change, but I’m not sure what that is, and I don’t feel like I have the ability to spend any time thinking about what that could be, either.

So I’m trying some “hacks” such as setting aside time every week to write. Writing is something I’ve always been driven to do, so why not use that as a kernel on which I can build and stimulate some ideas for what I can do next to get myself going again.

Really, I started writing a long time ago. I can’t even remember exactly when I started. I have some short stories and partial stories that I wrote back in grade school, and I recall giving one of my teachers in 5th grade (or was that 6th grade?) a story that I had written about a lion so she could edit it and make suggestions.

I also attempted to do something a bit more forceful to kick-start some creative thinking: I applied for a one-month work-study at Esalen that runs from mid-December to mid-January. My plan was to take a sabbatical from work and use the time to think as I performed the “work” portion of the work-study.

Note that I refer to my plan in the past tense since it has already gone awry. Esalen’s work-study program is apparently full at that time, so I can sit on the wait list until 2 weeks in advance, or I can just give up. I’m not sure which I should do, quite frankly, but at least I’ve made some sort of progress so far. Even if it isn’t in the direction I had planned.

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Home again

Here I am in Chicago. I’m still on California time, so even though I’m tired I’m not ready to slip into bed yet. The flights were blessedly uneventful and I think we actually arrived at O’Hare early. I found my coach seat fairly comfy this time, which gives me hope that I will be able to stand a longer flight in the future. Perhaps to Europe? We’ll see.

I do know I want to go back to Esalen again, preferably within the next 3-6 months. I was browsing the print catalog while on the plane from Monterey to LAX and saw that David Schiffman (our workshop leader) will be leading another workshop in late December. Tempting.

Returning to the house is comforting, but it needs a bit of tidying. Mark stayed here while I was gone and took care of the animals and such, but he’s not a housekeeper. I see dog hair dust bunnies all over that must be vacuumed up tomorrow. I’m actually keeping myself in check as I really want to do it tonight. Now. Instead I’m having a glass of wine to help wind me down and trying to ignore them.

It’s a cool, drizzly night here which is sort of refreshing. The past 2 days in Big Sur and Monterey were very warm and very dry. The humidity and moisture in the air is a nice change.

I really feel different. Freer, more confident in my personal power, and more comfortable in my skin and my space. I have tomorrow to completely unpack, do laundry, and continue my immersion into the reality of my life here in Chicago. There are so many possibilities I want to set in motion.

As I sit here on the couch with Hannah dog on one side of me and Sadie dog on the other I’m content. It’s a quiet night and I can hear Hannah gently snoring. This is good and pleasing to me, and the fact that I can recognize that and be content with it is an accomplishment for me. I’ve always tried to savor these simple pleasures. Being at Esalen has reinforced in me that this approach is healthy and necessary for me. I’m grateful for that.