Respecting the Crazy
So, I launch a new blog and promptly go MIA. That’s the way I roll. One might think I would be a routinized, scheduled, disciplined creature, what with all my responsibilities and goals. One would be wrong. Alas, I am more like a bee, flitting from flower to flower. Industrious, sure, but easily distracted and all over the place.
I have come to realize since quitting the 9-5 world… Why is it called 9-5 anyway? Who only works 9-5? Anyway, since quitting my paid J-O-B, I have been able to tune in more to my personal rhythms and take advantage of optimal energy levels. Of course, I have to work around the Little’s internal clocks too and meet their needs on their schedules, but I can be creative about most other things. On the whole, this is a good thing. It feels more than a little indulgent to be able to drop a project midway when inspiration is waning in favor of another project that has me bubbling over with ideas. I know I’ll get back to it on the next go-round. It’s great to set my own deadlines for the most part and shuffle them as necessary. When I intentionally incorporate interesting and new pursuits into the mind-numbing, wash-rinse-repeat doldrums of domestic life, I am a happier person and a better mama.
But as a creative person with a noisily whirring brain who also happens to care deeply about following the rules and getting things right (I think the technical term is a recovering perfectionist- no? not a technical term?), sometimes I suffer from mental whiplash… and exhaustion. I try to also incorporate rest and other types of self-care, but those are the first things to go when the schedule goes haywire (say, in the instance of emergency shunt surgery or a sick dog.)
Working on a few books (and now a blog- and let’s not forget about trying to figure out Twitter), starting a small business, redecorating my home, DIY renovation projects, reducing our carbon footprint, setting up charts for kiddos, Nadia’s medical and grant record keeping, organizing and cleaning, researching anything and everything, reading- these are just a few of the things that tend to become obsessions for me and regularly cycle through my craziness. Until Catherine Zeta-Jones unwittingly became the spokesperson for Bipolar Type II, I had never heard of it. Now I’m pretty sure I have it. I should probably spend my next energy surge creating a 3-inch file on it so that I can discuss it with my doctor next time I’m in. She’ll love that.
As I continue to practice juggling my competing interests and responsibilities, the end result is usually very satisfying and things only occasionally become overwhelming. (Like that time I lay in the wet grass in my front yard at 1 a.m. repeating “It’s too much… It’s just too much…” over and over again until my husband and BFF dragged me into the house, my husband hissing “we have neighbors.” What? OK, there may or may not have been two-for-one cocktails involved.) I have become more patient and forgiving with myself as I’ve learned to ride the waves of energy and inspiration. I used to start a full-on decorating/room rearranging project at midnight – when inspiration struck – and couldn’t stop until it was finished, leaving me too exhausted the next day to keep up with my routine, such as it was. Now, I know something might take weeks or months until completion and I am content having all the pots open, dipping in and out as the mood strikes me. Working smarter instead of pushing through is very satisfying. Yes, it’s also a little messy and chaotic, but it keeps the energy flowing and my mind happy.
So these last couple weeks I’ve been busy moving almost every piece of furniture in my house- and painting some of them. I swore to my husband there would be no moving of furniture in 2011 and have failed on that promise so completely and dramatically, I may as well have promised sex every night for the year. By the end of the month, all free-standing furniture not requiring a team of burly men to lift it will have been relocated from its original position. And then there are the window treatments and the painting, new carpeting and new self-made “artwork”. It’s a sickness. All this to say, I have nothing to say; the writing takes a backseat when the crazy is occupied with other outlets.
What about you? Do you push through to the finish line no matter what? Or do you put a project on the shelf when you’re out of ideas, knowing you’ll come back later?