Stuck in a rut
We often step back to take stock of our lives: work, time spent with family, the future, retirement, and so on. But this past week I wondered if we do that often enough, or do we wait too long to consider where we stand? Do we wait until it is too late to make a course correction, or even a complete change in direction?
Even if you are happy with yourself and your achievements, shouldn't you too just take a moment or two to take stock?
Creative people are more prone to awareness of stagnating, or procrastinating in their art or craft. They get frustrated, or blocked or give up when that seemingly insurmountable obstacle is preventing them from moving forward. We are constantly being bombarded with media and psychological imperatives that if you are not moving forward, you are digging yourself deeper into a rut. But should you be moving forward at that point in time? And how do you know when is the right time?
Stop - right now!
It is the start of a new month and I think a good time to spend a few minutes considering where I am on my Live in Balance goals. Am I on track? Where do I need to have a relook at a specific goal, or adjust the target?
I spent that time today, Sunday, and assessed my progress on my five primary goals. And surprisingly two of them are exactly on track (weight-loss and word count), while I could definitely spend more time looking at how I spend my time on my art projects.
The step counter and Tai Chi activities suffered a setback when I injured a ligament in my left hip. I can walk okay, but many other physical activities are pushing my pain boundary just a touch too much. It is already feeling better, but I will need to be careful for a while still.
The last, the number of books read, was a surprise too. Then again, I have always read a lot, although I have not kept track of the number of books read in a month as I am doing now.
While most of my goals seem to be on track, my efforts to keep them there need to be reinforced. When it comes to weight-loss, it is much easier said than done - and the graphs show that.
For February there will be baby steps
Having a weight-loss graph going up and down is not a good thing, so I need to focus on a slow by steady loss approach. With the month ahead having four weeks (four Sundays) my target will be another 2 kilograms.
Francois and I attended the opening night of an art exhibition at ArtBox on Saturday. We spoke to the artist and while doing so I realised that I have been spreading myself too thin. I want to try every technique and play around with all mediums, and that could be part of the problem that I am not spending my time on my art projects productively. That will change.
This month I will focus primarily on urban sketching. I already have the materials I need and have taken a few more photographs to help with the ideas I have.
My writing targets are split into two: editing Waiting for Adrian, and writing a story that has no title at present. In numbers that translate to roughly 50 hours of editing and 20 000 words of writing.
Baby steps this month.
Looking further ahead
When the artist we chatted to mentioned that she had made a change in direction in her art, it got me thinking about taking stock in one's life. Maybe going forward is not always the answer. Sometimes it requires a complete change in direction to get going again.
And that is where I think my art is at this point. I need to do the urban sketching and then decide if that is my way forward. Or do I need to change direction before I get stuck in that rut of digging myself deeper instead of recognising that change is required before the rut sets in?
Time will tell, but now I am on the lookout for those signs of frustration and procrastination that will warn me that change might be imminent.