I have this cycle that I go through, I’m sure many of you will recognize it. I’m not sure where the cycle starts or ends, but it goes something like this. “I’m too busy, I never have time for myself.” So I look at all the things I’m doing and cut some of them out. Yeah, I have time for myself. “I’m bored, I don’t know what to do with myself.” So I look around for new things to do. I commit to projects and take up classes. Before you know it: “I’m too busy, I never have time for myself.”
In my limited research (asking my friends) I’ve found that most people do this. Well the creative ones anyway. I do have a few friends who don’t live creative lives, they support the rest of us who are always out searching for new and interesting ways to express ourselves. My non-creative friends (by which I mean the ones who are not driven by creativity – they can be plenty creative when faced with a problem) manage to stay off this roller coaster with such ease that they don’t even understand how it works. “Well, just don’t pick up so many projects.”
I can’t follow that advice.
Most of my creative friends can’t figure it out either. A project comes along and if we aren’t at the over-committed end of the cycle there’s no stopping us from picking it up. It’s a version of “ooh shiny syndrome”. You know the one, where you get distracted by… Hey I just had a great idea— oh, sorry.
We know what we have to do. We know that we should check our schedules and make realistic estimates of how much time things are going to take and check to be sure we’ll still have enough time to sleep at least four hours a day (being realistic here – we tend not to get the recommended 8 hours of sleep – that would take too much time from all the writing and crocheting and painting and sewing and sculpting and…)
Recently I discovered something about myself. I’m happy when I have too much to do. Oh sure I’d love to get more than three hours of sleep a day. Sometimes my body takes over and says “THOU SHALT SLEEP FOR FOURTEEN HOURS TO MAKE UP FOR ALL THE SHORT CHANGING YOU’VE DONE”. In the long run though, the busy keeps away the depression. I can look on the world and see the good that it is when I have too much to do. I’m happiest when my slow cycle comes from completing projects rather than abandoning them.
I will be over committed for the foreseeable future. My task now is to organize things so I can complete my projects in an orderly fashion.