LOST DAYS Transformed To INCUBATOR DAYS
Is it a case of procrastination or my inability at times to focus and accomplish what I set out to do? One day last week is a perfect example. I had a to-do list. The objectives weren’t connected to housework; they were activities related to my writing and painting. However, there I sat at 4:23 in the afternoon having accomplished none of them. At other times, I can knock items off my list at record speed. What happens on these Lost Days?
Well, on this particular day I got out of bed at 7:30 am, had breakfast, washed and dried my hair, dressed, fed the cat and the fish. By 9:00 a.m. I was on the phone calling a neighbour to go for a walk but she was out so I checked and answered my email. I finished at 11:30 a.m.….2½ hours later! Email is the major time consumer on my daily list!
I have a love-hate relationship with email. It’s a wonderful way to keep in touch with friends and family but the volume of photos, jokes, and stories can be overwhelming. And I don’t have the heart to delete without reading them if they are sent by someone I care about. I do trash all of the advertising emails. The ones I get aren’t SPAM; they are from places I subscribe to – mostly health related. When I signed up, I read them all but now they mostly go directly into the Recycle Bin. I should just un-subscribe but, ‘you never know’ when there will be something I really want or need to know about. (It doesn’t happen often.)
After the email, I sat through a webinar about Handling Food Cravings. It lasted an hour and although it was very informative, I didn’t learn anything new. Another sixty minutes lost. During the webinar, I received a text from a family member who had just undergone surgery. She wanted to Skype, which was definitely more important than my to-do list. Another hour passed; it was now 3:30 p.m. Somewhere in the midst of all this I prepared and ate lunch.
Finally, I sat down to write and nothing would come. I forget how the rest of the afternoon disappeared – it just did.
I’m not sure how to deal with these Lost Days. Do I simply accept them as periods meant for relaxation, maybe reading a book, or do I fight off the inertia and force creativity out of me? I don’t think the latter is the answer. Even my Creative Ritual doesn`t work on these days.
Am I being too hard on myself? I realize that an idea for a painting, a story or poem often needs time to incubate before it`s ready to be birthed. When I stress and push against this natural process I waste both time and energy. Perhaps it’s better to relax and bask in the warmth of apparent inertia, allow the neurons to fire unimpeded forming new pathways for me to explore, and then celebrate whatever results.
Thus, after much contemplation I will no longer experience Lost Days. When I find myself struggling to awaken my Muse, I will settle into a comfy chair with my email and a good book for a productive “Incubator Day”.
© Wendie Donabie 2012