Thursday, April 29, 2010

Day 103: Good enough

I feel like I "should" write a blog post, but I'm not really sure what to write about.  And if you've been reading my blog for awhile, you know how I feel about the word "should"

But I also feel like there is a really important transformation happening in my life, which is part of the reason I haven't been blogging as often.  It is an intentional transformation, yet the specifics of how it is manifesting were not necessarily what I thought would happen.

I have been striving for more ease in my life: a better balance between my personal, creative, and financial needs.  I didn't know how to achieve that, and in many ways thought it would be impossible without some kind of deus ex machina from a patron or winning the lottery.

And yet... I seem to have found it.  It's not perfect, and I wish I could do more (and certainly hope to be able to as I continue to grow my voice teaching studio and eventually work less at the office).  But I suddenly don't feel myself frustrated and exhausted every day, and almost always find myself responding "I'm great!" when people ask how I am.  And meaning it.

How have I done this?  For one, cutting down from 3 jobs to 2 has most certainly made a difference.  Spending more and more time doing something I love, that I'm really good at, and that helps other people (my teaching) has made an even bigger difference.  But the most important thing, I think, has been letting go of some of the expectations I had on myself.

I was expecting myself to do so much: write 4 to 5 blog posts a week, write at least an hour 6 days a week (and many more hours on several of those days), exercise 4 to 5 times a week, do my morning pages every day, see my friends a lot, and spend time with my boyfriend as often as possible (and of course this doesn't include all the more mundane tasks like going to work, cleaning my apartment, grocery shopping, etc etc etc).  I was operating under such a huge weight of guilt at not being able to get all these things done, that I was being even less productive.  Worse, I wasn't able to enjoy the time I was spending doing any of those things -- my time writing I was frustrated because it wasn't longer, my time with my boyfriend wasn't as joyful as it could be because I was feeling guilty for not working.  I was living from a place of scarcity instead of a place of abundance.

I've decided to let go of some of those expectations.  As much as I would love my blog to become an international internet sensation, I don't have the time required to continually promote it to get it to that stature.  That being the case, does it really matter if I write 2-3 posts a week instead of 4-5?  Verily, it doth not.  The world will continue to turn.  Deciding to dedicate one full day a week to writing instead of an hour each day has also released me from a huge amount of pressure and stress -- I squeeze in all the little things I need to do during the week so I can keep my Sundays clear to write, and thus have very productive days all around.  This has also meant letting go of spending some time with my boyfriend, as Sundays are the only day we could potentially have an entire day free to spend together.  But he understands and is supportive.  Plus, as he pointed out, the time we do spend together is better this way because I'm not cranky and frustrated and feeling guilty for not writing.  I'm still trying to figure out how to fit more exercise in, but it's not like I'm sitting around on my butt all the time.  In addition to the gym a couple of times a week, I'm working in a lot more walking now that it's warming up. 

I guess I'm learning to be content with "good enough" and to stop demanding "perfection" of myself.  Some - including myself not too long ago - might call this complacency, and a sure road to not becoming famous or making a living as an artist.  Maybe so.  (Though me at "complacent" is still far more driven than most people I know).  But you know what?  I don't care.  I'm happy.  And that's worth more than anything.
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