Thursday, July 12, 2012

A different kind of downtime

You know that feeling, that feeling you get at the end of the day, when you've finally gotten home, cooked dinner, eaten dinner, cleaned up, and now it's way later than you hoped it would be and you've still got all this work you want to do but all you really want to do is turn on the television and veg?  You know, that feeling?

That feeling has been plaguing me a lot more the last few months than usual.  Perhaps partly because I'm still getting used to the novelty of actually having a television and cable again (after not having had it for over 10 years), but also partly because I just haven't been as focused.  I've been distracted by moving into a new place with my best-boyfriend-ever, by exploring acting, by discovering the joy of gardening, by getting a new kitty....  While all these are wonderful things, and I'm learning a lot and having a lot of fun with all these new things in my life, my mind has also been crying out to me for some time to just be quiet.  Hence the craving for television.

But suddenly in the last few days, I find myself not craving television.  I find myself craving work.  Writing, to be exact.  Itching, aching to get to work on the play.  Part of it is the new deadline, to be sure (my brain definitely likes those looming deadlines to keep myself motivated), but I think there is something else.

The weekend of the writing intensive, I did 30 minutes of yoga and 10 minutes of meditation before I left the house each day.   I also made sure to write in my morning pages journal, to try to get out the clutter from my mind so I would be clearer to work on the play.  Doing these things felt so great, that I told myself I wanted to do them  every morning.  While every morning hasn't quite happened, I have done all these things a lot more, and I am noticing a real difference.  I am suddenly more focused, more disciplined, and I don't find myself feeling that "need" to watch television, that "need" to just do nothing and let my brain veg. I think I am giving my brain some of that quiet time it needs which then allows me to get more work done.  Which makes me happy.  Cause I have a lot of work to do.

Not that watching television is always bad -- believe you me, I am going to be watching the season premier of Breaking Bad this weekend.  No amount of meditation could make me want to miss that.
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